Dahmer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dahmer Reviews

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July 14, 2016
Painful to watch- but true
January 6, 2016
I love this movie!!! Jeremy Renner was so unbelievably perfect as Dahmer in such a gorgeous understated yet beautiful complex performance. He truly is fantastic! I love the fact that David Jacobson didn't turn this into a gore movie just full of blood and guts and cannibalism. He actually wanted to look at what Jeff was like as a person and yes, details such as names and certain exact situations are changed but the true essence remains. The style of this film is lush and I love that it's not beginning to end. It's more of a reflection. And in this reflection it ends in such a perfect way, still young with the dire reality still to unfold. And special note goes out to the end theme song, Blue Theme by Siren Music Productions. Guh yuh!!!!!!! One of my favourite movie themes ever. They did such an amazing job on the whole score, again so understated. This film obviously isn't for all but it is for me...I've easily seen it more than pretty much any other movie ever and to be honest, it just added to my already hugely obsessive love for Jeffrey Dahmer.
½ October 31, 2015
This is one of those disappointing films where you see can all the talent, but it's not living up to its potential.

The performances are great, but the film itself has multiple issues. For one, it has a made-for-tv banality to it; strong language is as transgressive as it ever gets. In a film that is supposed to be about sex, violence and madness, the clothes stay on, there's less blood than a dentist visit and not only are the character insights wholly incomplete and distant, but you never actually see more than bad moods and mundane reactions.

In this movie, Dahmer isn't an introvert driven to extremes of serial murder, dismemberment, cannibalism and personal hell. He is simply an unfortunate, morose witness to his own grim hobby. The flashbacks never form a full story arc, and by the end, you're wondering "where the hell is the rest of the story?".

Nor is there any strong thread or progression of events that form an evolution of the insanity, its simply a series of events. It's as flat of a story-board as I have ever seen from a production that clearly had the means to create more tension and character but never delivers.

Instead, but for a few exceptions, the cinematography has the shallow, dull perspective of a day-time soap than a full film that had the chance to delve into an incredible story of madness, self rejection and isolation, and wastes good acting producing a g-rated comic strip with trite angles, dull tempo and no real closing. One gets the sincere impression that the beginning of the movie had a lot more thought put into it, but the finished product was finished on the fly.

Theres not enough information to call it biographical. There isn't any gore to call it horror. There isn't any fright whatsoever to call it a thriller. There's too many prudish fig leaves to call it transgressive. And the pace and framing is too trite to call it unique.

This had so much potential, and god knows the actors did their best with so little context. But ultimately, there is no shock, no mystery, no evolution, no horror, no scare and no libido. If you bleep the language less than a dozen times, its perfectly suited to day-time tv.

No one is going to watch this and feel afraid of Dahmer, but neither will they find his thinking deserving of curiosity nor sympathy. It's set up to show one trying day laced with flashbacks, but all your left with is an unhappy man having a tiresome day.
September 7, 2015
Jeremy Renner's easily the best thing about this. His Dahmer contains just enough tragic listlessness that you can see why people wouldn't suspect him of anything more serious than traffic violations, even when he starts to get creepy. The problem is the film never does anything with that. Instead, after a creepy first twenty minutes where we learn how he operates, it focuses entirely on Dahmer alone in his apartment with a victim he lured in. It never knows what to do with this, being neither particularly exploitative nor clinical crime drama, and there's little tension. In the end they cut away before any of the dramatic stuff happens, like the arrest and trial. Apart from Renner there's nothing worth seeing here. It's just another boring flick taking advantage of a real horror story.
May 30, 2015
A fascinating and captivating movie if you're actually interested in the subject. I found it brilliant.
April 12, 2015
Dark, brooding, and depressing. Dahmer is a film about Jeffrey Dahmer, America's worst serial killer, who was most known for eating his victims' bodily organs. However, there's no cannibalism here. In fact, there's not too much of Jeffrey's real life anywhere here. The scenes involving his first victim were really interesting, but not exactly convincing. The acting by Jeremy Renner was perfect, however, and really stole the show and perfectly portrayed the real Jeffrey Dahmer's Borderline Personality Disorder. The other actors were sadly not so well acted. Sometimes, the film was boring. If it wasn't for the incredible acting and resemblance by Mr. Renner, this film wouldn't have been nearly as good. in fact, without him, this film would have received a 3/5 star rating. Also, one last thing to note was that the ending felt poorly directed and somewhat rushed to me.
December 4, 2014
Good acting. Difficult and disturbing film to watch. Certainly not for everyone
August 11, 2014
Really just jumps around, and touches on a few events (killings) from Dahmer's sick, twisted history. Jeremey Renner is spot on. Otherwise, it's written and executed poorly. Yawn.
½ August 6, 2014
actually good film making, script and acting - it could have been really gratuitous/sleazy but everyone did a great job with this very full-on material
½ July 21, 2014
Renner delivers chilling/saddening performance, but plot becomes confusing at times, not enough to completely save the movie
July 11, 2014
More chilling than gory, this look inside the mind of Jeffery Dahmer is a well acted and strangely artistic piece of cinema.
February 22, 2014
This is not your typical 'torture porn' horror film. This is a character drama based around the life of Dahmer.

