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The Dirties (2013)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 25
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

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

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,836




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

Directed By:
Written By:
Matt Johnson , Evan Morgan
In Theaters:
Phase 4 Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Dirties

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (7)

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.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 1, 2013
Time Out New York
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 1, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | September 27, 2014
2UE That Movie Show

The found footage genre at its most potent as a storytelling tool

Full Review… | August 12, 2014
The Popcorn Junkie

A more interesting proposition than it is a finished film.

Full Review… | June 8, 2014
Observer [UK]

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.

Full Review… | June 7, 2014
Flix Capacitor

For all its black comedic bravura, this is a touch too self-conscious to amuse, provoke or convince.

Full Review… | June 6, 2014
Radio Times

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.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
We Got This Covered

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.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014

It may wind up as the year's most significant horror film; it's certainly among the most original.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014

The film is messy, a little confusing, indisputably - at times - powerful.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
Financial Times

Matt Johnson's feisty and flip debut feature inverts the dark iconography of school shootings.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
Little White Lies

A riveting film which explores another facet to the burgeoning sociopathic tendencies of a high school loner.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014

[A] promising but patchy provocation.

Full Review… | June 2, 2014
Total Film

This isn't a film that's particularly easy to enjoy but that doesn't mean that there isn't much here to admire.

Full Review… | June 2, 2014
The List

Ultimately, the underlying reality and humanity save the film.

Full Review… | June 2, 2014
Empire Magazine

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.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
The Playlist

Very smart and very dark.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
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.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
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.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013

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

Full Review… | October 4, 2013

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

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Aisle Seat

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.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Well written and acted, The Dirties is unfortunately dead in the water thanks to the terrible execution - the use of found footage doesn't for one moment convince (nor play by its own rules with edits and non-diegetic sound).

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

The Dirties Quotes

You are a pussy. You talk big and you don't do shit. That's a pussy!
– Submitted by Owen T (12 months ago)

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