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The Black Dahlia (2006)

1064 votes, average 5.6 out of 10

The Black Dahlia (2006) Movie Review: A Stylish but Flawed Noir Thriller

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“The Black Dahlia,” directed by Brian De Palma and released in 2006, is a noir thriller based on the novel by James Ellroy. The film dives into the infamous and gruesome murder of Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, which shocked Los Angeles in 1947. Starring Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, and Hilary Swank, the movie aims to combine a rich period atmosphere with a complex narrative of crime and corruption.

Plot Summary

Set in post-World War II Los Angeles, the story follows two LAPD detectives, Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart), who are partners and former boxers. Their lives become entangled in the investigation of the brutal murder of Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner), a young aspiring actress.

As Bucky and Lee dig deeper into the case, they uncover a web of corruption, obsession, and deceit that leads them into the darkest corners of Hollywood. Bucky finds himself drawn to two women: Kay Lake (Scarlett Johansson), Lee’s girlfriend with a mysterious past, and Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank), a femme fatale with connections to the victim. The investigation takes a toll on both detectives, unraveling their personal lives and pushing them to their limits.

Performance and Direction

Josh Hartnett delivers a solid performance as Bucky Bleichert, capturing the character’s moral ambiguity and inner conflict. Aaron Eckhart brings intensity to his role as Lee Blanchard, a man haunted by his own demons. Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank provide strong supporting performances, adding depth to their enigmatic characters.

Director Brian De Palma brings his signature style to the film, creating a visually stunning depiction of 1940s Los Angeles. The film’s cinematography, by Vilmos Zsigmond, is lush and evocative, capturing the noir aesthetic with rich detail. However, while the film excels in style, it struggles with narrative coherence. The screenplay, adapted by Josh Friedman, attempts to condense Ellroy’s complex novel, resulting in a convoluted plot that can be difficult to follow.

Critical Reception

“The Black Dahlia” received mixed reviews from critics. While the film’s visual style and performances were praised, its convoluted plot and uneven pacing drew criticism.

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 32% based on 173 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. The consensus reads: “Though Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson make a strong effort, they can’t quite overcome The Black Dahlia’s overly convoluted plot and campy tone.”

Metacritic scores the film at 49 out of 100, indicating “mixed or average reviews.”

Despite its flaws, the film has garnered interest for its atmospheric depiction of a classic Hollywood crime.

Streaming Availability

For viewers in the United States, “The Black Dahlia” is available on several streaming platforms. You can stream it on:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Hulu

Additionally, the film is available for rental or purchase on:

  • Apple iTunes
  • Google Play Movies
  • Vudu

Final Thoughts

“The Black Dahlia” offers a stylish and visually captivating take on a classic noir thriller. While its complex plot and uneven pacing may detract from the overall experience, the film’s performances and rich period detail provide enough intrigue for fans of the genre.

For those who appreciate noir aesthetics and crime dramas with a historical twist, “The Black Dahlia” is worth a watch. Its exploration of the dark underbelly of Hollywood, combined with its striking visual style, makes it a noteworthy, if flawed, addition to the genre.

For more reviews and updates on the latest movies, be sure to check out our blog regularly. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and recommendations!

Posted on:
Tagline:Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history.
Duration: 121 Min
Country:, ,
Language:English, Deutsch
Budget:$ 50.000.000,00
Revenue:$ 49.111.202,00

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