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Overall Rating
3.66

Awesome: 32.91%
Worth A Look: 16.46%
Average39.24%
Pretty Bad: 6.96%
Total Crap: 4.43%

10 reviews, 98 user ratings


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Girl, Interrupted
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"Mangold takes another step down."
3 stars

James Mangold, now with his third directorial feature, "Girl, Interrupted," just may be proving his excellent treatment of the 1995 masterful film "Heavy" to be a fluke. With each successive film afterwards, the middle one being "Cop Land," Mangold has taken a step down in quality, directorial capabilities, casting and characters, as well as the quality of the script. The stars of "Heavy," Liv Tyler and Pruitt Taylor Vince were certainly not slumming it, but by becoming more commercialized and comercially within reach, he has dilouted the effectiveness of the product.

Susanna Kayson (Winona Ryder) has been put into a mental ward after "downing fifty aspirns and chasing it with a bottle of vodka." "I wasn't trying to kill myself," she claims, "I jusr had a headache." Susanna's the sanest of the lot, and quicky befriends her roommate Georgina (Clea Du Vall), a pathological liar. There isn't much to do on the premises except to watch TV, smoke, and write in her book. It's the late Sixties, and the world around her is just in as much turmoil, only more political in nature --the Vietnam war is in the process of being drafted.

Making a grand re-entrance is Lisa (Angelina Jolie), a volatile, harsh and cold (hearted) young girl. She's bad to the bone and everyone knows it, including she herself, who flaunts it and wears it on her sleeve like that guy did his pack of cigarettes in that old 70s show with Valerie Bertinelli. An unlikely duo (aren't they usually?), Susanna and Lisa become the equivalent of psuedofreinds, and as you can follow like a formula you've set your watch to, there's the usual amount of verbal bashings, arguments, and a few physical confrontations.

Ryder and Jolie's chemistry was enough to accept a mutual bond together, but one finds it hard to believe the two types of personalities distinguished by the women would have been enough to click. Why would a girl of Susanna's nature and position involve herself in the obvious detriments of Lisa? Fun isn't worth all of that. Was it simply because she was bored without much to do and no place to go? Maybe it was because Lisa gave her some of what she wanted: a way of escape and a sense of freedom. It was obvious Ryder's character wasn't sure about her future --she was the only one in her graduating class not to go off to college.

"Girl, Interrupted" was based on Susanna Kayson's real life, although I'm sure only particular parts, not counting what was embellished. In Mangold's "Heavy," he was never concerned with more than the three characters of Pruitt Taylor Vince, Liv Tyler and Debborah Harry at one time. Mangold gave great insight and a serious in depth look at their lives. Mangold broadened out with "Cop Land," though the main character was Sylvester Stallone, there was still Harvey Keitel, Robert DeNiro, Diane Lane, Ray Liotta, Perter Berg, Annabella Sciorra, and an enumeration of others. However, the screenplay was still strong, and done craftily enough that Mangold was still able to pull the final product off with enough heightened effect for it to work. But "Girl, Interrupted" does not work because of anything Mangold does. Whatever talent he previously showcased has been cast aside; he has halted her and taken a lengthy vacation. Take for instance the opening of the film which is just randomly inserted without any cohesiveness or purpose. When we experience it again as a deja vu at the end, you really wonder what the point of it was. (And they never give any kind of explanation or rationalization for the whole "bone/no bone in my hands" thing, which was again randomly mentioned, but never explained like it was in the book.)

"Girl, Interrupted" was often more interesting to watch for the supporting characters and actresses. Clea Du Vall was quite interesting, living in her Oz-ish delusions, but really only lying when she has to, enabling her to stay in the convelscence. (A little reminiscient of Billy Bob Thornton's Karl in "Sling Blade.") Brittany Murphy, from the summer's "Drop Dead Gorgeous" is mentionable, not much, but enough to remember to look for her name, as well as the character's name which I don't remember being uttered, while the credits are running.

In the bigger performers category, Jared Leto makes a few brief entrances and even hastier exits, and is nothing more than cardboard. Winona Ryder can never bring herself to the potential of "Beetlejuice." On the other hand, Angelina Jolie is quickly rising up to her potential, and topping herself at every turn. She's quickly building up an impressive resume between this year (with films like "Playing By Heart" all the way to "The Bone Collector") and those upcoming.

"Girl, Interrupted" is occasionally, but not very often entrancing enough, though it is still worthy enough, for at least one viewing.

