The Telegraph has kind words for the flick.
Yet Nowhere Boy stands or falls on its lead performance, and Aaron Johnson captures Lennon’s essence to perfection. It’s all there: the cheeky wit; the mouthy, heavy-lidded insolence; the thoughtless, frustrated lashing out at friends and relatives.
Screen also offers praise, though it's a bit more qualified.
Sam Taylor-Wood’s handsome feature debut offers a new insight into the early life of John Lennon; in her eyes, the unexpectedly sparkling suburbs of post-war Liverpool come to rich life. Nowhere Boy is occasionally moving, always interesting – there is plenty in here which isn’t widely appreciated – but it straddles the arthouse and biopic uneasily at times, feeling a beat off.
Lastly, ComingSoon doesn't find much to recommend.
The film concentrates on a period in Lennon's mid-teens from around 1955-1958, during which the adolescent Lennon went through a series of events that clearly shaped his later life. Unfortunately, while these events should make for compelling viewing, "Nowhere Boy" manages to turn them into a mundane film that simply plods from one Beatles reference to the next.
In general, the script is passable, but every so often a line crops up that is so clunky it threatens to derail the whole film. This is typified by a line near the end of the film, where Lennon's aunt asks him to remind her of the name of his new band, a moment that caused the entire audience in the screening to cringe in unison.