Chapter 27

2007

Chapter 27

Critics Consensus

Despite Jared Leto's committed performance, Chapter 27 fails to penetrate to mind of Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's killer.

18%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 49

37%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,732
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Chapter 27 Photos

Movie Info

First-time writer/director J.P. Schaefer takes the reins for this haunting look at the mental collapse of Mark David Chapman in the days leading up to the murder of legendary musician John Lennon. Jared Leto stars as the man whose awe of Lennon and unrelenting drive to achieve infamy pushed him to pull the trigger on the former Beatle, and Lindsay Lohan stars as the devoted Lennon fan who befriended the killer on that fateful New York weekend. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast

Jared Leto
as Mark David Chapman
Matthew Humphreys
as Frederic Seaman
Mariko Takai
as Yoko Ono
George Bryant II
as Limo Driver
Kevin Cannon
as Precision Driver / Street Hood
Lauren Milberger
as Gilda Radner
Melissa Demyan
as Lennon Groupie
Jeane Fournier
as European Woman
Molly Griffith
as Covergirl / Centerfold
Redman Maxfield
as Maitre D'
Matthew Mardozzi
as Little Kid
Adam Scarimbolo
as Clerk Riley
Michael Sirow
as Joseph Many
Eric Wolfe
as Lennon Band Member
Dennis Funny
as Lennon Groupie
David Kneeream
as Pedestrian
Joey Sontz
as Lennon Band Manager
Julie McNiven
as photo double Lindsay Lohan
View All

News & Interviews for Chapter 27

Critic Reviews for Chapter 27

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (40)

  • his drama, about the three days leading up to the murder, never overcomes its inherent ghoulishness, largely because Chapman, like so many mentally ill people, is a huge bore.

    Apr 25, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Chapter 27 just makes you feel bad for, and about, everybody -- including the wretched souls who made the thing.

    Apr 25, 2008 | Rating: 0.5/4 | Full Review…
  • By the end of this modest, strange venture, Leto made me believe it was worth being forced to hang out on the sidewalk with this man, if only to get a creeping sense of what that might've been like.

    Apr 24, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • The film is impressively mounted and Schaefer has made a directorial debut of distinction, but it is an uncomfortable ride from the opening scenes of Chapman arriving in New York to the inevitable, inexorable final scene.

    Apr 18, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Chapter 27 is far from flawless, but Leto disappears inside this angry, mouth-breathing psycho geek with a conviction that had me hanging on his every delusion.

    Apr 9, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • There are cheesy special effects and even cheesier gags, and the schmaltz eventually piles on neck-deep.

