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Girl, Interrupted (1999)


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

Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie gives an intense performance, but overall Girl, Interrupted suffers from thin, predictable plotting that fails to capture the power of its source material.

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

Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie gives an intense performance, but overall Girl, Interrupted suffers from thin, predictable plotting that fails to capture the power of its source material.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 241,182



Movie Info

In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder-an affliction with symptoms so ambiguous almost any adolescent girl might qualify-and sent to a renowned New England psychiatric hospital where she spent the next two years in a ward for teenage girls. There, Susanna loses herself in an OZ-like nether world of seductive and disturbed young women: among them Lisa, a charming sociopath who stages a disastrous … More

R (for strong language and content relating to drugs, sexuality and suicide)
Directed By:
Written By:
Anna Hamilton Phelan , Lisa Loomer , James Mangold
In Theaters:
Oct 30, 2001
Sony Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Girl, Interrupted

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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
At the Movies
Top 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

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Unsatisfying and unconvincing.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Powerful look at mental illness; ages 16+.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

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

Full Review… | February 14, 2008

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

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

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

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

The two leads play to their strengths.

Full Review… | July 4, 2005
Cinema Signals

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

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
Reeling Reviews

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

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
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.

Full Review… | August 2, 2002
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

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

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

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

Full Review… | April 15, 2002
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.

Full Review… | March 8, 2002
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.

Full Review… | March 5, 2002
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.

Full Review… | July 3, 2001

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

Full Review… | February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

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

Full Review… | February 22, 2001
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Boxoffice Magazine

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

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.

Apeneck Fletcher

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.

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?

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Surprised by the low critic ratings. I for one thought this was a really good film. Solid story, good characters, and wonderful performances from Ryder and Jolie who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. I recommend it!

Jameson Worley

Super Reviewer

Girl, Interrupted Quotes

Susanna Kaysen:
I know what it's like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. How you hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.
– Submitted by Josephine N (4 months ago)
A word of advice, don't point your fucking finger at crazy people!
– Submitted by Josephine N (4 months ago)
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 (2 years ago)
Susanna Kaysen:
I'm ambivalent. In fact, that's my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick:
Do you know what that means, ambivalence?
Susanna Kaysen:
I don't care.
– Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
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)
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)

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