Final Verdict: B-

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1814&reviewer=172
originally posted: 12/16/99 04:42:59
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User Comments

8/20/10 art I RECANT my DECEMBERS comment's,THIS IS A BREATH-TAKING FILM!,RYDER and JOLIE were GREAT! 4 stars
4/09/10 PAUL SHORTT INTERESTING, VIVID ADAPTATION 3 stars
12/19/09 art NOT ONLY DEPRESSING BUT BORING TOO BOOT! 1 stars
8/20/09 art RATED D FOR DEPRESSING! 2 stars
3/19/09 Lenny Zane Oh, all the gullible folks who say "Daisy was sexually abused" jus cause LISA says so! Gad! 4 stars
1/12/09 Shaun Wallner Interesting Story! 3 stars
11/12/08 sf333 seeing it through the eyes of one with a mental illness, the movie was contrite but good 3 stars
3/04/08 mb Was OK. Not outstanding. 3 stars
2/08/07 David Pollastrini all the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
10/22/06 lyn2 excellent movie 5 stars
6/20/06 Kelly Spackman Excellent.It was well acted, the actreses were perfect. I relate to the movie. 5 stars
4/28/06 Alana M. Barquero I thought that this was a great movie. 5 stars
10/16/05 Sara Great - makes you think 5 stars
8/20/05 ES it reminds me of a female take on the first half of toy soldiers, only no gunmen 1 stars
6/15/05 Indrid Cold A dreary, uninteresting drama. 3 stars
2/23/05 Colleen Goldrick Excellent 5 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Angie's BEST work. She MAKES this movie. 5 stars
10/28/04 Stephanie this was areally great movie, it demonstrates what a mental pateint feels and go through. 5 stars
9/29/04 Erica This psychological Dark Comedy has it all...Drama, comedy, awsome acting! 5 stars
3/09/04 Jaime This is one of the best movies made in awhile, eroticly stunning and sedisticly majestic. 5 stars
3/07/04 reptilesni what exactly in Winona Ryder's talent again? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? 1 stars
11/29/03 Bonnie Angie was the girl interrupted. I still say Winona and Angie should have had an affair! 5 stars
10/02/03 Anna Daisy isn't bulemic, she eats chicken and takes laxatives and she's sexually abused. 5 stars
7/28/03 Ghetto Smurf Why did Jolie win an Oscar? Ryder was waaaay better. 5 stars
5/11/03 The Lurchprong Splitter Analina Jolie, otherwise not much of an actress, lucks out on role of a lifetime. 4 stars
3/30/03 Jenny Tullwartz WARNING, SPOILERS: Best movie ever about a constipated girl hanging herself. 5 stars
3/05/03 Tammy This is perhaps the best movie I have seen in years, a most see!! 5 stars
2/02/03 violet Very well done. The performances by the cast were incredible. 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Ryder was MUCH better than Jolie. 4 stars
11/15/02 Stevo Shut up Winona. Shut up. Oh fuck it, I'm going to sleep. 1 stars
9/22/02 Brahmsian Angelina deserves the raves she's gotten for this. Winona isn't bad either. 5 stars
8/13/02 blakers a great film 5 stars
8/02/02 Erin great movie, watch with an open mind, and you'll take a lot from it. 5 stars
4/01/02 Jake What the hell are you doin' Lisa!!! Back off..... 1 stars
3/23/02 The REAL Lisa.... Angelina cannot ACT. She plays the same 'bad girl' in ALL of her fucking shite movies. 1 stars
3/05/02 Alan Smithee Jolie does a great job, but she overpowers the rest of the cast. still watchable. 4 stars
2/25/02 Butterbean Jolie saves this movie, even though she's playing the same character she did in Gia. 3 stars
2/25/02 Jenny Tullwartz !!SPOILERS!! Best of all movies about a constipated girl hanging herself. 5 stars
1/27/02 Ashley Corpening Great, but is that really Angelina Jolie? She never looked or acted that way before. 5 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick Jolie rocked - the rest of the movie sucked big time. 3 stars
1/03/02 red neck psychologist great movie! From psychology to femenism it is a must see! 5 stars
12/08/01 Sara Randell "don't point your finger at fucking crazy people!" 4 stars
12/01/01 ortwin schäfer steht in Tradition vom "kuckucksnest" 4 stars
11/07/01 MissyWalks Loved Jolie.v She made it worth watching. Otherwise, I would have turned it off. 4 stars
9/30/01 Interrupted Excellent, too true - self harm! great film, wonderful and brillian acting - Ryder, Jolie 5 stars