    Apr 4, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Chapter 27

  • Sep 16, 2012
    It's a little slow, its very controversial, but all-around fascinating. The story relies on Mark David Chapman, a Beatles fan, who is obsessed about meeting John Lennon, thinks only about meeting him, waits for him, writes about him in bibles, and even makes people wait to see John Lennon. Jared Leto, who plays John Lennon's killer gives a committed, strongly creepy and chilling performance. It takes a lot of courage to gain weight to make yourself look like the real Mark David Chapman, and Jared Leto superbly pulled it off. In the film there are supporting actors like Lindsay Lohan and Judah Friedlander who don't really have that much screen time, also because the movie is really short, but they both still perform very well. In parts their are very creepy and well-directed images about what he is planning, and some scenes he is talking to his mind or himself, and you can feel his anxiety, insanity and desperation, which gives very cold chills. Overall, Beatles fans won't really love it, not only its controversy, but it might hurt them also, but Chapter 27 is a fascinating, creepy and smart look at Mark David Chapman's life, followed by a hunting and strong performance from Jared Leto (also great performances from Lindsay Lohan and Judah Friedlander, even if they had small roles), amazing direction from Jarrett Schaeffer and its cold ending. The movie will leave you with chills every time you think of Leto's performance.
    Angel G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 16, 2011
    I knew contemporary rock would kill John Lennon, but I didn't expect it to be literal. I just thought that the garbage they're shamelessly slapping the title of "rock" on would phase out Lennon's career, like it's doing with Leto's acting career, which probably would be more intact if he was more than just one of the best actors you've probably never even heard of as an actor. Seriously, this film is so obscure that it's a film past 2005 with Lindsay Lohan, who I must say would have ruined this film if it was better, because her being present made me rather underwhelmed by the fact that between Lindsay Lohan and Mark David Chapman, it was the less crazy person who killed John Lennon. Seriously, if there's any tension in this film, then it's the climax where Chapman's got the gun and you're expecting Lohan to jump out of no where, shoot Lennon, knock back a beer, steal something, get thrown in rehab, then thrown in rehab, then thrown in rehab, then thrown in prison and then thrown in rehab. No, I don't mean her character, I actually mean Lindsay Lohan, even though Lennon's death was before she was even born. Hey, say what you will about the nutcase, but you have to give it to her that at 25 years old - yes, 25 years old - she's already lived more than a lot of us will in our entire lives. But seriously though, if anything matches my desire to see Jared Leto back in film and Lindsay Lohan stopping being crazy and getting hot again, then it's my desire for this film to hit harder than it did. Now, if anyone out there is calling spoiler on me for going on and on about Chapman offing Lennon, well, that's history and the film acknowledges that within the opening credits, where they waste no time in telling you that Lennon died at the hands of Chapman. This film isn't a study on Lennon's death, it's a study on the mentality of his muderer as he breaks down to that point where he feels the need to kill an idol to everyone, even to he, himself. It's a powerful concept and this film's style could have added to the experience, but the style is the very thing that keeps this film from being as solid as it could have been. Director Jarrett Schaefer overuses the narration and imagery over the environment surrounding Chapman, leaving the film to be overstylized to the point of becoming hollow and that's bad for any film, especially a character study, where if the study is hollow, the whole project itself it totally unengaging, and it doesn't help that this film is so darn slow and quiet. Really, the extreme style and character study could have genuinely worked if it were to work on something very simple, yet significant for this type of subject matter: Immediate development. I find it rather funny that Chapman's opening narration draws to a close with him emphasizing that has no intention of giving you his background, because I could sense all four people who have ever watched this uttering "Oh no". Well, sure enough, without background on Chapman, we're not intimate with his mentality and although it was the environment around him that broke him, it feels like that's what drove him crazy to begin with, and just like that, the film immediately fails at its mission to analyze the mentality of Chapman in a believable and by extension, interesting fashion. As promised by the consensus, the film doesn't dive deeply enough into Mark David Chapman's mentality, but really, in spite of that, the film isn't bad, nor even as low as passable, partially because, like I said, the only reason this doesn't get deep enough in Chapman's mind is because of the underdevelopment. The rest of the film is so well-crafted and perfectly set up for the insightful character study this could have been, from the gritty style, to the odd score that fits Chapman's actual mentality. Even the writing - in spite of that big chunk of script at the beginning that could have changed this film entirely for the better - is sharp, featuring a noir-ish snap in the dialogue and a clever presentation of the environment. True, they could have done more with the environment, but what you do get to see sharply reflects to flaws in humanity that drove Chapman, not necessarily totally insane like the lack of backstory would leave you to think, but to that breaking point. Of course, for that, we have to credit the acting, which is really top-notch, even down to the tertiary characters that really could have played a key part in defining this film, were it not for the execution of the environment. Still, if this lack of backstory betrays anyone, then it's the man of the hour, Jared Leto, who did a lot more things than just put on a awe-inspiring "sixty-seven" - again, "sixty-seven" - pounds of pure body fat. Eat that Christian Bale, before Jared does. I once used Leto as an example of the major difference between an actor who just happens to be a musician and a musician who just happens to be an actor. He was an actor first and although he's become so occupied with his other passion, he knows this game and plays it because it is his game, not as a publicity stunt, like a Katy Perry, or a RZA, or a Will.i.am. Of course, I don't even know if I'm being complementary by labeling him as "just an actor", because the reason why he's easily one of today's acting greats, outside of the fact that he's just such a great actor, is because he has such a respect for the art. As much as I joke about Leto taking on such obscure films, I've nothing but respect for him for doing it, because he doesn't look at acting as a job, but as a genuine display of talent that he respects and most certainly has, and he realizes that being in something so emphasized and high-paying wouldn't allow him to play up that talent as much. He's not so much an example of the major difference between an actor who just happens to be a musician and a musician who just happens to be an actor, but instead more of an example of the major difference between an acting talent and actor, for he has such dedication to the art and if no other film reflects that, then this one - of all films - does, not just because of what he did before the camera started rolling, but because of what he did once the camera started rolling, as he executes the creepy mannerisms of his character in a very believable and chillingly mysterious fashion, while playing up the many complex layers of Mark Chapman slickly and believably. Still, the lack of development puts this film so far away from the page Leto is on and dilutes the effectiveness of his performance, which could have been "viewed" as masterful, and I emphasize that, because although it's hard to tell, Leto is giving an knockout stellar performance that's too good and insightful for a film that messes up this badly, which isn't to say that Leto might very well be the only thing that makes this film so enjoyable. I close this discussion with this single controversial statement: Forget Daniel Day-Lewis and his milkshake drinkin' self, because this is the best male lead performance of 2007. In the end, something as simple as a lack of immediate development goes a long way here, as it keeps us from seeing the imbalance in Mark David Chapman's sanity and leaves the overstylizing and dullness to make this potentially insightful character study hollow, but thanks to the snap in the writing and style, as well as a powerhouse lead performance by the full-on acting artist that is Jared Leto, "Chapter 27" remains a generally enjoyable experience, ineffective though, it may be. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2009
    I was really impressed with Jared Leto's performance. He played the character so well that I didn't even think it was him at any point, he was Mark David Chapman. The movie itself is very bizarre and fits the character perfectly. There was a great sense of insanity throughout the film.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 10, 2009
    It could have had a bit more substance or provided a bit more concrete reasons WHY MDC did what he did, but other than that, this is a really interesting and unnerving film, highlighted by a haunting performance by Jared Leto. She's only got a small part, buy Lindsay Lohan ialso does a pretty good job, as does Judah Friedlander. It's worth watching at least once.
    Chris W Super Reviewer

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