You Don't Know Jack

  • Barry Levinson (2010)
  • US
  • 135 min
You Don't Know Jack
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Dr Death is the name the media gave to Jack Kevorkian, the retired pathologist who assisted in the suicides of more than 130 terminally ill people during the 1990s. This classy biopic details his almost messianic battle with the authorities in Michigan to establish euthanasia as a civil right. In the hands of director Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man), the issue-heavy script gains a cinematic sheen and flashes of black humour. For star Al Pacino, in a rare TV role, it provides plenty of meat, and bagged him both an Emmy and a Golden Globe. He's ably supported by John Goodman, Susan Sarandon (always up for a part with liberal ideals) and Brenda Vaccaro as Jack's sister (whose peculiar wigs lend a touch of Dick Emery). None of their characters engenders much sympathy - unlike Jack's waiting list of patients. Mostly captured on grainy home video, their testimony and dying moments feel incredibly authentic and are sometimes hard to watch.

Plot Summary

Biographical drama starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, the retired pathologist who became known as Dr Death for his advocacy of helping terminally ill people end their own lives with dignity.

Cast and crew


Jack Kevorkian
Al Pacino
Janet Good
Susan Sarandon
Geoffrey Fieger
Danny Huston
Margo Janus
Brenda Vaccaro
Neal Nicol
John Goodman


Barry Levinson

Other Information