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Dahmer (2002) Yes, it's THAT Dahmer, and Jeremy Renner, the young actor who plays him, gives a spectacular performance. Renner, with greasy bangs and a stare that… 2002-06-21 R PT101M Mystery and Thriller Jeremy Renner Dion Basco Bruce Davison Peninsula Films
Movie Review

Dahmer (2002)

MPAA Rating: R

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Jeremy Renner, Dahmer | PSYCHO TOO Renner's amazing performance gives us a closer look at Dahmer
PSYCHO TOO Renner's amazing performance gives us a closer look at Dahmer
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: Jun 21, 2002; Rated: R; Length: 101 Minutes; Genre: Mystery and Thriller; With: Jeremy Renner; Distributor: Peninsula Films

Yes, it's THAT Dahmer, and Jeremy Renner, the young actor who plays him, gives a spectacular performance. Renner, with greasy bangs and a stare that might appear oversensitive if it couldn't stretch a minute into eternal zombie hell time, suggests a spookier Tobey Maguire. He imbues Jeffrey Dahmer with a very solemn desolation that looks just enough like ''normal'' pain to let you in on the way that this repressed, lonely freak could pass himself off as just another sad-eyed outcast.

Written and directed by David Jacobson, Dahmer glides between past and present, re-creating Dahmer's life as a creepy tape loop of guilt, longing, and rage. Much of the time, we're simply watching him as he hangs out in his dank Milwaukee apartment with a sweetly naive young man (the audacious Artel Kayàru) whom he'd like to sleep with -- that is, if Dahmer weren't completely, pathologically passive. To explain a serial killer is to diminish his madness, but ''Dahmer'' does something quietly riveting. It lets you brush up against the humanity of a psycho, without making him any less psycho.

Originally posted Jul 11, 2002 Published in issue #663 Jul 19, 2002 Order article reprints