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131 Ratings

The Dirties

Directed by Matt Johnson
Canada, United States, 2013
Drama, Crime, Thriller


Examines a story of two kids who set out to tell their version of a school shooting that starts out as a simple class project and turns into something infinitely more devastating. While working on a movie about their revenge on school bullies, the lines between fiction and reality blur.

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The Dirties Directed by Matt Johnson

Awards & Festivals

Slamdance Film Festival

2013 | 2 wins including: Best Narrative Feature (Grand Jury Prize)

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards

2014 | Winner: Jay Scott Prize

2014 | Nominee: Best Canadian Feature Award

At its best, docufiction has the ability to challenge our attitude towards a given topic while constantly shifting the parameters of its own reality. For his provocative, urgent debut, writer/director Matt Johnson flips the film-within-a-film device on its head in order to tackle a complex social issue from a startlingly fresh perspective. Though not without its flaws, The Dirties is a bold calling card that’s certain to stir debate.
June 05, 2014
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The deft bridging of the film’s clever structural gimmicks with its central character helps enhance the film’s late turn to horror—a final tour of the school halls, each cut jumping into a camera being set up on lockers, is a nightmare in near-silence—but it also generates such an empathetic connection between audience and character that Matt’s delusion becomes tragic.
October 07, 2013
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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. Capturing the downward spiral of Matt (played by the director, Matt Johnson), an excitable high schooler terrorized by bullies and obsessed with bloodthirsty movies, this found-footage exercise unfolds with shocking credibility.
October 03, 2013
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