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The Dead Girl Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… forgettable indie bummer trotted out during awards season … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Stylish, highly accomplished and, thanks to its severely restrained palette, mostly off-putting.

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The way Moncrieff has structured The Dead Girl, it's catnip for actors: Divided into five chapters, the script affords juicy roles requiring only a few days' work from each member of its impressive ensemble.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    By the movie's end, writer-director Karen Moncrieff's The Dead Girl delivers considerable emotional impact. But that doesn't mean you've enjoyed the journey.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Moncrieff pushes a view of women as victims that might create its own pornography of masochism if it didn't touch so many authentic shattered nerve endings.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Dead Girl reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Murder victim links stories of women's survival.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark, mature movie puts women and girls in relentlessly grim situations. The five interconnected stories all revolve around a corpse left by a serial killer in a field. By turns, the women discover the body, examine it in a morgue, learn the killer's identity, and remember the victim personally; a final segment shows how the girl met her killer. Violence is rendered as effects more than acts: bruised bodies and faces, the bloody and decaying corpse, etc. Sexual images include oral sex and many shots of bedraggled prostitutes (skimpy costumes, bruised limbs and faces). There's cigarette and pot smoking, and a crack pipe is shown. Language is incessant, with more than 60 uses of "f--k" (and plenty of other swearing).

  • Families can talk about the role of mothers and daughters in this movie. What messages is it sending about women? What is it saying about the effects of broken families on daughters? Does it suggest that mothers lost in their own grief or rage abandon their children? What are the consequences of that? How does the murder affect the different women connected to the victim? Could a different event have had such powerful consequences?

The good stuff
  • message true-1

    Messages: Women and girls are repeatedly placed in terrible positions by abusive, violent men and regularly make wrong decisions. Still, the movie suggests that these women want to do right but don't have the options that would let them do so.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Woman's corpse found in field (bloody close-ups of hand, mouth, buzzing flies); Arden cuts her hand (bloody); Arden threatens her mother; discussion of serial killing; morgue scenes show bodies on gurneys; woman finds grisly evidence her husband is a serial killer; Rosetta appears beaten (face broken and bruised); Krista smashes a truck with a pipe; serial killer menaces Krista.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Sex scene at beginning involves bondage (with a belt) and ends with woman's naked body (breasts and torso visible from overhead angle); two prostitutes are involved in sexual scenes (one shows oral sex performed on a man -- not quite explicit, but close); costumes are often revealing (bared midriff, cleavage, short skirts); woman burns her clothes (breasts visible); sexual slang ("blow you," "d--k," "wetting your little noodle," "sticking your thing in anything that moves," "suck off").

  • language false5

    Language: Profanity includes many uses of "f--k" (at least 60), plus "s--t," "hell," "ass," "damn," "asshole," and "bitch." Someone gives the finger.

  • consumerism false-1

    Consumerism: Mentions of FedEx, Sears catalogue, Pop Tarts.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Conversation about anti-depressants; cigarette and marijuana smoking; Rosetta appears high and says her mother was a junkie" references to crack (paraphernalia visible).