David Fincher's brand new crime thriller Gone Girl hits theaters this weekend, and it's already building steam and a potential power playing in this year's Oscar race.
Everything from the atmosphere to the screenplay and even the performance delivered by Ben Affleck (a casting choice many seemed to have a problem with) is being lauded for its masterful presentation.
The film currently has a formidable 86% on Rotten Tomatoes (with 114 positive reviews and 19 negative ones.) However, there are still a few contentious voices who are arguing that Gone Girl is a perfect example of style of substance.
So, before you decided to make the effort to get off your couch and into a movie theater seat, let's round up some reviews to look at whether Gone Girl is worth the price of admission.
ON THE PERFORMANCES
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said:
"Affleck, who has never been more ideally cast, delivers a beautiful balancing act of a performance, fostering both sympathy and the suspicion that his true self lies somewhere between shallow jerk and heartless murderer. Pike… is powerful and commanding… Physically and emotionally, Pike looks to have immersed herself in this profoundly calculating character, and the results are impressive."
Justin Chang of Variety said:
"Affleck has done some of his finest screen work playing men of power and privilege suddenly brought low by fate… and he's perfectly cast as Nick Dunne, bringing just the right golden-boy-gone-to-seed air to a character who is slowly deprived of his dignity and privacy, inch by cruel inch."
"Affleck, who's had his own personal deer-in-the-headlights moments, gets Nick's combination of arrogance and likability exactly right, and Pike (memorable in An Education and Jack Reacher) is completely his equal in a performance that defies expectations at every turn."
Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair said:
Pike, in her measured English way, goes for broke. The results are mesmerizing. Her Amy is sharp, piercingly so, watchful and calculating, and, eventually, a ferociously focused angel of destruction. It's a star-makingly good performance, spellbinding in its operatic mix of tones and temperatures.
ON DAVID FINCHER'S DIRECTING
Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central said:
"When Fincher is good, time is like butter. When he stumbles… it's like every one of his fabled 50+ takes has been included in the final product."
Justin Chang of Variety said:
"Fincher is by now well versed in the art of misdirection, and his control of this material is assured and absolute… But what makes Gone Girl so particularly potent — and such an appropriate match for this filmmaker’s icy view of the human condition — is its deliciously cynical attitude toward the relationship at its core."
Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com said:
"That it's hard to tell whether Fincher has an opinion on anything he's showing us or is just sadistically bemused, like an evil child tormenting insects, somehow adds to the movie's dark vibrancy. This director is a misanthrope, no question. But misanthropes can be entertaining, and Gone Girl is that."
ON THE MOVIE ITSELF
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said:
"David Fincher's Gone Girl is a glossy, empty and ultimately unsatisfying — if undeniably entertaining — movie"
Kenneth Turan of the LA Times said:
"Gone Girl is the kind of portrait of a marriage that might have resulted if Alfred Hitchcock had watched a lot of Ingmar Bergman before getting down to work."
Ross Miller of The Verge said:
"Gone Girl succeeds as a critique of the marketplace of ideas — a rationale that, in free and public discourse, the truth will always emerge from competing ideas. The marketplace of ideas, according to Gone Girl, is bulls**t."
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said:
"Gone Girl is a great thriller until it stops being one, about 20 minutes before the finish. Until then it’s brilliant, not just a triumph of story but of strategy, a movie that keeps the audience grasping and reaching in all the wrong directions, while consistently delivering something a little better, a little crazier and a little more disturbing than expected. And then before it's over, it all kind of goes ... not to hell — it’s not as bad as that — but to purgatory, or limbo."
Despite detractors, Gone Girl has been getting overwhelmingly positive responses from critics, and will likely prove to be a formidable contender in the upcoming awards season.