Reviews

Mar 24, 2007
You have to wonder just how vibrant the film would have been during the Reagan or Clinton administration, when De Palma was in his prime.
Nov 11, 2006
Ghost World: Keith Uhlich on The Black Dahlia for Reverse Shot's Brian de Palma symposium.
Sep 30, 2006
Forty-five minutes in, I was already glancing at my watch and wondering why the only lively actress in this film was playing the dead girl. Go figure.
Sep 23, 2006
The pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven.
Sep 23, 2006
Ellroy's prose crawls into characters' secret hearts and under the reader's skin, but its foetid horrors become kitschy here, the script too streamlined and the lead performances too shallow to dredge the story's depths.
Sep 23, 2006
Almost every decision that was taken here seems to have been the wrong one, from the casting of the callow, pleasant-looking Josh Hartnett as the sexually repressed cop hero, to the mellow sepia tones overlaying night-time Los Angeles.
Sep 23, 2006
Gorgeously realised, gripping and doused in De Palma's familiar technical wizardry.
Sep 23, 2006
The picture is a kind of fattened goose that's been stuffed with goose-liver pâté. It's overrich and fundamentally unsatisfying.
Sep 23, 2006
It only works in fits and starts and the grand climax is too Rocky Horror to be true, yet the heady redolence of a bygone era still proves seductive.
Sep 23, 2006
This is far from one of the director's better efforts and should be avoided by all those who are not sworn De Palma boosters.
Sep 20, 2006
Nails the tale's particulars but not its soul.
Sep 20, 2006
Mr. De Palma and his collaborators have been unable to translate Mr. Ellroy's depth of feeling into cinematic equivalents.
Sep 18, 2006
The director is more interested in seeing how many outrageously dazzling tricks he can pull off with his camera than he is in constructing a coherent or plausible storyline.
Sep 15, 2006
There are moments when The Black Dahlia projects a spectral world, but its ghosts in broad daylight are elusive at best.
Sep 15, 2006
The Black Dahlia feels wobbly and uncertain.
Sep 15, 2006
Despite genius-level contributions from cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and art director Dante Ferretti, the handsome film is almost abusively murky, trafficking in difficult-to-follow plot manipulations, arbitrary twists and mumbled dialogue.
Sep 15, 2006
In The Black Dahlia, narrative strands tangle and wither, and minor characters clutter the plot.
Sep 15, 2006
What it accomplishes with its stunning cinematography and set design is undercut by a lack of coherence.
Sep 15, 2006
Black Dahlia wilts from a surfeit of incident and a shortage of credibility, owing to a script by Josh Friedman that eventually turns to soap and performances that approach the hilarity of a Guy Maddin melodrama.
Sep 15, 2006
Despite some weaknesses, The Black Dahlia remains curiously fascinating.