The Dead Girl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dead Girl Reviews

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½ July 24, 2013
A mystery/thriller about one girl's mysterious death, and how the tragic actions of the people who surround her eventually led to her savage murder.

stars Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Mary Beth Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Brittany Murphy , Kerry Washington Piper Laurie, Giovanni Ribisi, James Franco, Mary Steenburgen, Bruce Davison, Nick Searcy, Josh Brolin , Christopher Allen Nelson, Dennis Keifer, Elizabeth Pernoll and Gillian Pernoll.

directed by Karen Moncrieff.
½ July 14, 2013
Didn't have an emotional reaction the whole movie, the beginning was very interesting though.
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2013
This is a great movie. Re watched it again, first time since it came out, so had forgotten a lot of it. It's broken up into segments which loosely tie into the final story of the "dead girl" (Brittany Murphy - fantastic. Really sad to see her, especially in this role). First up is the woman who finds the dead body, played by Toni Colette. A henpecked woman with a hinted at tragedy in the past who cares for her ill and spiteful mother in isolation.
Next is Rose Byrne, also a troubled girl, troubled by her sister's disappearance many years ago. She believes the body may belong to her sister.
Then the wife of the serial killer. This story was more chilling than the others. I wont say too much and spoil it.
Next, the mother of the "dead girl", discovering that her daughter was a hooker and drug addict, was in a lesbian relationship and had a child of her own.
Then finally, the "dead girl". This story cuts off abruptly at the point she meets the killer. Which is fine. I had no wish to see it!
Overall a very nicely done, dark story about the impact of crime on those left behind.
½ June 7, 2013
this movie is worth a look if u have nothing else to do but wouldn't recommend it
½ May 18, 2013
Star studded and amazingly acted! I just couldn't turn away from this! I was freaked out, emotionally wrecked, and completely repulsed at different gut wrenching turns in this story. "The Wife" hit me the hardest, and Murphy's turn in front of the camera basically ruined me for the evening. This is just a freakin' great film!
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2013
A very unusual take on the serial killer story, splitting the film into several perspectives: the person who finds the body, the victim's (supposed) sister, the psycho's wife, the victim's mother and finally the victim herself. These story do not intermix much, which makes the film feel somewhat disjointed. There are a couple of touching scenes, others leave you indifferent, because the pieces do not always create an overall image. An interesting attempt, but ultimately failing to grasp the audience's attention over the entire running time.
½ April 24, 2013
nice horror movie with nice story!
February 26, 2013
if you're into extortion movies...
February 19, 2013
Great film. Bleak, depressing and horrifying but I cant stop watching.
½ February 6, 2013
Amazing film from Karen Moncreiff with a stellar cast and solid performances. This film is haunting and intense. Following 5 different characters who are at first glance unrelated; the audience soon learns that each holds a connection to the dead girl, and each segment documents how the individual has been affected by her death. This really is an amazing film, I could not fault it and was drawn in immediately, starting with Toni Collette's somber performance, and ending with Brittany Murphy's best role to date as the The dead girl on her last day alive. Rose Byrne is fantastic as the dead girl's supposed sister, as is Marcia Gay Harden as the disconnected mother and Mary Beth Hurt as the killer's wife. An amazing achievement from Moncrieff and truly beautiful to watch despite the sombre tone.
January 1, 2013
i thought it was alright
December 7, 2012
Cool cover, looks good!
December 2, 2012
It was a little weird at first, but I enjoyed it.
October 1, 2012
Wow, what emotional performances. Very nice work all around on this one.
½ September 29, 2012
a very dead dull movie
September 20, 2012
Taking place over the course of five separate, yet interconnected storylines, The Dead Girl chronicles the lives of a few people after they come into some sort of contact with the dead girl of the title. Well, four of these stories play out this way, while the fifth, despite occurring last, acts as a prologue, and shows us the actual "dead girl" from the other stories. I hope that made sense to you.

First is "The Stranger," which involves an emotionally crushed Arden (Toni Collette) finding the dead girl in a field, fighting with her mother, and eventually going on a date. Next is "The Sister," which has Leah (Rose Byrne) prepping a dead body which happens to resemble her sister, who has been missing for the last fifteen years. Yes, this is the same dead body that Arden found in the first story. "The Sister" works as a bridge to our fourth story, as it introduces the main character from it without us even really knowing.

