My Friend Dahmer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Friend Dahmer Reviews

Page 1 of 5
½ November 29, 2018
Gives some idea of what his childhood was like
November 26, 2018
I liked this movie that is about Jeffrey Dahmer and the high school years. It does a nice picture of showing how he had an interesting senior year of high school. Nice performance by Ross Lynch as the teenage Dahmer. It doesn't break any new ground, but is a pretty good movie.
November 22, 2018
Es una tension constante entre la vida de un adolecente atormentado por su familia y su vida escolar tratando de encajar de manera poco convencional resultando en un comportamiento siniestro
½ November 19, 2018
Interesting take on pre-serial killer life. What was it that went wrong, or what was it that was wrong with him? Could he have turned out okay? It's a thriller.
October 27, 2018
My Friend Dahmer is a pointless biography about the completely unnecessary story of Jeff Dahmer's senior year. The movie is unbearably boring and never gets to the point where he actually becomes a killer. It's nearly two hours of footage of Ross Lynch acting weird and walking funny. The positive reviews this movie received are baffling and driving me mad.
½ October 25, 2018
A warped wonder of a movie about a cannibalistic serial killer's awkward teenage years-it takes twisted to areas few have investigated.
½ October 3, 2018
The plot is extremely confusing and leaves me with so many questions ........ like why did i waste my time watching this.
August 27, 2018
Stunning lead performance with great supporting performances too.

Genuinely uncomfortable but engaging watching throughout makes this a must see. Yet another example of when great performances + script trumps big budget CGI any time.
½ August 11, 2018
The only things that die in this movie are 1 squirrel and 1 fish. He takes a dog into the forest to murder it, but lets it go because he has a warm heart. If Jeffrey Dahmer really struggled "to make it through high school with a family life in ruins," you wouldn't know it from this movie. All we're shown is a mildly dysfunctional family life with an unstable mom and a caring dad, and Dahmer seems to be handling it pretty well--his slight obsession with roadkill is Nothing compared to what I saw kids doing for fun in Texas in the 80s. Very, very far from the out-of-control spiral towards madness mentioned in the movie description. Plenty of FICTIONAL films have already portrayed that madness quite well, so it CAN'T be hard to accomplish this with THE REAL LIFE STORY OF THE GUY WHO FROZE & ATE PEOPLE, OR DISSOLVED THEM IN ACID, AFTER RAPING THEM. If this movie was supposed to show the real life pathways that led to such horrors, then it failed completely. See for yourself, go ahead and watch it. Please give my condolences to the dead fish and squirrel, they deserved better. This movie was complete BS.
½ August 3, 2018
Taking place over the course of Jeffrey Dahmer's last year in high school, and culminating with the faithful meeting between Dahmer (Ross Lynch) and Steven Hicks (Dave Sorboro), writer/director Marc Meyers's My Friend Dahmer is based on the graphic novel by Derf Backderf (played in the film by Alex Wolff), who attended the same school as Dahmer, and formed a pseudo-friendship with him. The film is tonally brilliant, coming across like The Breakfast Club directed by David Fincher, perfectly capturing 80s tackiness. Narratively, however, it's extremely plodding, and could easily have been trimmed by 20 minutes.

It's also difficult to see what Meyers was trying to achieve; other than a couple of brief moments, we're never given any real access to Dahmer's interiority, so he remains an enigma, always at arm's length (which could have been the point). But is Meyers asking us to feel sympathy for Dahmer because he had a difficult adolescence, came from a broken home, couldn't make friends in school (i.e., to quote that great line from Michael Mann's Manhunter - "my heart bleeds for him, as a child. Someone took a kid and manufactured a monster. At the same time, as an adult, he's irredeemable. He butchers whole families to pursue trivial fantasies. As an adult, someone should blow the sick fuck out of his socks"). Or is this simply a character study (if we didn't know it was about Dahmer, it could be any number of examinations of high school awkwardness)?

The lack of clarity regarding the film's theme is compounded by the scenes where it looks as if Dahmer is about to murder someone, only to stop at the last second. This is an especially strange way to generate tension, insofar as we already know his first murder was Hicks. Also, if the film is actually trying to say something of societal worth regarding serial killers, directionless youth, nature vs. nuture etc, trying to draw an audience into the narrative with the prospect of murder probably isn't the way to go about it. The film also fails to really get into the issues of Dahmer's sexuality, and his confusion and frustration about being gay. It's worth a look, but if you're already familiar with Dahmer's story, you won't find much insight here.

