The Black Dahlia. Right at mid-point, you realize that Brian De Palma actually makes the Elizabeth Short murder, one of the most sensational in American history, humdrum. Worse, the entire film is spent with Josh Hartnett, who is attempting a medium cool but merely achieves dull. His weak performance doesn’t really matter, because you don’t know what the hell is going on anyway. The film is grotesque, confusing and embarrassing. Based on the first of author James Ellroy’s L.A. quartet, its only value is as a crappy comparator to the classic L.A. Confidential.