In that one, titled "The Wife," shows us a woman named Ruth (Mary Beth Hurt) and her neglectful husband, Carl (Nick Searcy). He leaves, she has to run his business, she finds out that he might be hiding something, and so on. Next, we have "The Mother," which follows the dead girl's mother, Melora (Marcia Gay Harden), and her attempt to find out about her estranged daughter's life. We saw Melora in story #2, although we didn't know she'd have a major part to play until this point.

Finally, we have "The Dead Girl," where we finally meet the deceased Kirsta (Brittany Murphy). She's lively here, and we find out that she has a daughter, relies heavily on a man named Tarlow (Josh Brolin), and it's her daughter's birthday tomorrow. We know that she's killed somehow (and no, that's not a spoiler), but we grow to love these last few moments of her life. Murphy plays her with such joy that it makes it heartbreaking to realize she's not making it to the end of the film.

The Dead Girl is about how the titular corpse affects the characters that come into contact with it. Seemingly all of the women of the film are "dead," in one way or another, and meeting this magical carcass seems to be just the thing needed to begin rebuilding it. Or at least give them the option to do so, as a few decide that they'll stay where they are, not wanting to improve their lives any. I'm all for free choice, but if someone offers to get you out of a life of drugs and prostitution, it might be a good idea to accept their offer. I'm just saying.

As revelations occur and you begin to realize the importance of earlier scenes, The Dead Girl starts to make a lot more sense. These aren't all separate scenes with only a minor, tangential connection; they're connected in theme, in dialogue, and in tone. They're trying to tell a story, sure, but they're also trying to get you to think, to realize certain things about your own life, and to make you feel something. The only question now is whether or not they're successful.

For the most part, I think that they are. I felt sad while watching this film, and I think that was the goal. The feeling really hits home after watching the prologue detailing Kirsta and her personality, although the tone is decidedly negative throughout. Did the film make me think about my own life and the people in it? Maybe a little, although I was more involved and engaged in the stories that it told me instead of the one I'm currently living.

The very best films make you forget that you're watching a motion picture. You get so involved that you're fully immersed in the diegesis presented to you. The Dead Girl comes close to this immersion, but fails largely because of the separate chapter headings. Without them, I probably would have been more involved than I was -- and I was quite engaged with the story. It's just that these breaks in immersion destroy the flow of the film, I wanted to let The Dead Girl take me in, and while it does at times, it fails overall because of these breaks.

That doesn't make it a bad film, though. It made me emotional, it made me think, the gimmick of its storytelling technique pays off well when the prologue comes around, and I had a good time. Well, not a "good" time, but an engaging one. Calling it "good" is wrong, as it was a depressive film, but I can appreciate the skill that went into crafting it. That makes a film
"good" in my eyes, even if its content isn't supposed to make you feel excellent about yourself.

What perhaps makes the film worthwhile is the actors. They're all tremendous, bringing something special to their roles, even if it seemed to me like some of the cast was underused. We're given five stories, and only about 90 minutes to tell them. If they are all even, that's only 18 minutes a story. Actors rarely appear in more than one, meaning that most of the cast gets, at most, 18 minutes to shine. They do really well given the limited appearance time, but I did want to see more of everyone involved, especially Murphy, who is probably the highlight of the film.

The Dead Girl is a marvel -- a film that you should absolutely go see. Each mini-story means something, but together, the film comes together and becomes a great watch. Depressing, as there are few happy moments throughout, but great nonetheless. The actors are great, the writing is solid, and the story was interesting and told in a somewhat unique way. The only real complaint I have is that I wanted more. Definitely seek this one out unless you hate films that make you emotional.
½ September 3, 2012
The Dead Girl tries to put together a string of life convergences to form a story, it almost succeeds but falls short.
½ August 27, 2012
Several different, complex stories intertwine to give you a look at the death and discovery of a young girl's decomposing body in a field. A pretty good cast put together here, but the movie may be a bit too dark and dreary for some. Still, the acting was pretty good. The only disappointment here is that you don't actually see the murder take place, only allusions to it. Watchable, but that's about it.
July 23, 2012
An excellent movie. Love how it starts backwards.
June 14, 2012
I thought the movie was wonderful, it reminded me of crash, because all the characters were in connection some how.
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