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A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Edward Sullivan (as Callum Keith Rennie)
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Wayne
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Margaret Sullivan
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Nancy
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Diego
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Javier
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Javier's Wife
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Custody Judge
Domenico D'Ambrosio ...
Plainclothes Cop
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J. Winston Carroll ...
Judge (as John Carroll)
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Storyline

"Case 39" centers on an idealistic social worker who saves an abused 10-year-old girl from her parents only to discover that the girl is not as innocent as she thinks. Written by Unknown

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some cases should never be opened. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and terror including disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

1 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caso 39  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£183,088 (UK) (5 March 2010)

Gross:

$13,248,477 (USA) (12 November 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chloë Grace Moretz and Isabelle Fuhrman were considered for the part of Lillith. Coincidently, this film opened in the United States the same week as Let Me In (2010), which starred Moretz. See more »

Goofs

When Emily is parking her car in front of Lilith's house she manages to breathe out three times without apparently breathing in. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lillith Sullivan: [waking] I can see you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes III: Not in 3D (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Like Dat
Written by Stat Quo (as Stanley Benton), Gerald Griffin & Lt. Mo (as Todd Moore)
Performed by Stat Quo
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A surprise scary movie with two terrific performances
29 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Case 39 (2009)

The clever plot isn't quite clever enough to keep you going through the whole movie, but almost. And both Renee Zellwegger as the passionate and trapped social worker and Jodelle Ferland as the adorable but mysterious child are quite amazing. Both are actors at the best of their powers, Zellwegger limited only by the role and the writing, which is very good but not quite flexible enough to let her show as many of those perplexed and touching nuances she is so good at (seen equally in "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "Nurse Betty"). But it's possible Ferland has the role of her life here. She's not only playing a precocious child, but is clearly a precocious young actress, bright, expressive, surprising, and not merely cute. By the way she was fifteen when it was filmed, even though she looks and acts, in most ways, like she's ten.

You can't ignore the plot, of course, since this is a plot driven movie saved by two great actresses, not the other way around. And the story is a little bit of a formula with a twist. The twist is good, but it is singular. Eventually we are carried from a personal and social drama with some evil people to a supernatural drama. It's here where things get scariest, but also where things wobble slightly in terms of believability or logic, if logic has any place here. For example, once the antagonist is shown to have really limitless powers of some kind (possibly imaginary), why does this person not have the power to just kill someone out and out? There is dangled the idea that this bad force depends on fear to proceed, but this isn't developed clearly, or maybe you have to see it twice to get.

On the other hand, if you just go with the flow, it's really increasingly scary. There are some scenes, like the woman in the hospital room that turns into a kind of large oven, that are chilling and really well done. Certainly Zellwegger's character is able to find the outlines of logic as she tries to survive by outsmarting the situation, and we're on her side. Eventually it comes to a dramatic climax, and it's pretty exciting. A sleeper, for sure.


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