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Dead Man's Curve
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Dead Man's Curve More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I'd kill if I could get into Harvard!

Author: jotix100 from New York
9 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some universities and colleges would grant a 4.0 average to the roommates of students that commit suicide. That said, there is always someone who figures out a way to get rid of an obnoxious student if it would mean grades one didn't earn. Leave it to some college kids to figure out a way to get into prestigious schools with little intelligence to justify the artificially inflated grades given to them in order to appease the ordeals they've been through.

This is the premise of Dan Rosen's thriller "Dead Man's Curve". Mr. Rosen trying to capitalize on other movies directed to younger audiences, created a story with many twists and turns. Some of the plot devices work, while the viewer is left to ponder some of the logic behind what is presented on the screen. The film, as some of the comments do suggest, will resonate more with American audiences because they might be more aware of this curious fact that some of our higher institutions of learning reward students that come close to tragedy.

There are four people that can gain admittance to Harvard, one of the elite centers for learning in the country. Tim and Chris conspire to get rid of the boorish and obnoxious Rand and by doing so, they will be admitted to the place of their dreams, almost by osmosis, since they don't have the grades to prove their intelligence. But Rand's body is never found, so can it be considered a true suicide? When the police appears to interrogate them, Tim suddenly switches his story and Chris' account of what happened is questioned by the detectives.

The second plot involves Emma, who is Chris' girlfriend. She also has her own agenda. When Natalie, her roommate, who had been going with Rand, tests positive as being pregnant, puts the Canadian co-ed into a suicidal mood. Emma will stand to receive the good grades and has an assured future, or so it seems. It is at this point when another twist that comes out of nowhere occurs. Rand, who didn't die, resurfaces. His explanation doesn't convince, but here is where one gets to the real point in the film. Chris, it turns out has done some planning on his own, really wants to get rid of Tim.

The intense Matthew Lillard gives an over the top performance as Tim, the man at the center of the story. Michael Vartan plays Chris and Randall Baliskoff is seen as Rand. Keri Russell, a gorgeous creature, appears as the sweet Emma, an ambitious girl, herself. Dana Delaney's role is not justified as the psychiatrist that acts as a sort of a Catholic priest, knowing the students' secrets, but not coming forward to denounce what really is going on.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Lillard at his best

Author: joe elliott from Leicester, England
16 June 1999

Matthew Lillard always manages to be the shining light of a film. He was great in Scream, even better in She's All That,and somehow managed to go one better in Dead Man's Curve. It doesn't matter how bad the film is, you can always count on Matthew Lillard. He plays disturbed killer Tim who, with the help of his room mate Chris(michael vartan), plots to kill other room mate Rand(randall bakinkoff). The story gets even more intense however, when Chris' girlfriend finds out. Lillard gives a fantastic performance(as always). The rest of the cast though, trail behind. They're not terrible, but they're just not as watchable as Lillard who plays his psycho killer with acute accuracy. In my opinion, Lillard is one of Hollywood's best up and coming actors. He has a superb career ahead of him and this film is one huge stepping stone that will be remembered as his leap to success. Top film with a fun and twisted story that will keep you hypnotized throughout. Rating=5/5

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

a relatively obscure, but decent flick

Author: katdakay from United States
30 June 2008

The premise behind this movie is, how much is someone to compromise their morals in order to achieve academic gain? In the tradition of movies such as "The Perfect Score" and "Cheaters", but much, much darker, that question is answered...and then some. Matthew Lillard does an amazing job as a cunning, manipulative, and more than slightly psychotic college roommate willing to do anything to get ahead. The movie contains enough plot turns to make your head spin at times, but the acting is solid and the storyline was more than enough to keep me captivated throughout. Its an old question placed in a contemporary context, and it makes for a damn good horror film.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Twisted "Curve"

Author: NJMoon from United States
4 August 1999

"Scream"'s Matthew Lilard is at his insane best in this variation on student life. Unlike another film which took a comic approach to the "dead roommate equals good grades", this film is deadly serious. Good performances aside, the script meanders and lacks true thrills, making it slow going at times. But hang in for the ending - as usual, the best part of the curve is the twist.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

He'd rather kill than study

Author: helpless_dancer from Broken Bow, Oklahoma
8 April 2003

Insane college student figures out a way to get his grades the easy way. Murder. Everything goes his way as he outwits the police, fools the university staff, and pins the rap on his dopey partner. However, all is not as it seems and some surprises are in store for the viewer. Interesting little thriller, with some black comedy thrown in the mix: makes a guy wonder if such a rule could exist in a university without causing just such an incident.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lillard shines in an entertaining thriller

Author: yeltzmanmatt from Birmingham, England
1 December 2014

I remember watching this quite a few years ago and enjoying it and decided to re-watch it again to see if I still did.

