In the extra features, the filmmakers discussed how they didn't put great importance on finding actors who resembled the people they were playing, because it was, more importantly, a story about a young man and his mother and less importantly a story about young John Lennon, mother Julia, and Aunt Mimi. I get that goal and approach, but if you strip away the known identities of the people being portrayed, which includes 3 of The Beatles, some of the most famous people any of us 20th century folks can think of, what you are left with is a somewhat interesting little family drama. The main character doesn't look much like John, and the person playing Paul looked a lot more like a young George. I think these things made a difference.
Putting that aside (the effort to make a movie that stands alone without The Beatles mattering), as a Beatle fan I did enjoy watching a dramatization of the Quarrymen forming, and the telling of the John Lennon/Julia/Mimi story.
I say see this movie if you are a Beatle fan. Otherwise... meh.
When I was checking this out, the librarian said "this has a great soundtrack," and it does. It looked like it couldn't miss, I mean, Philip Seymour Hoffman is in this!! Also Bill Nighy and Nick Frost... well, even with the soundtrack and PSH it did manage to miss the mark. I don't know how, bad timing, characters not quite genuine... but I think it ranks a shrug of the shoulders.
Well, I feel like this should have been done in threes, with the third choice hitting one out of the park. Anyone want to offer one? Or even one that ranks mediocre?