Part rediscovery, part reinvention, Imagine: John Lennon portrays Lennon the icon. There are enough personal glimpses to make it worthwhile, even moving -- but watching Lennon clown around with his mates in A Hard Day's Night might be a better way to remember the man.

The best thing about this biopic is the footage of Lennon in his Beatles days -- a witty young cutup who wrote songs that were whimsical, mystical, introspective, and mostly apolitical. Lennon's first overt political statement, "Revolution," which is included, was actually anti-political ("You say you want to change the Constitution / You better free your mind instead."). In 1968, that was a message that needed to be heard. Unfortunately, Lennon met mediocre avant-garde artist Yoko Ono that same year. Lennon always loved being the center of attention, but Ono encouraged his narcissistic tendencies, and most of Imagine: John Lennon focuses on the years when her influence on him was greatest.

Continue reading: Imagine: John Lennon Review