9/05/01 omar angelina is the best actress alive 5 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Jolie deserved that Oscar and saved this movie from that always dull Ryder 3 stars
8/26/01 Gary The film recovers amazingly from a slow first half-hour. Jolie is astounding. 4 stars
8/18/01 svetlana all around very excellent film...4 and a half stars 4 stars
8/04/01 Katie It was an excellent movie and the book was great as well. amazingly brilliant. 5 stars
7/26/01 Wendy Parker Absolutely splended 5 stars
7/25/01 Monday Morning Angelina. Whoopi. Projectile vomit. 2 stars
7/20/01 Gus Pretty good - too bad winona ryder is in it though 4 stars
5/26/01 jazmin wicked shit 5 stars
4/16/01 LiL Very disturbing, very good 5 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L Angelina is just a bad actress but Winona made her look better than normal 2 stars
3/24/01 Katie Patterson I loved this film. I've seen it at least 5 times and I've also read the book. 5 stars
2/17/01 Jake Realistic and touching 4 stars
1/30/01 Sss Saa 1 stars
12/29/00 Slayer Grrl, Interrupted Offers a totally accurate look into the world of mental illness- I would know. g2love AJ!!! 5 stars
9/13/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Damn that girl's got some soup coolers on her. Must be a lip job gone bad. 4 stars
8/21/00 TALIA IT'S GREAT!!! 5 stars
8/15/00 Monday Morning My wife loved this film so I'm voting for her...within reason. 4 stars
8/09/00 Jed AJ is a tad overrated and this film does get annoying but over than that its a great film 4 stars
6/29/00 Faith i loved it 5 stars
6/25/00 Trina M. Barnard Angelina Jolie did an excellent job 4 stars
6/22/00 Jeff AJ is very good0 but my god, her lips are about to explode. 3 stars
6/13/00 Michael Grimm Jolie was excellent but the rest just drug on forever 3 stars
6/07/00 Amanda It was a great movie 5 stars
5/21/00 mellemel I fell asleep at this movie. 2 stars
4/28/00 Luciana Carolina Becerra Muestra lo que nadie quiere ver "el conformismo y lo normal" Haganse cargo. 5 stars
4/26/00 hahahah best movie i've seen 5 stars
4/10/00 grateful a beautifil film 5 stars
3/29/00 Jessica If you don't like this movie, then you've never been an 18 year old girl. 5 stars
3/20/00 Leonardo Dicaprio EXCELLENT BLOODY EXCELLENT 5 stars
3/19/00 Joel Harwood It was one of the most touching and emotional films of the year top ten in 99 5 stars
3/16/00 t one of the best movies ever 5 stars
3/11/00 tasha I read the book first. Terrible book. Then I watched the movie. Don't read the book. 3 stars
2/17/00 Larissa Hunka It is the best!!! 5 stars
2/14/00 Germanicus Winona and Jolie are good but the film is boring and seems to go nowhere. 3 stars
2/14/00 Gary Yee jolie is awesome and steals the show 4 stars
2/02/00 Joel Harwood I will order a touching drama/comedy with the lot please hold the bad actors 5 stars
1/30/00 P.S.O.K jolie deserved her golden globe winning 5 stars
1/29/00 puppyboy434@aol.com moving non-saccarhine portrait of mental illness 5 stars
1/28/00 Tia A little long...but good movie. Angelina Jolie really shone above everyone including Winona 4 stars
1/22/00 Lisa Rose Very moving film, great performances, especially from Angelina Jolie, th Goddess! 5 stars
1/21/00 Triple beautiful and moving, a real fable 5 stars
1/20/00 Sarah Provencher The movie sucks to be quite bold, but Angelina is brilliant and worth the movie alone. 5 stars
1/19/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" this movie is awesome, truely moving,,,amazing acting 5 stars
1/16/00 Joe Shapira ryder is amazing as always! definitely worth your time and $$! 5 stars
1/15/00 Malbert Interesting, sad movie...Jolie was great 3 stars
1/06/00 Ant major waste of time except for Jolie 2 stars
1/05/00 RetroGirl Stunning performances 5 stars
1/04/00 rigthzt ughzoru 5 stars
1/04/00 O.H. Bennett A very good story with outstanding performances all around--esp. from Jolie & Ryder 4 stars
1/02/00 Dor See this movie!! Amazing performances! Funny, thoughtful and interesting. 5 stars
12/25/99 Movie Person The movie was decent, but Angelina Jolie was awesome as usual. 4 stars
12/19/99 Aquarium Girl A beautiful, heart-breaking story. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Dec-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Jan-2000




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