Some may argue it is a bit slow paced however I personally loved the anticipation and slow elements.

The only problem with this movie is that it doesn't really have a definitive ending (why didn't they film the arrest and not just tell you in writing?) and the film doesn't tell you much about the true story of Jeffrey Dahmer.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2014
Dahmer is an effective and disturbing, horrifying character study on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer . Casting a then unknown Jeremy Renner in the lead role. In terms of the psycho horror genre, Dahmer is a fine example of a film that uses a true story, which makes it that much disturbing to shock and horrify its viewers. Renner is terrific in the lead, and you can clearly see hints of his talents that would define his career in later films. The story is engaging, but like I said, this film is a disturbing pierce of work, one that will probably satisfy specific fans of the genre, but it also may divide many as well. Despite this, I think that the film is worth seeing due to Jeremy Renner's memorable performance. Psycho horror films are interesting due to the fact that they always seem to uncover the darkest of the human mind. Dahmer is exactly that, an exercise in madness, one that is constantly unnerving and horrifying from start to finish. The story is simple, but effective in terms of sheer terror due to the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer's crimes are horrifying in nature, and that he was one of the most infamous of all American serial killers. True life horror stories are more interesting due to the fact that, it's not about monsters and other ghouls creating the terror, its real life psychos that provide the real terror, and are more frightening than any horror film combined. Though not a great film, Dahmer is a film that relies on a strong lead performance to really make the film standout above its limitations.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2014
"The mind is a place of its own."

Dahmer is a tough film to sit through. I guess that's a pretty obvious trait in a film like this. It's dark and it goes inside the mind of one of the most notorious serial killers in American history. Jeremy Renner does a pretty good job as Jeffrey Dahmer, but it's not enough to save this movie for me. For one this film is terribly acted by the supporting cast around Renner and everything about the film comes off as amateurish.

These serial killer movies are a weird sub-genre in the horror film genre. Some of them can be good, while still being hard to watch and some can be bad, while being hard to watch. Dahmer definitely falls into the bad definition. It's disturbing, sick, twisted and any other word you could come up with to describe Dahmer, but the film as a whole just doesn't do anything. It's as dull and lifeless as Dahmer, which may be the writer, director's ambition with the material, but it just doesn't work.
½ January 1, 2014
Disturbing and boring to a fault.
December 22, 2013
Chilling, wicked, disturbing and only for the sturdy. As a film it effectively uses suspense and style (while being just a tad over the line of disturbing) but as a biopic it is about as much as you could read on Wikipedia.
November 11, 2013
There were elements of this movie I liked and there were others that I didn't and it somehow left me feeling nothing either way after watching it. I think that's the miss- I really like the idea they were going with it but the detachment managed to rub off on me. I felt neither sympathy or disgust and considering the content that's rather remarkable in and of itself. Or maybe that's the brilliance of it? Gaining the same detachment that he feels? I was going to rate it lower until that occurred to me.
October 29, 2013
If this movie is accurate, then Dahmer is the most boring serial killer ever.....
October 20, 2013
Disregarding any factual errors that are present, this is truly the most perfect film that I have ever seen. Renner's captivating performance, the engrossing dialogue, the haunting soundtrack, the subtlety and symbolism.... All of these elements come together to create the masterpiece that is this film.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2013
Naturally after Gacy, I had to move on and watch Dahmer, it was just one of those nights. Unlike the Gacy film, Dahmer was more typical of what you see from these types of movies. Jeffrey Dahmer's crimes may have been just as shocking as Gacy's, but Dahmer was of a completely different personality, one that doesn't really equate to film. Unlike Gacy, Dahmer was really shy and introverted, avoiding interacting with people that he wasn't planning on killing. The movie version of Dahmer's was honestly as boring as a Horror film could get. Much of it shows Dahmer alone in his apartment, torturing his victims, and much of the time, there isn't even any dialog! Jeremy Renner stars and does as good of a job as someone can do with a role like this, but to be completely honest I found this film to be nothing but boring. Even the graphic scenes the film portrays in order to shock you, don't really cut it. Dahmer may have been just as deranged as Gacy, but the two men were very different. Gacy's film was interesting, Dahmer's put me to sleep. Dahmer is one movie you can most definitely avoid watching.
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