If a bullet hadn't killed John Lennon, this Beatles-scored musical might have. Director Julie Taymor and Revolution Studios head Joe Roth engaged in a well-publicized feud over the final cut, but the movie's cartoonish rehash of the turbulent 60s was in place long before that. Taymor's calling card is still her Broadway adaptation of The Lion King, and she delivers some comparably grand set pieces here: Eddie Izzard fronts a chorus of Blue Meanies on “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” and “I Want You . . . She's So Heavy” is divided between a baleful Uncle Sam at an army induction center and a platoon of U.S. soldiers carrying the Statue of Liberty across Southeast Asia. But the Rent-like ensemble of yearning young people at the center of the story is a drag; I wanted to turn the sound down on them and say rude things. PG-13, 133 min.
By J.R. Jones