THE BLOG
10/01/2014 07:56 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Movie Review: Gone Girl -- Let's Do the Twist

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There hasn't been a twisty, best-selling legal thriller whose film version was as anticipated as Gone Girl since, I would say, Presumed Innocent.

(And don't say Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because, by the time most Americans were aware of the novel, the entire trilogy had been filmed -- in Sweden.)

Like Scott Turow's breakthrough novel, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl -- novel and screenplay -- gives a thoroughly tense workout to the idea that no one knows what goes on inside any marriage except the two people who are in it. Flynn takes a story that's dark and twisted to start with, then adds a couple of turns and bends to make it even more unpredictable.

She also came up with a plot that's almost impossible to describe without spoiling its surprises, which are secreted through the tale like booby-traps. They go off with regularity, exploding your expectations about what might happen next.

But director David Fincher, working from Flynn's adaptation of her novel, keeps you guessing for more than an hour before the film makes the sharp turn that sends it careening in a new direction. Even then, as he moves back and forth in time and place, Fincher is still assembling a jigsaw puzzle whose image is not complete until its final minutes.

At center is a mystery: On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) goes out for a drive, then comes home to find his house looking like the scene of a home invasion and his wife missing.

This review continues on my website.