A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.


Sam Taylor-Johnson (as Sam Taylor-Wood)


Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay)
4,046 ( 2,741)
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... John (as Aaron Johnson)
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Mimi
David Threlfall ... Uncle George
Josh Bolt ... Pete
Ophelia Lovibond ... Marie
Kerrie Hayes ... Marie's Friend
Angela Walsh Angela Walsh ... Schoolmistress
Paul Ritter ... Popjoy
Richard Syms ... Reverend
Anne-Marie Duff ... Julia
James Johnson James Johnson ... Stan
Alex Ambrose Alex Ambrose ... Young John
Angelica Jopling ... Julia - aged 8
Abby Greenhalgh Abby Greenhalgh ... Jackie - aged 6
David Morrissey ... Bobby


The story of John Lennon's (Aaron Taylor-Johnson's) childhood and teenage years from 1944 to 1960, his relationship with his Aunt Mimi (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) and his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) - the two dominant women in the first part of his life; his first meeting with Sir Paul McCartney (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and George Harrison (Sam Bell), their friendship, their love for music, and the birth of The Beatles. Written by CynthiaPowell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


As a boy all John Lennon needed was love. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In one scene, John Lennon passes a character he refers to as "Tarbuck". This is well-known British comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, who went to the same school as John. See more »


At their first gig after the founding of the band, John and his friends already performed a "The Quarrymen". However before that they were called "The Blackjacks", a name that was not mentioned in the movie. That however could be a hint to the fact that the band quickly changed their name to "Quarrymen". See more »


John: I want to start a Rock'n Roll band. I want to be like Elvis.
See more »


References Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) See more »


I Put a Spell on You
Written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (as Jay Hawkins)
Published by EMI Music Publishing Limited/EMI United Partnership Limited
Performed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
(p) 1956 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Licensed courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
See more »

User Reviews

Deceptive DVD cover, no Beatles
21 April 2012 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

The DVD cover prominently features a sign that reads "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Field", but make no mistake, this movie has very little to do with The Beatles, let alone their later years when those 2 songs were recorded.

Instead we get a very tight snapshot of John Lennon's youth around age 17, focusing mostly on the rift between his mother and her sister (Aunt Mimi) who mostly raised John. It's more a coming-of-age flick than a rock'n'roll film, and some of you might feel cheated that it doesn't touch on The Beatles as the cover implies, but it's still well done and worth watching.

It does, however, paint John Lennon to be a 1st class douche bag (whether or not this was true, I don't know). And more than once during the film I found myself hoping Mark Chapman might show up, if you know what I mean (just kidding). I'm not an expert on John Lennon's personal life, but I would've thought that John was more of a pensive, introverted type based on his lyrics. Instead he's shown here to be an angry, lewd, domineering punk. I suppose the film did a good job of showing how rock'n'roll was often born out of rebellious douche baggy youth.

The character of Paul McCartney shows up midway, lending a voice of sanity and wisdom, and George Harrison appears later for a few seconds. There were no Beatles songs but instead a few Elvis tunes and old rock standards. If you're hungry for a Beatles biopic, you should probably check out "Backbeat" (1994) or "Birth of the Beatles" (1979).

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Frequently Asked Questions

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UK | Canada


English | French

Release Date:

25 December 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Nowhere Boy See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$52,749, 10 October 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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