The Black Dahlia Reviews

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Jonathan R. Perry
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
October 13, 2006
After two hours of meandering, convoluted indulgences and loose ends, 'The Black Dahlia' reveals a kinder, gentler Brian De Palma. He should be a good guy to have around.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
October 10, 2006
An over cooked ham of a film, overstuffed with vampish performances and a narrative far too convoluted for its own good
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal
October 9, 2006
The story is all over the place, leaving viewers with a complicated and disjointed picture that touches on interesting points without fleshing any of them out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sean McBride
Sean the Movie Guy
October 3, 2006
features amazing production design and a fascinating story at first, the film does eventually fall apart at the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses
October 3, 2006
full review in Greek
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
October 2, 2006
Until it derails while heading into its final turn, The Black Dahlia represents Brian De Palma's most assured moviemaking in at least a decade.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Cynthia Fuchs
October 1, 2006
Kay is less a character than an image of the Dahlia's opposite (the blond/beige look versus the dark-haired/black-dressed look being your first clue).
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
September 30, 2006
The Black Dahlia is both a studious new entry to the genre and a schizophrenic parody of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
September 30, 2006
Forty-five minutes in, I was already glancing at my watch and wondering why the only lively actress in this film was playing the dead girl. Go figure.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Carla Meyer
Sacramento Bee
September 29, 2006
Highly stylized and overburdened with plot yet always engaging.
| Original Score: 3/4
September 29, 2006
The movie, like the case, has some loose ends and some compelling moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
September 29, 2006
With fall and its promise of better movies on the horizon, this movie, like "Hollywoodland," could have been among the most exciting of the new season. That neither is true for either movie isn't exactly encouraging.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
David N. Butterworth
September 29, 2006
A slick but empty period noir. De Palma can do better than this.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly
September 28, 2006
... Hillary Swank gives a Lauren Bacall edge to her femme fatale ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
September 27, 2006
the convoluted story never really takes hold, and eventually it all dissolves into low camp and unintentional self-parody.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Thomas Peyser
Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
September 27, 2006
Forget it, Jake. It's not Chinatown.
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
September 26, 2006
The Black Dahlia uses many cinematic contrivances that do not help tell the story of who killed Elizabeth Short.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Bill Gibron
DVD Verdict
September 26, 2006
The Black Dahlia is not a black mark on the talent track record of anyone involved. Yet with such a potentially powerful story, it should have been something very special.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
September 23, 2006
The pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
September 23, 2006
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.
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