The Dirties

2013

The Dirties

Critics Consensus

The Dirties uses likable characters and a surprisingly twisted story to deconstruct the power of violent revenge -- and the audience's expectations when viewing it.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,119
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The Dirties Photos

Movie Info

When two best friends team up to film a comedy about getting revenge on bullies, the exercise takes a devastating turn when one of them begins to think of it as more than a joke. (c) Phase 4

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Critic Reviews for The Dirties

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (8)

  • It may wind up as the year's most significant horror film; it's certainly among the most original.

    Jun 5, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Mike McCahill

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Matt Johnson's feisty and flip debut feature inverts the dark iconography of school shootings.

    Jun 5, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A shooter story that creeps up on you with humor and personality, featuring characters so likable the thought that they could transform into killers is at first unthinkable -- which is precisely the point.

    Oct 4, 2013 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

    Eric Kohn

    indieWire
    Top Critic
  • Remarkable as much for its insights as for its audacity, "The Dirties" approaches school violence with a comic veneer that slowly shades into deep darkness.

    Oct 3, 2013 | Rating: 4/5
  • A masterful blend of black humor and queasy dread ...

    Oct 3, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • In such a cluttered cultural space, it feels so startlingly fresh, urgent, honest and real.

    Oct 3, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Dirties

  • Aug 09, 2014
    Well written and acted, The Dirties is unfortunately dead in the water thanks to the terrible execution - the use of found footage doesn't for one moment convince (nor play by its own rules with edits and non-diegetic sound).
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2014
    This is a pretty timely movie considering the number of school shootings that have plagued the U.S since Columbine. Granted, this is a Canadian film, where you don't really see these things happen as frequently as it does in the U.S. The film looks at two best friends making a film for school and they've decided to make it about this 'gang' they call, you guessed it, The Dirties, that bullies both of them. They incorporate their real-life bullying into a scripted film where they get their revenge on their bullies. Of course, as Matt and Owen start to grow apart due to the fact that Owen is finding new friends and finding himself in a new scene, Matt's psyche starts to deteriorate to where he starts to plan out an actual school shooting. Things start innocuously enough, it almost starts out like a joke to where Matt might seriously talk about it, but that's all he'd do, talk about it. As Owen starts distance himself from Matt, though, that's when things become more serious and he plans out the entire attack without even telling Owen. Matt is pretty much a psychopath and you see that deterioration in his psyche, to the point where you get to see that he's actually pretty fucked up when you think about it. The story is very heavy on film references. And, at first, you think it's a cute way of Matt Johnson, the actual director of the film and not the character he portrays, to show that he grew up as a film nerd and a cute way to pander to film lovers. But it's a very important part of the story and of Matt's personality. It's a big reason for why he ended up doing. The way he plans this out, as if what he was about to do wasn't real and it was just something to do for the film, and the way he carries it out is incredibly disturbing. This is a guy that's been bullied to the point where films are his only refuge and real escape from the bullies, that he can't even tell the difference between what's real and what's fake anymore. I think that if Owen had stuck by his friend when he really needed him, you'll know the moment, this all could've been averted. After their big argument, Owen tries to call Matt, presumably to apologize, but Matt decides not to answer and carries on with his plan. The climax is pretty disturbing because of the fact of how real school shootings are, you're almost kind of dreading it. It's certainly not a pleasant thing to watch, considering how many of these shootings we've seen. Another thing about the movie was surprising was how funny it actually was. It goes to some pretty dark places but I don't think it ever really mocks or glorifies the shootings that have taken place, which is a fine line they had to travel and I think they did so in about as nicely, for lack of a better term, a manner as possible. This is a very good movie, but it's probably one that requires some patience but it's a very rewarding film that explores some very real issues such as the effect bullying has in someone that chooses to do what Matt did. So just for that, it's worth watching. It's well-written, it has an air of authenticity, and it has a strong cast. Can't really complain about this, other than the pacing was poor at times.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2014
    Wow, a dark, comic and multi layered flick that works from so many angles. A diatribe on bullying, meta-film geek tastic, a statement of high school life. You feel you are discovering a lost classic that is slightly ahead of it's time. I think Matt Johnson is probably a film-maker to keep an eye on.
    Jon H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2014
    This is one hell of a film and it's Canadian! One of the best films of 2013 comes from writer/director/ and star Matt Johnson who gives us a comedy that revolves around a school shooting. Now I know that sounds terrible and really offensive, but trust me on this, it all works. It's not laughing at school shootings at all. It in fact points out that someone capable of great evil can be anyone and not just the quiet or depressed stereotypes that are usually found in most movies revolving around school shootings. This is also a film for film buffs as there are a million and one film references that are used very effectively. The main characters are very funny, particularly Matt Johnson's character. However, when the reality of the situation is brought upon us, the demons begin to reveal themselves and it becomes an ultimate balance of comedy and tragic drama. For much of this I was laughing constantly in my seat. Another portion of it had me on the edge of my seat. It's that kind of film. You really get sucked into these characters. You feel bad when harm is done to them because you like them so much and they feel genuinely real. "The Dirties" really starts off with a joke, a joke that is flat out mentioned throughout the film and even in front of people at their school and everyone takes it as a joke. However, do the comedians getting the laughs take it as a joke too? It is worth finding out!
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer

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