The Dead Girl


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    All behave in ways that may at first seem incomprehensible, but through Moncrieff's expert storytelling, each woman is finally rendered merely human.
  2. Moncrieff pushes a view of women as victims that might create its own pornography of masochism if it didn't touch so many authentic shattered nerve endings.
  3. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    Dark little indie thriller.
  4. The cast is something of an indie movie hall of fame that includes Giovanni Ribisi, Mary Steenburgen, Brittany Murphy, and Toni Collette. Marcia Gay Harden is particularly fine as the murdered girl's mother.
  5. There is no surprise or justice or sense to the whole thing. Just sadness. And a sense of all the lonely people and where they all come from.
  6. 75
    As with her debut feature, "Blue Car," Moncrieff treats sensational material with a disarming matter-of-factness that ultimately makes a deeper impression.
  7. 75
    Moncrieff manages to get beneath the skin of several of these characters, a nifty trick considering what a crowded world she's created. In all, it's a grueling, emotionally taxing, discomfiting film.
  8. The film is also an impressive showcase for a large ensemble cast that also includes Josh Brolin, James Franco and Kerry Washington. The standout, however, is Hurt, who gives an almost unbelievably courageous performance as the movie's least sympathetic character.
  9. A challenging film populated with characters who are depressed, on antidepressants, or strung out on mood-altering drugs, The Dead Girl is a downer with resonance.
  10. By the movie's end, writer-director Karen Moncrieff's The Dead Girl delivers considerable emotional impact. But that doesn't mean you've enjoyed the journey.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    More ambitious than her 2002 debut, "Blue Car," Moncrieff's new film maintains her focus on women, expanding to include a range of ages, circumstances and psychologies. Picture's drama, however, is deliberately fractured into a quintet of stories that vary considerably in their overall impact.
  12. 70
    The universe of The Dead Girl is an almost uniformly dreary one, whose women are all either dowdy or whorish.
  13. 70
    Moncrieff's glum, somber film is something of a needed corrective at the moment, when horror movies are turning into weightless exercises in morally sanctioned sadism.
  14. Confounds expectations -- about slasher stories and about film narrative in general, in part by being closer to a collection of interconnected short stories than to a novel.
  15. Darker than the shadow of death.
  16. The way Moncrieff has structured The Dead Girl, it's catnip for actors: Divided into five chapters, the script affords juicy roles requiring only a few days' work from each member of its impressive ensemble.
  17. 60
    If the segments are uneven, Moncrieff -- with the help of her excellent cast -- nevertheless crafts a gripping overall narrative that exposes a shared dissonance among the protagonists.
  18. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Stylish, highly accomplished and, thanks to its severely restrained palette, mostly off-putting.
  19. The film is mired in gloom, not just sadness, but heaviness.
  20. 38
    What happens when several characters' lives intertwine with the maggot-infested corpse of a prostitute in The Dead Girl? A whole lot of crying.
  21. Just when it seems as though the language of insult and humiliation couldn’t get any nastier, the movie escalates the barrage.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. CallenK.
    Jul 5, 2007
    A terrific movie from start to finish. The acting is wonderful throughout and the plot lines are fresh. This is a woman's movie par excellence.
  2. StephenS.
    Jun 21, 2007
    How come the critic reviews and user comments average in the 60s, as compared with the 70s scored by Blue Car, Moncrieff
  3. BeQ.
    Jun 19, 2007
    This movie starts with the anticipation of good development of a story. However, it tanks at the end. This reminds me of the movie "Crash" in This movie starts with the anticipation of good development of a story. However, it tanks at the end. This reminds me of the movie "Crash" in that is has separate vignettes of each character - but that is as close as it gets to Crash (good movie). Don't bother trying to find any answers - nothing is really related nor interconnecting - it's just garbage. Full Review »