Weekend Reviews: Thumbs are up for “Gone Girl,” “Good Lie,” — Reitman, Rapture and Scary dolls, not so much

I figured I’d be a bit of an outlier as far as reviews go for David Fincher’s latest. “Gone Girl” is a fairly tricky thriller in which the director of “Zodiac” and “Social Network” never really grabs because he gives away the twists too easily. A little miscasting — No, Neil Patrick Harris CANNOT pull off EVERYthing. As a comment on relationships and women, the film based on Gillian Flynn’s novel has surprises, but those are around the periphery. Not one of his very best — just pretty good. Reviews are leaning heavily into the Fincher swoon territory, but I’m not alone in seeing it as more like his “Dragon Tattoo” remake — uninspired.

“The Good Lie” also has a hint of Oscar buzz about it, but the Reese Witherspoon consideration seems grossly overstated. She’s not in the movie that much, it’s not about her, etc. etc. Good reviews for this one, too. I was OK with it, but the people who didn’t like it REALLY didn’t like it. “Dishonest” a couple of reviewers said.

After “Labor Day” And “Young Adult,” and now “Men, Women & Children,” it may be time to send Jason Reitman back to indie world. The “Up in the Air” director isn’t pulling off his ambitious, well-cast relationship dramas any more. He’s like Cameron Crowe or Lawrence Kasdan. And far too young to write off. But something isn’t working, and a return to indie film may keep him employable. Otherwise — more bombs, more bad reviews. “Men, Women” is getting worse pans than “Labor Day,” and that’s not good.

“Annabelle,” an old fashioned ghost story with “Conjuring” connections, should do some business. Most critics, like me, thought the lead was just bad enough to not recommend it. But it’ll make you jump.

“LEft Behind” isn’t going to please Christian Rapture buffs or those who ridicule them. A straight-laced thriller that never uses the “R-word,” it’s not a humiliation for Nic Cage or anybody else involved. It’s just not that interesting or gripping. Some grabber moments, here and there. Better director would have gotten something out of a movie about the Saved disappearing from the Earth in a flash. Terrible reviews for this one.

 

 

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