It's an interesting idea and one that is executed very well. The plot is easy to follow and the fast paced script keeps things moving along nicely. There is plenty of suspense as the student plot to get higher grades spins out of control. The acting is mainly just passable apart from the always excellent Matthew Lillard who always plays the slightly maniacal jerk role so brilliantly and and there is an early appearance for the gorgeous Keri Russell.

There is a great twist ending which along with Lillard's performance elevates this film above average for it's genre.

This is not a great film by any means but it is very entertaining and well worth watching if you're at a loose end.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very Clever!

Author: flamethrower72 from United States
31 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just finished watching this movie. Sounded good so I thought I would see it. I will never regret it. This movie has a very good script and the acting is great. This could be one of Matt Lillard's best movies. This movie starts out when Tim (Matt Lillard) and his roommate Chris find out if their roommate commits suicide, you automatically get a 4.0. So they murder their roommate and make it look like a suicide. Finally, all the events lead up to the ending of the movie. I have to say this is the best and most clever and shocking ending I have ever seen. I would HIGHLY recommend seeing this movie. I give Dead Man's Curve: 9/10, or a 4.5/5.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

entertaining, but shaky...

Author: cecrle from U.S.
7 August 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I get a kick out of Mathew Lillard's wackiness, so this movie was enjoyable, but by the time it's over it has seriously weakened itself with its desperate plot contrivances. It starts out solid and interesting, without boring pauses or over-long set-ups. It's suspenseful to see Tim's (played by Lillard) obnoxious behavior after pushing his room-mate, Rand, off of the cliff (beginning of the movie, not a spoiler). But the movie goes awry when it tries too hard to force twists & turns into the plot. It's a little suspenseful, but it's really more unconvincing and plot-holed than anything else by the end. One of those times where you say, "Oh!" when the surprises first occur, but then start scratching your chin and saying, "Wait...if he did this and she did that, and they knew this, then why did he ever say that and why did they even do that? Would he really have done that?" etc. It sacrifices its plausibility for cheap shocks, which aren't all that great. But it is an entertaining flick, and I'm not disappointed I rented it. Pretty good as far as these types of movies go, I suppose. I enjoyed the music and movie references (The Smiths, Joy Division, and "The Deer Hunter" becomes "The Beer Hunter"), they made it kind of witty and "hip" before it scrambled to out-do itself with run-of-the-mill plot-twists. Watch it for casual kicks.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

And exercise that brain!!

Author: SvenDen from Michigan, USA
10 May 1999

This movie will send your brain through loops you didn't think possible. And don't even try to predict what's going to happen, because you'll be wrong. Trust me. But I know you will, anyway, because that's the fun part. The Curve appears to be a typical teen flick about getting a 4.0 GPA for having your roommate commit suicide. But it is much more, believe, me. The acting is surprisingly good, and, like I said, the plot is superbly done. Go rent it, and good luck figuring it out!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Aye, it's murder getting into Harvard.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
23 October 2009

Dead Man's Curve revolves around an urban legend that if your college roommate commits suicide, you get pass grades for the term to help ease your pain. Enter Chris {Michael Vartan} and Tim {Matthew Lillard} who decide to test this theory by offing their buddy Rand {Randall Batinkoff}. It's a deliciously evil premise that thankfully, in spite of the film's low reputation, makes for an enjoyable genre spliced viewing.

Directed and written by Dan Rosen, Dead Man's Curve has a clever plot at its core, our pair of rotters, tho Chris is a sheepish accomplice to the dominant Tim, set it up nicely by way of chatty concerns with the school psychologist and the shifty purchase of depressing music. Aided by some women troubles in the mix, the pair execute their plan, but all is not quite that simple as the plot unravels it twists and turns and delivers an ending that is as genius as it is unexpected. And that's in a good way as well.

The young cast, handsome and ebullient, do fine work here, particularly Lillard, who expands on his loony turn in Scream from two years earlier with much maniacal relish. The older actors, however, don't fair so well, courtesy of either being underwritten or merely for being plot fillers. But hey, if all lady psychologist's look like Dana Delaney then I'm going to sign myself up for a bit of therapy.

Naturally with a premise like this it's far from perfect and the implausibility factors are high, but Rosen has a wry observation on American dorm life. Be it the pressures of success or the need to be part of a group, Rosen and his on form cast have created a darkly comic piece of devilment. The soundtrack is excellent, and for sure it's laden with misery from the likes of The Smiths and Bauhaus, while the Elk Neck Lighthouse location work evokes memories of tidy creepers from days of yore.

A fine story told and executed well, give it a go and you may just be as pleasantly surprised as I was. 7/10

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