Johnny (2022) Review – paying homage to the late Father Jan Kaczkowski

March 23, 2023 (Last updated: March 28, 2023)
Jessica Fontaine 19
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service


Paying homage to the late Father Jan Kaczkowski, Johnny highlights his kindness toward those who need help, even as he struggles.

We review the 2022 Polish Netflix film Johnny, which does not contain spoilers.

Johnny is a Polish drama film on Netflix. Directed by Daniel Jaroszek, it stars Dawid Ogrodnik, Piotr Trojan, Beata Zygarlicka, Maria Pakulnis, and Grazyna Bulka.

The film follows a criminal named Patryck who must complete community service hours at Father Jan’s hospice center. The two become friends, and Patryck’s life changes for the better, thanks to Father Jan’s guidance.

Johnny is based on the life of Father Jan Kaczkowski, who passed away in 2016.

Johnny (2022) Review and Plot Summary

Johnny opens with a criminal, Patryk, engaging in acts like drugs and robbery with his gang. He’s contrasted by a priest, Father Jan, who visits terminally ill patients.

He opens a hospice center but learns he has cancer and has half a year to live. His last wish is for his hospice to run smoothly and for people to get their needed help.

For community service hours instead of jail time, Patryck must work at Jan’s hospice center. While fixing things around the place, he must avoid Pablo, to whom he owes money.

He also meets a patient, a young mother named Agnieszka, and helps her make a video for her son in an emotional scene. We start to see Patryck’s criminal attitude shift as he becomes more empathetic toward others.

The characters are likable enough, as Patryck and Jan become friends, and Jan gives him advice on how to live his life. Patryck continues caring for patients and helping staff.

Although we see Patryck’s kindness come to light, one hospice patient, Mr. Roman, believes he can’t change, and a thief will always be a thief.

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However, Patryck convinces us that he wants to be better. We side with him because we see his humanity and root for his redemption.

While Johnny does good work in hospice, he’s afraid that the court will unsuspend his sentence and he’ll go to prison. Further, he owes a man money and fears being killed if he can’t pay off his debt. Regardless, Father Jan continues to support him and helps him turn his life around.

Johnny does a good job of conveying how people can be afraid of their past, even when they are actively working to make up for it.

Is the 2022 Polish movie Johnny good?

If it were just a fiction movie, Johnny would have a lot of clichés, especially when Jan gives Johnny advice on how to change and be less angry. It would be predictable in that Patryck changes his ways and transitions from a heartless criminal to a person who appreciates those around him.

However, it’s not just a fictional film. It strives to be real and accurate to what Father Jan did for others.

Johnny succeeds in conveying to us the messages that Father Jan wanted everyone to hear. One of them is that time is the most important thing we can give each other.

Johnny also succeeds because it tells us the hard truths we don’t want to believe. As Patryck said toward the film’s beginning, life is never fair. Every day is judgment day.

READ: Is the movie Johnny on Netflix based on a true story?

This is true when it comes to Father Jan, who unfairly suffered from cancer despite being a good person who helped others.

The film conveys how people may always be viewed as criminals even when they legitimately change, as Johnny struggles to convince people he is becoming a better person. We also see the sacrifices of Jan, who strives to improve the lives of others even when his own is declining.

Johnny does right by the late father, Jan, urging others to appreciate the time they have.

What did you think of the 2022 Polish Netflix film Johnny? Comment below.

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19 thoughts on “Johnny (2022) Review – paying homage to the late Father Jan Kaczkowski

  • March 25, 2023 at 12:17 am

    Amazing sad movie..

  • March 25, 2023 at 7:45 pm

    A wonderful movie so many lessons to be learnt good dialogue what a relief no bad language no sex scenes just relax and enjoy

  • March 26, 2023 at 2:19 am

    This is the best movie I’ve seen since Parasite, which won many awards. This one deserves awards for directing, writing, camerawork, lighting, storytelling, acting. The list goes on. I was inspired and moved. The Polish know how to do excellence. Thank you to them and to netfix for picking it up.

  • March 26, 2023 at 9:34 am

    what a beautiful soul father jan has .

  • March 26, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    A beautiful tribute to an amazing priest and man. Thoroughly enjoyed this movie…it touched me deeply. So thankful for a movie with so many pure messages of love and redemption.

  • March 26, 2023 at 11:11 pm

    Found this movie very uplifting and profound. It stirred me deeply.

  • March 27, 2023 at 1:37 am

    I’m immensely touched by this beautiful film. It reaches the soul and truly inspiring. It gave me hope for the humankind, thank you father Jan.
    Easily one of the best movies I’ve watched in a very long time. This film and its actors deserve an award and thanks Netflix for choosing this film.

  • March 27, 2023 at 3:42 am

    The most moving inspirational transforming movie I have ever seen. Everything about the movie was exquisite, the acting the directing the camera work. This is beyond Oscar worthy!

  • March 27, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    One word: love. In this film it’s all around. Exquisite film, wonderful and very expressive actors. I loved the way the film was moving slowly, not pushing forward, just letting us enjoy the time moving on, relentlessly, the closeness of life and death, difficulty of humans lacking the tools to express their love. Painful, powerful, touching to the core, shaking to tears. Would watch again and again.

  • March 28, 2023 at 9:41 am

    This film is a 5 star for me: the acting, the direction, the content/writing.
    Still I am wondering if anyone can clarify for me the ending…or near the ending…Patryk misses his appointment because he has been picked up by Pablo and there is another man, and they struggle: blood on his face. I couldn’t figure out what that was about. There isn’t much explanation to Jan, and Patryk leaves after pausing at Roman’s doorway. Just couldn’t get the entire message on that.
    Other wise, I was so moved by the touching scenes, the pacing, the evolving of the relationship with the evolving of Jan’s disease. Beautifully acted and heart-felt messages conveyed.

  • March 28, 2023 at 10:02 am

    I did find an explanation for the ending. Not sure why the movie was not clear about the ‘kidnapping of Roman’s son in order to get him to visit his father.’ Perhaps, lost in translation. So that question is answered for me now. Thank you!

  • March 28, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    Old man, chess player. His last will was to see son.

  • March 29, 2023 at 12:47 am

    An amazing movie; Father Jan so kind and an angel on earth. We should strive to be more like Father Jan.

  • March 29, 2023 at 12:49 am

    What a beautiful movie. So well acted. Very heartwarming. Time is so valuable and precious.

  • March 30, 2023 at 6:52 am

    An Excellent Movie about CARING and how it CAN CHANGE A LIFE. This movie touched my heart Deeply. A movie about what CARING can do to CHNGE A PERSONS LIFE.

  • April 12, 2023 at 3:18 am

    Real life stories, like this one, are so much better than fiction. Well done, we’ll acted and truly, wonderful ..

  • April 12, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Love it. It’s the best foreign film I’ve seen in a long time (not that I watch lots of films) Very well acted & directed. Don’t agree with the comments about lack of pace or dialogue. More words would’ve been overstating. Fabulous use of light and camera angles. And it’s loosely based on real life.and on a wonderful real life character.

  • April 15, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    A very good worth watching movie. Father Johnny lived a life of giving to others who are living a hopeless situation. He gives to all the best he has by love kindness and caring. Wish there were more movies about committed and inspired people like Father Johnny. Certainly a worth watching movie. ???

  • April 22, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    Very inspiring film with moving and touching the heart story. Really enjoyed it. Though acting is very very good too. The life of Father Jan is inspirational , love and caring that’s all we need humans. .

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