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Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 32,831

My Rating

Movie Info

Twelve-year-old Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) is perhaps the most put-upon adolescent in film history in Todd Solondz's bitterly hilarious black comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse. Dawn is bright but awkward, both physically and socially, and is appallingly unpopular among her peers, to whom she's better known as "Wienerdog." Possessing little charm or grace and perhaps the most misguided fashion sense of her generation, Dawn is not an easy girl to like and practically no one seems interested in


Drama, Comedy

Todd Solondz

Aug 3, 1999

Sony Pictures Classics

Watch It Now



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All Critics (59) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (5)

One of the highlights of the 1995 Toronto Festival, Solondz's second film is a stark, often funny, always poignant comedy about suburban mores, centering on a misfit Jewish girl tormented by her family and classmates.

December 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At 87 minutes, Dollhouse is a near-perfect morsel. If nothing else, it informs older folk that school principals still threaten to record bad behavior in one's 'personal record' -- only now, computers facilitate the process.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dark look at adolescence; not for kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Welcome to the Dollhouse puts an ugly duckling through her paces.

September 1, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

quirky and great

April 9, 2008

At its best it's like the funniest yet bleakest comic book Dan Clowes never drew.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

Todd Solondz's only good movie.

December 12, 2005 | Comments (4)

hilariously provocative and almost too real

April 6, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Still Solondz's one and only great film!

March 14, 2005

Matarazzo tem forte presença em cena, mas o filme não sai do lugar-comum.

January 27, 2004
Cinema em Cena

Blisteringly honest and side-splittingly funny. Solondz's most accomplished film.

December 29, 2003
Nitrate Online

A sharp, provocative character study and a damning regional portrait, far superior in both respects to Solondz's Happiness.

October 11, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

Searing story of adolescent anguish, almost unbearably painful.

June 12, 2003
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Solondz mercilessly destroys the sugar-coated mythology surrounding adolescence. THIS is what junior high was really like.

February 4, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Powerful portrait of one young girl's valient effort to survive the cruel and tense world of adolescence.

August 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Solondz knows his subject well, he is able to understand and convey what it is like to be brought up with self-hatred.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There's not much of a defined plot to Welcome to the Dollhouse, just a series of encounters as Dawn writhes about under torture. Yet, it is a well done film.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

Audience Reviews for Welcome to the Dollhouse

Not the type of middle school most people imagined it to be. Todd Solondz takes us into his interpretation of school life and the result is a provocative piece of cinema that would make some of us cry if we had to experience it ourselves.
August 8, 2012
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Okay, now after watching this and Let the Right One In I look upon middle school life completely differently. I can't watch another kid's movie without thinking some terrible bullying involving knives or something is going to come soon. I have become desensitized to juvenile violence, I think.Heather Matarazzo is so impressive I don't even know what to say! I don't look upon her as a little kid but as a human with terrible conflicts going inside her. Solondz has really three-dimensionalized Dawn so that everybody can identify with her and pity her and also hate her at the same time. Everyone has a little bit of Dawn in themselves but she's so extreme you have to laugh. But you understand her too.Made me understand what black comedy truly is. Just when you think the screenplay can't get more original Solondz throws another curveball at you. The scene that sticks out most is the cake one. WHOA what a bitch mother.
July 30, 2011

Super Reviewer

Welcome To The Dollhouse has to be one of the most important films in history solely due to the fact that it shows what an unpopular, rather ugly school age girl goes threw. Complete with torment, dark sarcasm in the class room, and parents that do not really care. Now, what makes this film unique is that it is the ultimate dark comedy and you can not but help to laugh at Dawn threw her misadventures. Recommend for anyone that enjoys dark comedy and wants to see a good independent film.
December 12, 2010
Zach Brehany

Super Reviewer

Dawn (Heather Matarazzo) is a misfit middle-child stuck in jr. high hell. Bullied by her classmates, her teachers and her dysfunctional family she plods through her suburban existence, enduring an endless stream of humiliating and degrading events.

To start with, expect a drama with a few comedic elements and you won't be disappointed. Pop this one into the DVD player thinking it's going to be a 'feel-good comedy' and Welcome to the Dollhouse will suck you down a dark hole. Even though it's about 7th grade adolescent trauma, this is a film better suited for parents and young adults. A terrific picture with some disturbing moments.
September 13, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

    1. Steve Rodgers: Hey, Dawn, what's up?
    2. Dawn Wiener: I have to talk to you.
    3. Steve Rodgers: What about?
    4. Dawn Wiener: I was wondering if? Well, I've been thinking seriously of building... another clubhouse, and I wanted to know... Would you be interested in being my first honorary member?
    5. Steve Rodgers: What-What are you talking about?
    6. Dawn Wiener: The Special People Club.
    7. Steve Rodgers: "Special People"?
    8. Dawn Wiener: What's the matter?
    9. Steve Rodgers: Do you know what"special people" means?
    10. Dawn Wiener: What?
    11. Steve Rodgers: "Special people" equals retarded. Your club is for retards.
    – Submitted by Darla D (2 months ago)
    1. Dawn Wiener: I was fighting back.
    2. Mrs. Wiener: Who told you to fight back?
    – Submitted by Darla D (2 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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