Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
Watch On
  1. 91
    Hartnett and co-star Scarlett Johansson--that most fatale of current filmic femmes--are naturals for this kind of noir-hued material, but the pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven.
  2. There are some virtuoso moments (the discovery of the mutilated corpse is extremely well done and blessedly ungraphic), but overall the result is much less than prime De Palma.
  3. The second half feels heavy and unfulfilled, potential greatness reduced to a good movie plagued with problems.
  4. 70
    Although the action set pieces are impressive, the exposition is sluggish. For all the posh dollies, high angles, and Venetian-blind crisscross patterns, The Black Dahlia rarely achieves the rhapsodic (let alone the delirious).
  5. The film is more than a little in love with the corruption it finds under the floorboards -- and that, of course, is perfectly dandy. I wouldn't trust a film noir that wasn't enthralled by decadence.
  6. 67
    De Palma's direction shines, but noir script doesn't match his gifts.
  7. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    63
    You've got to give the guy (De Palma) some credit. He's made a bizarre, baffling and at times flat-out bad movie. But at least it's rarely boring.
  8. The film's atmosphere is incendiary. It has style to burn. But for the most part, the performances are all wet.
  9. 63
    If this overcooked version of James Ellroy’s novel - inspired by a famous 1947 Los Angeles murder - is less than fully satisfying or even believable storytelling and acting, it’s still possible to get a kick out of this fever dream loaded with eye candy.
User Score
2.7

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 75
  2. Negative: 58 out of 75
  1. Apr 24, 2011
    8
    As Of Now (4/24/11) I Have No Clue Why The User Score Is So Low.. This Is A Good Movie Overall. Yes I Can Say Some Spots Arent The Best.. ButAs Of Now (4/24/11) I Have No Clue Why The User Score Is So Low.. This Is A Good Movie Overall. Yes I Can Say Some Spots Arent The Best.. But It Is A A+ Effort... Rose McGowan Does A Great Job.. The Acting Was OK... I Loved The Writing/Plot.. Overall 8! Full Review »
  2. TimR.
    Jul 7, 2007
    9
    I seemed to be the only person giving this a good review. I loved this film for the vintage noir feel it had to it and i thought it to be I seemed to be the only person giving this a good review. I loved this film for the vintage noir feel it had to it and i thought it to be well acted and engaging. However i thought the ending left something to be desired and ultimately lacked the strength the rest of the movie had. In any case i enjoyed it. Full Review »
  3. JamesA.
    Jul 5, 2007
    0
    This movie would be worse than our Home Video. Dont waste time!!