Girl, Interrupted (1999)



Critic Consensus: Angelina Jolie gives an intense performance, but overall Girl, Interrupted suffers from thin, predictable plotting that fails to capture the power of its source material.

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Movie Info

In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder-an affliction with symptoms so ambiguous almost any adolescent girl might qualify-and sent to a renowned New England psychiatric hospital where she spent the next two years in a ward for teenage girls. There, Susanna loses herself in an OZ-like nether world of seductive and disturbed young women: among them Lisa, a charming sociopath who stages a disastrous escape with Susanna, Daisy, a pampered girl with a predilection for rotisserie chicken, and Polly, a remarkably kind burn victim. Ultimately, assisted by the hospital's head psychiatrist, Dr. Wick, and a no-nonsense ward nurse, Valerie, Susanna, like Dorothy, resolves to leave this Oz and reclaim her life.
R (for strong language and content relating to drugs, sexuality and suicide)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Winona Ryder
as Susanna Kaysen
Vanessa Redgrave
as Dr. Wick
Jared Leto
as Tobias Jacobs
Clea DuVall
as Georgina
Jeffrey Tambor
as Dr. Potts
Alison Claire
as Gretta
Joanna Kerns
as Annette
Gloria Barnhart
as Older Catatonic
Josie Gammell
as Mrs. McWilley
Bruce Altman
as Prof. Gilcrest
Mary Kay Place
as Mrs. Gilcrest
Ray Baker
as Mr. Kaysen
KaDee Strickland
as Bonnie Gilcrest
Kurtwood Smith
as Dr. Crumble
David Scott Taylor
as Cabby-Monty Hoover
Janet Pryce
as ER Nurse
C. Scott Grimaldi
as ER Resident
Ginny Graham
as Arleen
Richard Domeier
as Art Teacher
Sally Bowman
as Maureen
John Lumia
as Van Driver
Marilyn Brett
as Italian Shop Keeper
Alex Rubin
as Josh
Marilyn Spanier
as Miss Plimack
Linda Gilvear
as Miss Paisley
Allen Strange
as Principal
Spencer Gates
as British Teacher
Steve Altes
as Medic
Anne Lewis
as Dance Therapist
Donny Martino Jr.
as Naked Man
John Levin
as ER Doctor
Katie Rimmer
as Tiffany
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Critic Reviews for Girl, Interrupted

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (30)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 23, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Does it matter that every time Jolie's offscreen the film wilts a little? Ryder should be perfect as the bright spark; her lines are sharp as a knife. There's a gap, however, between what we hear and what we see.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A muddled production that misses the jarring tone of the autobiographical book by Susanna Kaysen on which it is based. The film is entertaining, but not very powerful.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

March 19, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The inclusion of this picture on [Mangold's] resume will only enhance his future prospects.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Shrewd, tough, and lively.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Girl, Interrupted

There's little new in this Hollywood look at mental illness, female style, except that for once the staff is actually given a little respect, like they might know a little about what they're doing. The obvious segues into overblown hysteria are avoided for the most part and the whole affair is not too distasteful.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Based on the autobiographical novel by Susanna Kayson chronicling her time spent in a mental institution following a suicide attempt, Girl, Interrupted is not quite what you'd expect; namely "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest For Chicks". It's true that the story is dominated by Jolie's Oscar winning turn as the rebelliously anti-social yet charismatic Lisa, but the story is a lot more sympathetic towards the staff of the hospital and what they were trying to do. The cast of likeable weirdos make for an engaging bunch of misfits which makes up for the fact that it lacks any real kind of power or emotional resonance and it's nicely non-judgemental when it comes to the depiction of both the inmates and the staff who are genuinely trying to help them. Hardly the most challenging portrait of mental illness but enjoyable none the less.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy Good Film! It was a very well made film with some terrific acting. Angelina Jolie in probably her best role as an actress won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in that year. Good plot although a little too slow for my taste but decent enough. Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school in the late 1960's. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward (Georgina the pathological liar, the sexually abused Daisy, the burn victim Polly) but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna "drop anchor" at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind?

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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