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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

tomatometer

54

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 112
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 52

Critics praise Angelina Jolie's intense performance, but overall they say the movie suffers from flatness of storyline, inability to bring the true spirit of the book to screen, and a diminuative performance by Ryder.

40

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 18

Critics praise Angelina Jolie's intense performance, but overall they say the movie suffers from flatness of storyline, inability to bring the true spirit of the book to screen, and a diminuative performance by Ryder.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 240,686

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1967, 19-year-old Susanna (Winona Ryder) feels that "reality is becoming too dense" and is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The doctor suggests to her parents that she be committed to the Claymore Hospital, and she spends the next 18 months struggling with her troubled psyche and the bizarre world of the institution. Susanna bonds with several other patients, including Lisa (Angelina Jolie), Polly (Elizabeth Moss), and Georgina (Clea DuVall). As she realizes that Lisa is

R,

Drama

James Mangold, Anna Hamilton Phelan, Lisa Loomer

Oct 30, 2001

Sony Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (116) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (52) | DVD (19)

Does it matter that every time Jolie's offscreen the film wilts a little? Ryder should be perfect as the bright spark; her lines are sharp as a knife. There's a gap, however, between what we hear and what we see.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A muddled production that misses the jarring tone of the autobiographical book by Susanna Kaysen on which it is based. The film is entertaining, but not very powerful.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although there are individual scenes of powerful acting, there doesn't seem to be a destination.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: At the Movies | Comments (2)
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's difficult to imagine any actress today bringing more sentience and intelligence to [Ryder's] role.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It has neither the clarity nor strength of purpose to engage an audience much beyond the converted.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unsatisfying and unconvincing.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Powerful look at mental illness; ages 16+.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Meaty roles for an eager young female ensemble. On that level, and on several others, the movie triumphs.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

We end up getting thin supporters as seen through the eyes of a main character that doesn't do anything.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Sounding like the scribblings from a teenager's diary, the 28-year-old Ryder lapses into self-parody.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The two leads play to their strengths.

July 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

The screenplay, by helmer Mangold, is by the numbers.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

The acting by Ryder, Jolie, and Goldberg is excellent enough to forgive the problems inherent in the script.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Jolie enlivens every scene she's in --- so much so that whenever she's not on screen, many viewers go into a state of suspended animation waiting for her to come back.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Girl, Interrupted" is Hollywood's latest simple-minded treatment of mental illness.

June 20, 2002 Full Review | Comments (2)
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

A listless showcase of Hollywood clichés about crazy people, the '60s, and women, a reactionary, distaff Cuckoo's Nest.

April 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

[Jolie's] rantings and ravings are so studied and predictable that her work here is truly one of the worst performances of all time.

March 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Comments (6)
Matinee Magazine

The drama makes the point that society still doesn't know how to deal with the multiple yearnings of women who don't want to follow in their mothers' path.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

You're left wishing the film had a little more faith in its audience, for then this well-put-together movie might have provoked more thought, and slightly less irritation.

July 3, 2001 Full Review Source: BBC

It offers a penetrating look into a world few of us will (thankfully) never see.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

It's difficult to make a film about depressive types that isn't depressing.

February 22, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ryder pulls out all the emotional stops and is utterly convincing as the emotionally wounded teenager.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Ryder and Jolie both give excellent performances, earnestly committing themselves (pardon the pun) to roles that are sometimes melodramatic.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Audience Reviews for Girl, Interrupted

There's little new in this Hollywood look at mental illness, female style, except that for once the staff is actually given a little respect, like they might know a little about what they're doing. The obvious segues into overblown hysteria are avoided for the most part and the whole affair is not too distasteful.
May 31, 2013
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

Based on the autobiographical novel by Susanna Kayson chronicling her time spent in a mental institution following a suicide attempt, Girl, Interrupted is not quite what you'd expect; namely "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest For Chicks". It's true that the story is dominated by Jolie's Oscar winning turn as the rebelliously anti-social yet charismatic Lisa, but the story is a lot more sympathetic towards the staff of the hospital and what they were trying to do. The cast of likeable weirdos make for an engaging bunch of misfits which makes up for the fact that it lacks any real kind of power or emotional resonance and it's nicely non-judgemental when it comes to the depiction of both the inmates and the staff who are genuinely trying to help them. Hardly the most challenging portrait of mental illness but enjoyable none the less.
February 14, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy

Good Film! It was a very well made film with some terrific acting. Angelina Jolie in probably her best role as an actress won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in that year. Good plot although a little too slow for my taste but decent enough.

Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school in the late 1960's. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward (Georgina the pathological liar, the sexually abused Daisy, the burn victim Polly) but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna "drop anchor" at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind?
April 19, 2012
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

    1. Susanna Kaysen: When you don't want to feel...death can seem like a dream. But, seeing death...really seeing it, makes dreaming about it fucking ridiculous.
    – Submitted by Dann M (23 months ago)
    1. Susanna Kaysen: I'm ambivalent. In fact, that's my new favorite word.
    2. Dr. Wick: Do you know what that means, ambivalence?
    3. Susanna Kaysen: I don't care.
    – Submitted by Dann M (23 months ago)
    1. Lisa: Yeah, let's call Valerie shall we, and ask her for some Colace like Susie Q's got in her fuckin' hand. Why does it STINK in here?
    – Submitted by Miesha J (2 years ago)
    1. Susanna Kaysen: Because you're dead already, Lisa! No one cares if you die, Lisa because you're dead already. Your heart is cold. That's why you keep coming back here. You're not free. You need this place, you need it to feel alive. It's pathetic.
    – Submitted by Miesha J (2 years ago)
    1. Susanna Kaysen: Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60's. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
    1. Lisa: Razors pain you, rivers are damp, acid stains you, drugs cause cramps, guns aren't lawful, nooses give, gas smells awful, you might as well live.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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