5/10
½ July 21, 2018
Very slow and not very interesting
June 30, 2018
Based on a brilliant graphic novel, Lynch magnificently portrays the awkward human side of a young man's slow descent into darkness.
½ June 6, 2018
This movie did a fantastic job on creating Dahmer as a person. He grew up and went through a lot of what normal children go through nowadays but I think the main point of the movie was to show how he reacted to it, how there were warning signs. Dahmer was unaware that he was strange, he thought what he was into was not abnormal or psychopathic. When he finally gets friends, it's because he's trying too hard to fit in and they find it funny. At points, it seems as though they are making fun of him and they probably are. I think it's also telling that no one really noticed the warning signs, usually in that situation you don't notice the signs until it's too late. I also really enjoyed the fact that they didn't show any of the killings. Everyone knows that he's a killer, he's infamous. I enjoyed that it was implied, that these were the early years and what lead up to it and how no one noticed. The ending was my favorite, absolutely no spoilers here but I was screaming. Overall a beautifully shot, edited and directed movie with a few hiccups along the way (mainly the fact that if you didn't know much about Dahmer's story, it's not as easy to fully comprehend how everything in the early years tells about his future and also I wish there had been more to the movie)
½ June 1, 2018
Whilst the acting and the general production of the film is commendable, I can't help but feel this movie is a waste of almost 2 hours. It provides us with a visual aid for understanding the beginning of a notorious serial killer, but it does little more than that. Dahmer is dead-pan and relatively one note throughout the film, and although we are presented occasional scenes of Dahmer struggling with the emotional turmoil going through his head, they are infrequent and isolated. Rarely do we get to see the stimulus that provokes his episodes of distress, making these scenes feel somewhat halfbaked. It feels like we are only being told half of the story of Dahmer's psyche, and more of the film is dedicated to his friends antics in school than providing us with an insight into the young mind of a serial killer. Overall, it feels like this film promised to be more than it is, and I would not recommend it to anyone interested in Jeffrey Dahmer's story. Just watch a documentary on him instead, you'll be better off for it.
May 10, 2018
It was really engrossing and well shot.
½ May 2, 2018
3.5/5.0 stars - Grade: B-
April 29, 2018
Weird, dark, disconcering, the journey of an awkward teen developing into one of the most notorious American serial killers.
½ April 16, 2018
It was interesting. Just ok. Nothing soecial.
½ April 16, 2018
Strong performances and a haunting, unsettling portrait of a very disturbed young man.
April 9, 2018
This was merely fine, with some moments of brilliance.

Having read the graphic novel this movie is based on, I came into it with my own biases and expectations, so a lot of my problems with this movie stem from that.

While the casting and raw content of this movie are very competent and fitting, they way they were set to motion through Dahmer's story was a bit lackluster. Too many times it felt like the movie died down to a dry "we gotta have this moment here" scene that was acted out kind of lifelessly, and fit into the movie very rigidly. A sort of check-list feeling was created by these scenes. It felt like a major issue was the editing of all the content together. It rarely meshed well, even though it technically followed the graphic novel pretty accurately.

Another issue that held this movie back, in my opinion, was the lack of any sort of narrations or input from John Backderf's character in this movie. I mean the title is from John's point of view, and the entire graphic novel is filled with his thoughts and words to guide us along. Fitting narration could've done much to help this movie mesh better with itself, would've helped it flow better, feel more natural as a tale from John's point of view. His character in this movie would benefit the entire project much more had it been more fleshed out, and more prominent. As this movie stands right now, it feels a little hollow.

Other than that, and some other slight changes to the novel which didn't bother me that much, the movie was fine for what it achieved at the end. The acting by the main guy was great, felt like the nuances of a teenage Dahmer were shown realistically and faithfully. Good job by him.

The things I liked the most about this movie were the occasional moments of painful brilliance like during the mall freakout scene and the photo "adjustment" scene. Those moments managed to convey the entire thesis of Backderf's tale in those small moments. It felt good to see that message of the original graphic novel left intact.

Overall, I enjoyed it.
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