My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Like a companion piece to 2002’s underrated “Dahmer,” this semi-fictionalized account of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s adolescence is an engaging, compelling character study blessed with terrific acting. Lead Ross Lynch pulls off a neat trick of playing an inscrutable character without alienating the audience, managing to convey a heartbreaking, desperate desire for love and companionship without much dialogue, and Anne Heche is remarkable as his casually cruel mother. Director and screenwriter Marc Meyers manages to create a tasteful drama out of grisly, unimaginable brutality, and while the abrupt final few minutes come perilously close to exploitative, the movie manages to humanize its subject matter without ever excusing or defending him.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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