The Black Dahlia
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Director Brian De Palma returns to the helm for the first time since 2002's Femme Fatale with this stylish screen adaptation of James Ellroy's novel detailing one of the most notorious unsolved murders in Hollywood history. Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner) was a struggling actress looking to make a name for herself in 1940s-era Tinseltown. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, it was her grim fate that would ultimately overshadow anything she would accomplish during her short and tragic career. When police discover Elizabeth's body cut clean in half and with all of her organs missing,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ellroy's prose crawls into characters' secret hearts and under the reader's skin, but its foetid horrors become kitschy here, the script too streamlined and the lead performances too shallow to dredge the story's depths."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"Mr. De Palma and his collaborators have been unable to translate Mr. Ellroy's depth of feeling into cinematic equivalents."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"The Black Dahlia doesn't solve the eternal De Palma dilemma, but it sure does fascinate."
‑ Michael Joshua Rowin, Stop Smiling
"DePalma is like a magician who dazzles us with a trick only to show us, alas, it really was only a trick, and in the meantime he's stolen our watch."
‑ Brian Holcomb, Beyond Hollywood
"With skeletons flying out of the closet at every turn, this overplotted mess unfolds more like a dumb, daytime soap opera than a well-crafted crime thriller."
‑ Kam Williams, EURWeb
"The picture is a kind of fattened goose that's been stuffed with goose-liver pt. It's overrich and fundamentally unsatisfying."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"There are moments when The Black Dahlia projects a spectral world, but its ghosts in broad daylight are elusive at best."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"An over indulgent and often confusing stab at film noir, The Black Dahlia leaves little to be desired as director Brian De Palma continues to prove that his best days are behind him."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"You've barely time to soak up one revelation before another one is dumped on you from a great height."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"You have to wonder just how vibrant the film would have been during the Reagan or Clinton administration, when De Palma was in his prime."
‑ Brian Tallerico, UGO
"This is far from one of the director's better efforts and should be avoided by all those who are not sworn De Palma boosters."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"The Black Dahlia feels wobbly and uncertain."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek,
"Visual marvel after visual marvel"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Won't do much to dissuade the common rap against De Palma as a cold technician who takes projects just for the elaborate set pieces they provide him."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"A stellar cast of marquee names, coupled with an all-star crew, can't make this entry work."
‑ Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
More reviews for The Black Dahlia on Rotten Tomatoes

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