The Black Dahlia

User Score
2.7

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 176 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 176
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  1. BillyS.
    Sep 15, 2006
    7
    One thing is certain from the very beginning of The Black Dahlia- you're watching a Brian DePalma film. It's all here, the long sweeping tracking shots, the artsy angles, the buiding cresendo of the score, and a very intriguing story that slowly is revealed after about 25 unnessasary tangents and detours. The acting is pretty much standard considering everybody seems to have One thing is certain from the very beginning of The Black Dahlia- you're watching a Brian DePalma film. It's all here, the long sweeping tracking shots, the artsy angles, the buiding cresendo of the score, and a very intriguing story that slowly is revealed after about 25 unnessasary tangents and detours. The acting is pretty much standard considering everybody seems to have split personalities and who you see isn't really who you see. There is just to much to take in and the film goes all over the place getting there, but getting there with Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography and Dante Ferretti's production design make all those little sidetracks all the more enjoyable and worth the price of a ticket. Expand
  2. GeorgeL.
    Feb 9, 2007
    8
    If you love 40's americana , you will love this movie. Not for everyone.
  3. 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 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.
  4. ES
    Oct 15, 2006
    10
    A brave bit of storytelling, brazenly un-PC, my favorite of the recent rash of pulp movies. Also lovely to see real cinematic ability on display here -- even Scorsese's latest movie is obviously a product of the MTV generation, while this movie could have been made during the Golden Age of cinema. Standouts are Aaron Eckhart, whose '40s throwback performance layered with A brave bit of storytelling, brazenly un-PC, my favorite of the recent rash of pulp movies. Also lovely to see real cinematic ability on display here -- even Scorsese's latest movie is obviously a product of the MTV generation, while this movie could have been made during the Golden Age of cinema. Standouts are Aaron Eckhart, whose '40s throwback performance layered with '90s indie naturalism stole the show, and William Finley's small but very important role was a pleasant surprise. It was a real pleasure to see the Phantom of the Paradise himself onscreen again. I'll agree with most that Hartnett and Johansson very nearly ruined this film's chances, but the movie is too solid overall to be discounted. See it in a theater for the full effect! Collapse
  5. Jay
    Sep 16, 2006
    10
    Crude, hilarious and thrilling! Do not listen to the bad reviews. This is one of the loopiest movies I've seen in ages - and the ending will make your eyes pop out. Go!
  6. TravisK
    Sep 18, 2006
    8
    I don't understand how this film can inspire this much dislike. There are a lot of threads to keep track of, but is that such a bad thing? Is it so awful that a movie makes you think once and a while? I really enjoyed the movie - Josh Hartnett proves he can act and Scarlett Johansson is great. The only bad performance is from Swank. If you don't want to think about a movie you I don't understand how this film can inspire this much dislike. There are a lot of threads to keep track of, but is that such a bad thing? Is it so awful that a movie makes you think once and a while? I really enjoyed the movie - Josh Hartnett proves he can act and Scarlett Johansson is great. The only bad performance is from Swank. If you don't want to think about a movie you won't like this one otherwise check it out and you may be surprised like I was. Expand
  7. JoeC.
    Sep 14, 2006
    8
    Not one of De Palma's best movies but still graphically entertaining.
  8. CharlieN.
    Jan 24, 2007
    9
    Incredibly underrated. I loved so much about this movie, it's great to look at, it's interesting, and the atmosphere is top notch. The ending is a little confusing, but other than that I loved it!
  9. 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.. But It Is A A+ Effort... Rose McGowan Does A Great Job.. The Acting Was OK... I Loved The Writing/Plot.. Overall 8!
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
  1. The second half feels heavy and unfulfilled, potential greatness reduced to a good movie plagued with problems.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    "Chinatown" it ain't, not in any department. On its own level, however, new pic generates a reasonable degree of intrigue.
  3. 40
    The picture is a kind of fattened goose that's been stuffed with goose-liver pâté. It's overrich and fundamentally unsatisfying.