YOU DON’T KNOW JACK Movie Review

Al Pacino and Barry Levinson - You Don't Know Jack

HBO’s latest original film, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK, premieres tonight, Saturday April 24 at 9pm.

You Don’t Know Jack stars Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian (aka Dr. Death), the man who astonished the world when he performed his first assisted suicide and challenged the rules by which we live and die.
The movie begins in 1989 as we meet a 61-year-old former pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian when he launches his crusade to provide a humane option to die for people who desire to. Helped by his friend and supplier Neal Nicol (John Goodman) and sister Margo (Brenda Vaccaro). Dr. Kevorkian begins his revolution. Along the way he meets Hemlock Society activist Janet Good (Susan Sarandon), and defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger (Danny Huston), who both become great allies in his quest to change the laws surrounding assisted suicide.

As you can tell, this is a very powerful story and HBO does another amazing job bringing it to life. The story follows the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian from his very first patient to his last trial and its outcome. Throughout his life Kevorkian helped 130 patients end their lives, however the film only shows a few that will give you a sense of what his work was about. Kevorkian’s patients are shown to us through the videotape recorder that was used to film them during the pre-procedure interviews. Oscar winner director Barry Levinson was able to create a real contrast when showing us the patients versus Kevorkian’s life. I think having that 1990s videotape feel when watching the patients really helped with the realism of the film and made it that much better. As for Kevorkian’s life, I really loved the colors used to represent his life, it has a sort of a blue/grey, colorless feel, which works well to illustrate the subject matter.

As for the actors, needless to say that Al Pacino is absolutely brilliant and fascinating as Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He just embodied him so well, that I forgot I was watching Al Pacino and it felt instead like I was watching the life of Kevorkian unfold live in front of my eyes. The supporting cast is equally impressive with the likes of John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Danny Huston, and Brenda Vaccaro. They allowed us to understand Kevorkian through different eyes, which I think was really important in order for us to connect with Kevorkian on a human level.

As you probably guessed, I really loved You Don’t Know Jack, I was captured from beginning to end. The film is 2 hours and 15 minutes and I didn’t see time go by. It is an amazing character study that deals with a very important subject matter and it’s another must-see HBO film for me.

And finally I think we can expect some award talk for the film and cast, especially Al Pacino of course, so make sure to watch it when it premieres tonight, Saturday, April 24 (9:00- 11:15 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
The movie will encore on April 24 (2:45 a.m.), 25 (5:45 p.m.) and 27 (9:45 a.m., 8:30 p.m.), and May 2 (1:30 p.m., 2:10 a.m.), 5 (11:30 a.m., 7:15 p.m.), 8 (3:45 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT), 10 (1:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m.), 13 (12:30 a.m.) and 16 (10:30 a.m.)