The Dirties is one of my favorite films of the year, an exceptionally timed black comedy about a lonely, movie-obsessed boy getting lost in the project whose vicarious revenge against his bullies tips ever more precipitously into a literal quest for vengeance. Matt Johnson, director, co-writer and star, captures with uncomfortable accuracy the young man who can communicate only in obvious and obscure references, and who gets so fixated on the one thing that gives him solace that it becomes an escape from reality that threatens to horribly alter that reality. Yet it remains funny, Johnson's pubescent cherub face an open book as he naïvely carries on, deluded with flashes of self-awareness. And in the end, where his decisions start to become less about his rational, human choices than a slavish devotion to the narrative arc of his movie, that grim humor becomes fully tragic.
Read my full review at Spectrum Culture.