Love & Mercy (review)

Love & Mercy (review)
Love & Mercy (review)
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This is not the standard musician biopic, but a fascinating and immensely absorbing examination of the artistic, emotional and mental struggles of Brian Wilson (the creative powerhouse behind the Beach Boys). The timeline alternates between his peak years, when he was starting to experiment with their sound (played by Paul Dano) and the period after his breakdown (played by John Cusak), when therapist Dr. Eugene Landy dominated his existence. Both actors are mesmerizing, brilliantly capturing Wilson’s complexity and charisma. As the woman who saves him, the usually outsize Elizabeth Banks is a quiet revelation. Producer-turned-director Bill Pohlad has crafted a compellingly complex examination into the creative process and one of the most effective studies of mental illness ever on screen. Although the musician’s oppressive struggles keep the film in a continual dark place (with a sometimes slow pace), the film’s quiet power and artistic mastery create an enthralling cinematic exploration. NOTE: The real Wilson performs the title song on camera during the credits.


4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


Movie website


  1. Loved this movie. But only 5 other people in theatre on a Friday. Tell your friends and go see this. its special. Plus it has the best songs ever. Right, Jerry?

  2. Absolutely! Already hearing that it’s one of this year’s best.

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