The Dirties (2013)
When two best friends team up to film a comedy about getting revenge on bullies, the exercise takes a devastating turn when one of them begins to think of it as more than a joke. (c) Phase 4
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Critic Reviews for The Dirties
Remarkable as much for its insights as for its audacity, "The Dirties" approaches school violence with a comic veneer that slowly shades into deep darkness.
In such a cluttered cultural space, it feels so startlingly fresh, urgent, honest and real.
Technically cruddy and tiresome in its we've-seen-a-lot-of-movies dialogue ...
The Dirties explores high school violence from a refreshingly original angle.
It is to ripped-from-the-headlines movies what The Blair Witch Project was to horror movies.
From the brink of escaping high school, to swirling into a maelstrom The Dirties is the kind of film that will ruin you, but devastate so artfully that your faith in humanity is restored.
Patience is required during the first half, but The Dirties eventually develops into a genuinely interesting piece of work. Imagine a low-budget fusion of Chronicle and Gus Van Sant's Elephant.
For all its black comedic bravura, this is a touch too self-conscious to amuse, provoke or convince.
In meta-mockumentary The Dirties, the all important issue of high school violence is undercut by a little too much preaching and not enough subtlety.
The Dirties is a very funny meta comedy; manna for film geeks, but full of a high-spirited and punkish energy that anyone from fans of Jackass and Ali G to fans of Spike Jonze and Harmony Korine can appreciate.
It may wind up as the year's most significant horror film; it's certainly among the most original.
The film is messy, a little confusing, indisputably - at times - powerful.
Matt Johnson's feisty and flip debut feature inverts the dark iconography of school shootings.
A riveting film which explores another facet to the burgeoning sociopathic tendencies of a high school loner.
This isn't a film that's particularly easy to enjoy but that doesn't mean that there isn't much here to admire.
This could have been a great film, and even in its limp final state is oddly effective, but it's no where near the movie that it wants to be, or thinks it is.
The result is a chilling examination of bullying, of a certain state of mind, and of what can happen when the two cross paths.
A shooter story that creeps up on you with humor and personality, featuring characters so likable the thought that they could transform into killers is at first unthinkable -- which is precisely the point.
Audience Reviews for The Dirties
The Dirties is a complex fabric of fresh insights into school violence. Written, directed, and starring Matt Johnson, the film's title character is a social outcast and an aspiring filmmaker with very little actual talent. He decides one day to up his game by planning the most sensational climax to his newest film: killing those who he calls the "dirties," which is pretty much anyone who has bullied him throughout high school. Like Gus van Sant's masterpiece Elephant, The Dirties presents a series of vague reasons that forces the viewer to reflect on what could or could not have led to the character's decision to do what he does. Sure this is a topic that has been the subject of arguably one too many films, but it is still relevant, and The Dirties is above all a character study that unravels with a dark sense of humour and realism.
The high school students all feel like real people. They can't be easily classified into archetypes, which makes for an incredibly complex film. The insights into school bullying delve into territory that last year's documentary Bully seemed a little too scared to even tread. The Dirties is a strong directorial debut that might actually inspire some deep critical thinking and could certainly warrant more than one viewing.
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