Dressed to Kill - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dressed to Kill Reviews

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July 25, 2016
Brian DePalma.. really?
July 24, 2016
Doctor Robert Elliott: "Doctor, I am not paranoid. Bobbi was making threats over the phone. She said she's going to hurt me. My patient was slashed to death. And now my razor is gone. Now you don't have to be a detective to figure it out, do you?"
July 15, 2016
An unrelenting sensual thriller that focus the death of a married woman by a razor & the only witness a High End Escort girl who caught a glimpse of the seemingly female murderer.

Filled with stunning camerawork (the camera is always moving) and many tense scenes & some terrific twists & turns.

Although dialogue & acting is a little tongue in cheek the suspense is pounding. A genuinely gripping thriller staring Michael Caine...throughly enjoyed this 80's Cult Classic.
June 14, 2016
De Palma fuses Hitchcock's 'Psycho' with Giallo cinema. Sleazy, sexy, dreamlike, nightmarish, quirky and cinematically a minor masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2016
It's DePalma's trashy homage to "Psycho". Despite however offensive the content is (by both today's and 1980's standards) it's difficult to deny the technical skill involved in the production. Plus I'm willing let the ridiculous psychological explanations slide as it's arguable to view the movie as nothing but lurid fantasy. Maybe that's a cop out on my part.
½ June 5, 2016
Outstanding. While today the plot line can be seen a mile away, back in 1980 this was groundbreaking. Adding to the pleasure is the style (Angie looks fantastic!) and the NYC locale. Great flick.
½ June 4, 2016
Brian DePalma's Hitchcockian homage complete with his own signature gratuitous sexuality and violence. It truly is a magnificent thriller.
April 24, 2016
This movie did not age well. Michael Caine does a good job and Nancy Allen does what she can, but Angie Dickinson was a huge miscast, she was 49 when this movie was shot.
March 20, 2016
Well I hope like Brian DePalma or you really not gonna like this movie. OK, I shouldn't said that but let's be honest, it's Dressed to Kill. It's about the psycho killer killing women with the razor, he cuts their throats and skins and it shocks you to death. If you like that you're gonna love this film if not it's a bit of a bore.
There's are scenes where Angie Dickinson doesn't talk much, it's like me being very quiet, that's always nice and also the soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal. I love the soundtrack. The film does have a shocking ending however I do not have the time to go into that right now, but yeah the film is worth checking out if you're a Brian DePalma fan.
½ January 31, 2016
A stylish and entertaining thriller even if it does seem derivative of Hitchcock and some of the Italian giallos. And yes its depiction of transsexuals and gender identity are fundamentally problematic, its still a disturbing and influential piece of filmmaking.
½ December 15, 2015
Fans of Hitchcock will definitely like this erotic psychological thriller. You seldom see Michael Caine playing characters like that.
November 29, 2015
A Hitchcock hard-on, "Psycho's" wet dream. De Palma lays it on thick here, and it's both ridiculously self-aware and cinematically accomplished.
November 11, 2015
From the opening scene you know you're in for something special. A film that always keeps you on your toes, you won't know what to expect. A somewhat progressive film for it's time.
½ October 30, 2015
This has to be one of my favorite thrillers I've seen this year, and I can't believe I hadn't seen this movie before. It was so suspenseful and unnerving, up till the last second. I really liked this movie, from the style and camera work of De Palma to the story and its performances.
~October 30, 2015~
September 23, 2015
The first thirty minutes or so (until the first attack) are a sublime mix of sexuality and suspense. It's too bad the rest of the movie fails to live up to those thirty minutes.
September 23, 2015
You think you know Brian De Palma!? You really think so?? I honestly thought I knew De Palma before I watched DRESSED TO KILL. Like everyone I've seen Scarface, The Untouchables, Mission:Impossible, and Carrie. All classics to say the least. Where's Dressed to Kill's honor? This is De Palma at his most artistic, this is his homage film to his icon, Alfred Hitchcock. And if you know your Hitchcock you're bound to catch shots, sequences, there's even a scene almost worked directly from Psycho into Dressed to Kill. The story itself in Dressed to Kill has the tones and atmosphere mirroring Hitchcock among other gods of cinema.
We begin our story regular housewife, played by Angie Dickinson, who after awakening from a very beautiful dream sequence goes and meets up with her psychiatrist Michael Caine. This meeting doesn't seem to bring anything new to the table so she decides to go to an art gallery where in an amazing sequence of following her, as if in a seductive cat and mouse game, as she tries to calmly and without drawing attention to herself rebuke the seduction of this very caricature version of a late seventies early eighties man. After the sequence is said and done and she does the implausible deed and goes through with what she feels she thinks she needs to do...SPOILERS...she's killed off and the rest of the movie is just the murder mystery being looked at by Nancy Allen's character, Michael Caine's character, and a lot of other amazing performances. Even a turn by a pre-NYPD Blue Dennis Franz with more hair. Eventually the ending and the big twist come about and I will not reveal it out of respect but it needs to be seen it will kind of leave you saying wha...and What?! Let's just say I kicked my legs in the air because the twist threw me off my feet.
I feel Dressed to Kill is Brian De Palma's artistic masterwork still to this day it trumps his whole filmography, except with Carrie being his most visually interesting, but besides that Dressed to Kill is Brian De Palma at his artistic peak. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves suspense films, murder mysteries, artistic cinema...In fact I can recommend this movie to pretty much everybody with the exception of those who are easily turned in by nudity and the erotic. All the naughty send little kids from the room stuff is done tastefully and without the sleaze. If you can get past it, especially the first 10 mins, you will enjoy this movie. I highly recommend it and I cannot wait to watch it again.
½ August 23, 2015
Dressed To Kill is an erotic thriller that has aged a bit, but its very effective because it is heavily driven by the film's cinematography and excellent film score. The film's shots and editing choices convey what is happening visually and are less dependent on dialogue, so the film's tension is captured significantly through the character's expressions and actions, and various perspectives of camera. It's a film stimulated by its strengths in showing and not so much telling, but achieving this with style and suspense.
July 18, 2015
I can still remember the date my newly divorced father took me to see this movie. The tagline remains firmly seared into my brain:

