Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. 100
    It's a triumph of the film that it manages to make Jeffrey Dahmer a human being -- at least a member of the species -- without ever bending toward empathy with or excuses for him.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    90
    Jacobson produces a remarkably creepy piece of cinema that disturbs by suggestion, nuance and ambiguity.
  3. To explain a serial killer is to diminish his madness, but Dahmer does something quietly riveting. It lets you brush up against the humanity of a psycho, without making him any less psycho.
  4. 80
    Aided enormously by Jeremy Renner, his astonishing lead actor, Jacobson has created something we haven’t seen since “The Silence of the Lambs”: a sensitive, non-exploitative serial killer movie.
  5. 80
    Uses the serial killer's life as the starting point for a hypnotic examination of the farthest reaches of loneliness and alienation.
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Halter
    80
    Jacobson has achieved the unthinkable: He humanizes a notoriously brutal psychopath and, in the process, leaves the audience with an unwelcome sense of complicity.
  7. The performances are excellent and the filmmaking is remarkably restrained, although moments of perverse violence are necessary to the real-life story being told.
  8. 70
    The purest of horror films.
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    70
    A low-key but hypnotic portrait of the infamous sex murderer.
  10. 67
    The whole of it plays like a dark and dreary tone poem, only marginally interested in explaining the ticking, bloody clockwork of the inner beast and only occasionally touching on his fractured humanity.
  11. As gamely as the movie tries to make sense of its title character, there remains a huge gap between the film's creepy, clean-cut Dahmer (Jeremy Renner) and fiendish acts that no amount of earnest textbook psychologizing can bridge.
  12. 60
    Star Jeremy Renner seems shorter than Dahmer, but is otherwise a look-alike and gives a convincingly intense and weird performance. Bruce Davison (as Papa Dahmer) and the rest of the cast also do nice work.
  13. A tasteful, intelligent, well-acted film about one of the most ghoulish serial killers in American crime history - and I'm afraid that's a good part of what's wrong with it.
  14. 50
    The film - dimly lit and with an ominous soundtrack that verges on overkill - is largely a showcase for the heavy-lidded Renner.
  15. Reviewed by: Carla Meyer
    50
    It succeeds, occasionally.
  16. 50
    Renner's performance as Dahmer is unimpeachable, fascinating without being charismatic, and Kayaru's Rodney is a marvel of complicated characterization under difficult circumstances.
  17. Dahmer moves with a slowness that's meant to be compelling but is largely merely glum. This becomes a hindrance to building suspense in telling a true story whose outcome is already well known.
  18. So lacking in insight and gravity that it makes Dahmer seem like a pesky, pasty-faced loser who just wasn't popular enough.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Negative: 4 out of 9
  1. Oct 20, 2013
    3
    Naturally after Gacy, I had to move on and watch Dahmer, it was just one of those nights. Unlike the Gacy film, Dahmer was more typical ofNaturally after Gacy, I had to move on and watch Dahmer, it was just one of those nights. Unlike the Gacy film, Dahmer was more typical of what you see from these types of movies. Jeffrey Dahmer's crimes may have been just as shocking as Gacy's, but Dahmer was of a completely different personality, one that doesn't really equate to film. Unlike Gacy, Dahmer was really shy and introverted, avoiding interacting with people that he wasn't planning on killing. The movie version of Dahmer's was honestly as boring as a Horror film could get. Much of it shows Dahmer alone in his apartment, torturing his victims, and much of the time, there isn't even any dialog! Jeremy Renner stars and does as good of a job as someone can do with a role like this, but to be completely honest I found this film to be nothing but boring. Even the graphic scenes the film portrays in order to shock you, don't really cut it. Dahmer may have been just as deranged as Gacy, but the two men were very different. Gacy's film was interesting, Dahmer's put me to sleep. Dahmer is one movie you can most definitely avoid watching. Full Review »
  2. Jul 7, 2013
    10
    The ambiance and setting of the film was well and carefully directed, actors are well chosen and they did an outstanding performance. ThisThe ambiance and setting of the film was well and carefully directed, actors are well chosen and they did an outstanding performance. This film offers a mood that you'll never forget. Full Review »