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The Dirties (2013)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,339

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Unrated,

Drama

Matt Johnson, Evan Morgan

Phase 4 Films - Official Site External Icon

Cast

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (4)

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.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A masterful blend of black humor and queasy dread ...

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In such a cluttered cultural space, it feels so startlingly fresh, urgent, honest and real.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Technically cruddy and tiresome in its we've-seen-a-lot-of-movies dialogue ...

October 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Dirties explores high school violence from a refreshingly original angle.

October 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

Very smart and very dark.

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: The Grid
The Grid

The result is a chilling examination of bullying, of a certain state of mind, and of what can happen when the two cross paths.

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

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.

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: indieWIRE
indieWIRE

This might just be one of the most accurate portrayals of school violence you'll ever see

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

As admirable as it is thematically, The Dirties does bear the marks of a filmmaker who isn't fully formed yet.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

There's nothing exploitative or in-your-face about [The Dirties], just a sneak peek into the lives of a couple of lost souls whose easiest answers are found on a flickering screen.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

While much of film is subversively amusing (though rarely laugh-out-loud funny), Johnson's depiction of high school bullying is disturbingly realistic, without ever crossing into hyperbole.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

The Dirties is documentary-like in the best way, building a narrative out of Owen and Matt's natural, often funny interactions. Where that narrative leads, however, is harder to justify.

October 2, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

It is a slight movie in terms of actual events that happen, but it grapples with some giant ideas and emotions in a very effective way.

October 1, 2013 Full Review Source: HitFix
HitFix

Disturbing and thought-provoking.

October 1, 2013 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

It's fresh and original and utilises the popular trend of mockumentaries to watch a horror unfold in an entirely different and unique way.

September 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Glenn Dunks
Glenn Dunks

'The Dirties' is a noble mix of entertainment and social importance.

February 1, 2013 Full Review Source: ScreenCrush
ScreenCrush

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.
October 30, 2013
MovieGeek13

Super Reviewer

    1. Owen: You are a pussy. You talk big and you don't do shit. That's a pussy!
    – Submitted by Owen T (6 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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