The Black Dahlia
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
A tale of obsession, love, corruption, greed and depravity that revolves around a true story of the brutal murder of a fledgling Hollywood starlet that shocked and fascinated the nation in 1947 and remains unsolved today. Two ex-pugilist cops, Lee Blanchard and Bucky Bleichert, are called to investigate the homicide of ambitious silver-screen B-lister Betty Ann Short -- aka 'The Black Dahlia' -- an attack so grisly that images of the killing were kept from the public. While Blanchard's growing preoccupation with the sensational murder threatens his marriage to Kay, his partner,… More

Available Online

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
"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 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 pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"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
"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
"The picture is a kind of fattened goose that's been stuffed with goose-liver pâté. 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
"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

More Like This