The Black Dahlia Reviews

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September 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.
September 23, 2006
The pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven.
September 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.
September 23, 2006
The picture is a kind of fattened goose that's been stuffed with goose-liver pâté. It's overrich and fundamentally unsatisfying.
September 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.
September 20, 2006
Mr. De Palma and his collaborators have been unable to translate Mr. Ellroy's depth of feeling into cinematic equivalents.
September 15, 2006
There are moments when The Black Dahlia projects a spectral world, but its ghosts in broad daylight are elusive at best.
September 15, 2006
The Black Dahlia feels wobbly and uncertain.
September 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.
September 15, 2006
In The Black Dahlia, narrative strands tangle and wither, and minor characters clutter the plot.
September 15, 2006
What it accomplishes with its stunning cinematography and set design is undercut by a lack of coherence.
September 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.
September 15, 2006
Despite some weaknesses, The Black Dahlia remains curiously fascinating.
September 15, 2006
With the exception of Aaron Eckhart, De Palma's actors can't live up to the period or the atmosphere.
September 15, 2006
De Palma throws everything at the screen, but almost nothing sticks.
September 15, 2006
Josh Friedman's screenplay doesn't so much distill the flavor of James Ellroy's hard-boiled writing as serve up indigestible chunks of verbiage.
September 15, 2006
The Black Dahlia is a NASCAR race all but ended by a spectacular wreck on the next-to-last lap.
September 15, 2006
A wrongheaded collaboration between two opposites that has too little of James Ellroy's mad passion and too much of Brian De Palma's irresponsible style.
September 15, 2006
Brian De Palma drains the life out of James Ellroy's take on the spectacularly cruel 1947 murder of a young Los Angeles woman known as the Black Dahlia.
September 15, 2006
Visually dazzling but ultimately disappointing.
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