"Brian De Palma invites you to invites you to a showing of the latest fashion in murder."

De Palma's nasty big-budget movie was way-controversial back in the day. 35 years later it is hard to look at it as "controversial." Over the passing of time, the sick and twisted plot of "Dressed to Kill" is difficult to take at all seriously, but it is impossible to not take full note of it's odd cinematic artistry.

De Palma's love of Hitchcock morphed into what would most likely have been a film he would have made had been De Palma's age in 1979. Passing an homage to Hitchcock, "Dressed to Kill" almost feels like a Hitchcock film.

Ralf D. Bode cinematography is brilliant. And Pino Donaggio's musical score is equally stunning. But both are obviously working closely within De Palma's context. As are all four leading actors. Michael Caine and Keith Gordon play their roles with tongues firmly in place. Nancy Allen's performance sometimes seems 'off-key' but it somehow makes perfect sense. Surprisingly, it is Angie Dickinson who delivers the strongest performance. Actually, it is the only time I think I've ever seen her "act." -- Had the film not been so polarizing she probably would have secured an Oscar.

From every angle and within each frame of film, "Dressed to Kill" is offensive, cruel and wrong. No matter how many times I've seen De Palma attempt to deny this, it is just a cold hard fact. "Dressed to Kill" is one twisted epic of a horror film. Misogyny, homophobia and transphobia are all pushed to a a whole new level. But if we think about it, can't the same be said of most Hitchcock films? I think it can.

In many ways, "Dressed to Kill" captures the final year in a decade of sexual and civil rights confusion. With hindsight, it is clear that De Palma knew what he was doing. He wasn't trying to communicate "correct" information or any level of "well-intent" -- he was pulling all of the 70's cultural fears and artistically framing them into one hell of a darkly-erotic horror film.

I see no reason to outline or hint at the plot of this movie. If you are not already familiar with it you are either not going to like the movie or you are too young to know about it. Suffice to say it is unique. And most importantly, it is scary.

There is one portion of the film which I have to mention. The portion is supposed to be in NYC, but it was actually shot inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The sequence is not short. It runs for approximately 14 minutes. The camerawork, music, editing and acting come together in magical ways. Even when De Palma utilizes an intentionally outmoded technique re: memory -- it works to the film's advantage.

It is also interesting to me that this film remains rather shocking. The sex and violence are jolting. For optimal enjoyment: Clear your mind of "political correctness", turn off the lights, sit back and just let this beautifully shot and horribly nasty horror film weave it's spell.

In it's own cruelly twisted logic, "Dressed to Kill" is an important film.
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