Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
At the Movies:
Although there are individual scenes of powerful acting, there doesn't seem to be a destination.
It has neither the clarity nor strength of purpose to engage an audience much beyond the converted.
Dallas Morning News:
As we take our mental health for granted, Girl, Interrupted does justice to those who ultimately can't.
New York Times:
You can drive yourself crazy, or you can get over it. The choice is yours.
Los Angeles Times:
What helps the film stay as honest as it manages to sporadically be are the purity and grace of its lead performances by Ryder and Angelina Jolie.
The film generates real empathy, without too much let's-laugh -at- the -crazy- people humor or too much stereotyping.
Ryder is no Jack Nicholson. And Whoopi Goldberg sure as hell ain't Louise Fletcher.
If only the story of Susanna's evolution didn't keep getting interrupted by everything else.
They've managed to avoid the usual asylum-movie cliches.
New York Daily News:
[Ryder] is often just a crumpled, listless figure on a bed, which, while true to the nature of depression, is not, cinematically speaking, the most arresting image.
The inclusion of this picture on [Mangold's] resume will only enhance his future prospects.
Not even foxy sociopath Angelina Jolie can save this nut-house drama.
San Francisco Chronicle:
A muddled production that misses the jarring tone of the autobiographical book by Susanna Kaysen on which it is based. The film is entertaining, but not very powerful.
Does it matter that every time Jolie's offscreen the film wilts a little? Ryder should be perfect as the bright spark; her lines are sharp as a knife. There's a gap, however, between what we hear and what we see.
Unevenly structured and directed, its sensibility only one notch above that of a Lifetime telepic.
Abby McGanney Nolan,
Ryder's is an earnest, well-meaning performance -- and she also coproduced the movie -- but the book's interesting tension and dark humor are pretty much absent.