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The Dirties (2013)



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

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,783

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



Matt Johnson, Evan Morgan

Phase 4 Films - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on The Dirties

October 14, 2013:
Warner Bros. Eyes a Screenwriter for Encyclopedia Brown
Matthew Johnson ("The Dirties") looks like he might get the gig.
October 4, 2013:
Critics Consensus: Gravity is Certified Fresh
This week at the movies, we've got stranded astronauts (Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George...


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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (24) | 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.

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
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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

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

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: The Popcorn Junkie
The Popcorn Junkie

A more interesting proposition than it is a finished film.

June 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
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.

June 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

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

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
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.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
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.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent

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

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian

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

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

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

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

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

June 4, 2014 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys

[A] promising but patchy provocation.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
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.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Ultimately, the underlying reality and humanity save the film.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
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.

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

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

October 4, 2013 Full Review Source:

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

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

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).
August 10, 2014

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 (11 months ago)
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