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The Dead Girl
The Dead Girl
Actors: Toni Collette, Piper Laurie, Brittany Murphy, Rose Byrne, Nick Searcy
Director: Karen Moncrieff
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2007     1hr 23min

The life of a lonesome caretaker (Toni Collette) is turned upside down when she stumbles upon the body of a murdered girl. This discovery may provide closure for a forensics graduate student (Rose Byrne) whose sister went ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Toni Collette, Piper Laurie, Brittany Murphy, Rose Byrne, Nick Searcy
Director: Karen Moncrieff
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/15/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 1/28/2015...
What a complete waste of time. Save yourself the trouble and do not buy or rent this movie.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Reviewed on 4/25/2014...
I liked this movie. It was kind of confusing at first, so you had to pay attention but when you caught on it was good.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gary J. (gjones) from TROUTDALE, OR
Reviewed on 2/24/2012...
This was a sad, beautiful movie. Tragic, how one family's problems can cause so much heartache, not only to them but to others. Excellent tale of tragedy in general, with very good performances. I especially liked the young lady, Rose Byrne, who played "the sister". I don't believe I've ever seen her before but she was wonderful in her anguish. Somewhat uplifting towards the end, but definitely not a happy movie...recommended, though.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nicole W. (sterju3) from SCRANTON, PA
Reviewed on 5/11/2009...
good movie, sometimes bringing storylines together doesnt work...this works
i really felt for brittany murphys character...stupied kid who is trying to be good, but knows the last choice she made is the one that gets her murdered...all the stories are great and pieced togther niceley..
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Powerful and riveting drama
MattW | Seattle, WA USA | 04/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"An amazing all star cast show off serious acting chops in a dark drama/thriller told in segments and concentrating on different points of view and experiences revolving around the death of a young woman. Harrowing, moving, and suspenseful, the films draws a sudden and suprising conclusion that is both realistic and shocking. A great character piece that paints complicated portraits of its character both both good, bad, and neurotic. I would describe the film as being very dark but told with such conviction and lack of heavy handiness that it's also very entertaining. Toni Collete as always gives an incredible performance alongside quasi walking legend Piper Laurie, Mary Steenburgen, Giovanni Ribisi, Kerry Washington, and many others including stand out performances by an amazing Mary Beth Hurt and a right on target Brittany Murphy (nobody does almost-insane and/or drugged out better than her). A good film elevated by an amazing cast and inspired performances."
The Search for Ways to Fill Holes in the Soul
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Karen Moncrief has written and directed this terrifying, searching, agonizing, and exceptionally fine story of the responses of five different people to the discovery of a dead girl. By dividing her story into chapters named after The Stranger, The Daughter, The Mother, The Wife, The Sister, and The Dead Girl she offers us fully realized characters, each of whom is affected by the opening discovery of a mutilated young dead girl's body. The technique of non-linear film is not new, but Moncrief raises it to a new, powerful level, a fact that makes this film one of the more sophisticated and successful of the past few years.

Arden (Toni Collette) is a homely frail girl who accidentally discovers the dead girl, taking a necklace from the corpse before reporting the discovery to the police. She is a caretaker for an invalid, foul-mouthed cruel mother (Piper Laurie) who berates Arden for being so ugly and for involving them in a murder case. Arden flees, meets The Stranger Rudy (Giovanni Ribisi), a tattooed, scary appearing guy who is attracted to Arden because she appears so innocent. He courts her with tales of serial killer manners and yet eventually gains Arden's fractured self-perception trust with physical contact. The next chapter introduces Leah (Rose Byrne) who works with Derek (James Franco) in the mortuary where the dead girl's body has been deposited for autopsy. Leah discovers markings on the dead girl that convince her this is the sister who has been missing for 15 years, a fact that her parents (Mary Steenburgen and Bruce Davison) refuse to accept. Leah's tenuous hold on reality is altered by Derek's consolation and physical attention.

The Wife episode offers a view of Mary (Mary Beth Hurt) and Carl (Nick Searcy), a married couple with mutual distrust: Mary knows Carl has flings with prostitutes while Carl feels Mary is too controlling. Mary discovers a chest of torn bloody underwear in one of their business Storage Containers, connects the items with Carl in a suspicion that Carl may be related to the death of the dead girl, and burns them. In The Mother we finally meet the true mother Melora (Marcia Gay Harden) of the dead girl Kritsta (Britanny Murphy) as she traces the clues from the body to a seedy motel where she meets Rosetta (Kerry Washington), Krista's roommate and lover, only to discover that the dead Krista ran away from home to become a prostitute and drug addict in response to a childhood abuse problem with her father. Melora is informed that Krista has an illegitimate three-year-old daughter Ashley whom Krista loved and Melora seeks to care for the only remains of the dead girl - her granddaughter and her lover.

This film beams with brilliant performances: Collette, Harden, Byrne, Laurie, Hurt, Searcy, Washington, Steenburgen, Franco and Ribisi are poignant in their depiction of damaged people whose lives are altered by the Dead Girl. This is ensemble acting of the finest category. The production values are strong and the director's control of what could have been a meandering saga is firm and keeps the story from becoming sensationalized. This is yet another brilliant little film that deserves a very wide audience. Grady Harp, May 07"
A strong cast makes for compelling viewing!
z hayes | TX | 05/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This was a very depressing movie just in the subject matter: the cruel murder of a young tortured soul. The movie itself is in five parts which is told from the point of view of the different characters in the movie. "The Stranger" revolves around Toni Collette who plays Arden, a homebody & plain woman who is caring for her emotionally abusive aging mom, played to great effect by Piper Laurie. Arden finds the 'dead girl' and takes the necklace on the corpse as her own treasure. She also engages in some creepy conversation & sex with a guy she met at a grocery store, played by Giovanni Ribisi.
"The Sister" is about Rosie Byrne who plays a sibling who is tortured by her parents' continuous grieving for a sister abducted 15 years ago. She also works in the pathology lab, and thinks the "dead girl" could be her long-lost sister.She plays someone who is desperately seeking closure and an end to the endless hope of her parents [her mom is played by Mary Steenburgen].
"The Wife" was the most chilling part in the centers around a woman who is loud and abrasive and whose husband goes on mysterious trips out of town and they both manage a storage place. She takes over for him on one of his trips, and makes a startling discovery in one of the storage spaces, which in turn leads to an interesting if morally questionable decision on her part.
"The Mother" focusses on Marcia Gay Harden who plays the mother of the "dead girl" and her grief is very palpable and touching to watch. She takes the initiative to trace her daughter's last residence and meets Kerry Washington, who plays a hooker and drug addict who was also her daughter's best friend/lover.
"The Dead Girl" takes a look at the last hours in the life of the victim, played convincingly by Brittany Murphy [one of her best performances so far]...the last frame was truly chilling to watch.
Overall, I found this to be a compelling movie with a tightly-woven plot. The excellent casting added to the emotional depth of the movie and each character was convincingly fleshed out.A worthwhile addition to the thriller genre."