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The Devil and Daniel Johnston

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Jeff Feuerzeig

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About the Movie

His drawings and sketches are exhibited and sold worldwide. Beck, Wilco, Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam have recorded his songs. But beneath Daniel Johnston's success as an artist and musician is an incredible story of genius touched by madness: diagnosed as manic-depressive, Johnston has spent the last three decades of his life in-and-out of mental institutions. Told through a compelling combination of interviews, home movies and performance footage, "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" is 'a harrowing, hilarious and ultimately moving new documentary film' (Jim Farber, New York Daily News). '****' (Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News)!


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 110
  • Fresh: 98
  • Rotten: 12
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Devil leads us into that dark, uncharted valley where evil, genius, divine inspiration, insanity -- and other unfathomable mysteries -- commingle. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: A searing, compassionate portrait of chronic mental illness. – Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Like Capturing the Friedmans, Devil is loaded with revealing footage, rife with psychodrama, including a creepy home movie in which the teenage Johnston plays himself and his overbearing mother. – Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: This well-done documentary will explain why Johnston has never been able to rise above cult status ... – Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


First to review and i liked this movie

Story of a Genius

I can't believe this hasn't been reviewed more, it's simply incredible. The doc is done very, very well, but what makes it is the story of Daniel Johnston. Virtually unknown to most people, his music is by far some of the most touching and inspiring in existance. Nobody compares, nobody. If you're having second thoughts about buying this, rent it from netflix, go to amazon, whatever you need to do to get a copy.

My Favorite Documentary

When I saw this documentary when it came out in 2005, it really changed my perspective of documentary film. Johnston's art and music is something on its own, by Feuerzeig brings a whole new level of artistry to the documentary form with this film. It's woven beautifully with pieces of found footage and audio, environment recreations, and pieces that could be art in their own right, such as the animation of Johnston's sketches. Feuerzeig is an astoundingly brilliant filmmaker paying homage to an astoundingly brilliant musician, poet, and artist. You can't lose with that combination!

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