Danny Collins

500 Days Of Film Reviews Danny Collins Starring Al Pacino


Hard living music star, Danny Collins (Al Pacino) deadens the pain of his life’s regrets with drugs and alcohol. 


He enjoys the trappings of his extremely successful career and yet, beneath the ridiculous layers of fake tan, he is deeply unhappy.


An unexpected gift from long-time manager and friend, Frank Grubman

(Christopher Plummer) shocks Danny into considering what his life could have been like had he taken a different path.


Danny moves into a hotel in New Jersey, visits his estranged son and makes a firm friend in Hilton manager, Mary (Annette Benning).


Can he make amends before it is too late?

Is It Any Good?

Near the beginning of Danny Collins, Al Pacino is seen slumped in a chair having just come off stage. He is depressed, drowning his sorrows in drink. When his manager, Frank, asks him what could possibly be wrong, Danny points out that, like him, his audience is aging and he doesn’t like the look of this mirror on his own mortality.


Dan Fogelman’s film (which he also wrote) is about regret, the price of selling out and the possibility of redemption.


Pretty common movie fodder you might say and there is certainly not much new or particularly surprising here. However, this doesn’t stop Danny Collins from being a fun and entertaining film.



Al Pacino gives a great and amusing performance as Danny (sounding on stage for all the world like a Neil Diamond tribute act).  However, I did feel that his character was all regretful surface and no real development.  I would have liked to have seen more depth in his story.


Meanwhile, Danny Collins features a superb supporting cast.


Christopher Plummer is wonderful as Danny’s straight-talking manager. He puts the singer in his place on more than one occasion and enables us to feel some sympathy for this extremely rich and ultimately self-indulgent man.



However, Bobby Cannavale's poignant performance as Danny’s estranged son Tom was, for me, the heart of the film. Tom soon becomes our key reason to tolerate Danny and his story was by far the most interesting and emotionally engaging.


It is this supporting cast that elevated this film for me. I cared about them in a way that I didn’t care about Danny. 


While certainly not a perfect film, Danny Collins is fun and enjoyable with some surprisingly moving moments.

Random Observations

The surprise birthday present given to Danny by Frank was based on something that actually happened to British folk musician, Steve Tilston. However, there end the similarities between Tilston’s career and that of Danny Collins!


Dan Fogelman also directed Crazy, Stupid, Love and Tangled.


Have you seen Danny Collins?


If you have, what did you think of this movie? Let me know – just leave me a comment in the box below!


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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


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