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Case 39 (2009)

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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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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Edward Sullivan
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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:

They'll never stop. October 1 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:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£183,088 (UK) (5 March 2010)

Gross:

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

This film was completed in 2007 and took three years to finally get released in the United States. See more »

Goofs

The insects attacking Douglas in the bathroom are said and believed to be Hornets. However their appearance is black and they look more like flies. Hornets would really be brown-and-yellow striped and with an appearance more akin to that of a wasp. Hence hornets are a species of wasp. Black hornets ( a species of Asian Giant Hornets), however do exist but they grow to be at least two inches long give or take and would not be able to succeed in flying out of Doug's ears and nose. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Outlast (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Army Of Angels
Performed by Nadeshda Brennicke
Music by Michl Britsch and Nadeshda Brennicke
Lyrics by Nadeshda Brennicke
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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