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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.

Director:

Christian Alvart

Writer:

Ray Wright
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Popularity
1,352 ( 464)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Renée Zellweger ... Emily Jenkins
Jodelle Ferland ... Lilith Sullivan
Ian McShane ... Detective Barron
Bradley Cooper ... Doug
Callum Keith Rennie ... Edward Sullivan
Adrian Lester ... Wayne
Kerry O'Malley ... Margaret Sullivan
Cynthia Stevenson ... Nancy
Alexander Conti ... Diego
Philip Cabrita ... Javier
Vanesa Tomasino ... Javier's Wife
Mary Black ... Custody Judge
Domenico D'Ambrosio Domenico D'Ambrosio ... Plainclothes Cop
Benita Ha ... Therapist
J. Winston Carroll 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MySpace | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Case 39 See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,350,570, 3 October 2010

Gross USA:

$13,261,851

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,189,979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chloë Grace Moretz and Isabelle Fuhrman were considered for the part of Lillith. Coincidently, this film opened in the United States the same week as Let Me In (2010), which starred Moretz. See more »

Goofs

When Emily is parking her car in front of Lilith's house she manages to breathe out three times without apparently breathing in. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes III: Not in 3D (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Jamaican Girl
Written by Eminem (as Marshall B. Mathers), Mike Strange, Luis Resto & Obie Trice
Performed by Obie Trice featuring Brick and Lace (as Brick & Lace)
Courtesy of Shady Records/Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Definitely a case of peaks and valleys.
6 November 2010 | by IheartCali5882See all my reviews

I found it somewhat difficult to rate this film in all honesty. Some elements are surprisingly good, while others are just cliché'd and melodramatic. I enjoyed it overall and would have given it an 8/9 had there not been various glaring inconsistencies that were impossible for me to ignore. I've never been one to overly obsess about plot holes or implausibilities, but at times Case 39 doesn't even bother to follow the rules that it's made for itself.

Renee Zellweger plays Emily, a child protective services worker, who ultimately saves a 10 year old girl, Lilly from her abusive parents. She takes a maternal interest in Lilly but problems arise shortly after having removed the girl from her home. At this point, even if you haven't seen the trailer (I didn't), you can guess where the story is headed. This is not a problem because it works in the films favor. The tension and buildup are excellent as we wait for Renee to catch up to where we are. We know what's going to happen and so it creates an uneasiness that stays with us throughout the entirety of the film. There are some genuinely creepy moments ( I think I counted 3), and a host of other cheap "jumpy" scenes that sometimes work and sometimes don't. The movie managed to catch me off guard a couple times, and seeing as how I'm a huge horror buff, I'd say that's impressive. More times than not, I can anticipate a scare, but there were some scenes that had me on edge.

The acting is adequate amongst all the principal characters, the direction choppy in places, the look of the film is beautiful. Once again I just had a problem with the factors that didn't add up. For instance, if a character is what the film says it is, then why can't it get itself out of the situation that occurs at the end of the film? By definition of what this character is, the laws that confine "normal" people shouldn't apply to it, right? Also the explanation for what "it" wants is very unclear and flimsy at best. Without a clear understanding of the motivation, without an answer to "WHY?", it left me feeling a little unstable about the whole story.

All in all, it's still a great way to spend a couple hours if you can spare them. I consider it money well spent. If nothing else, you will definitely be entertained.


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