Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Gone Girl’ Review: Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike & Carrie Coon

“This man of my mine may kill me.” -Amy Dunne

As a huge fan of Gillian Flynn’s best seller, David Fincher’s films, adoring both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike and recently discovering a newfound love for Carrie Coon after watching her in HBO’s The Leftovers, it’s needless to say that Gone Girl has been one of my most anticipated films of the year. Whenever a best selling book gets the green light to be adapted into a film, there’s always both excitement and skepticism from fans and critics.

Fortunately, finding out that Gillian Flynn was going to be adapting her own work into a screenplay, I knew that this adaption was at least going to be true to her mind-twisting thriller. Flynn’s original story about a modern marriage gone awry paired with Fincher’s precisely detailed direction is a match made in movie making Heaven.

On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home to discover that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is gone. After signs of an apparent struggle in their living room, Nick calls the police to report that his wife is missing. Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) arrive at the Dunne home and question Nick on his whereabouts that morning and search the house for any clues on Amy’s disappearance. Nick leans on his best friend and twin sister Margot (Carrie Coon) for support while he goes to the police station to answer more questions.

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Amy’s disappearance gains national media attention and when Nick can’t provide a stable alibi for the morning she goes missing, he becomes the focus of the media frenzy when they suspect he might not be innocent.

Fincher’s Gone Girl is intriguing, intense and mysterious as was reading Flynn’s novel for the very first time. Only few filmmakers can achieve the ability to evoke the same emotions from someone who already knows the story and make them feel the same way they felt while reading the novel. Clearly this is also a testament to Flynn’s meticulous screenplay, but it’s Fincher who guides the audience through the story as we have our eyes glued to the screen. One of the main reasons Gone Girl is such a wonderful and thrilling film to watch is that Fincher is able to tackle the serious subject of a woman’s suspected murder and also lighten it up with comedic moments throughout the film. Some of the dialogue is especially funny and very light-hearted. Fincher has not made a bad film but it’s clear that Gone Girl is one of his very best alongside Seven, The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Ben Affleck is exceptional as Nick Dunne, the handsome yet egotistical husband who is beside himself when his wife goes missing. After now seeing the film twice, it’s impossible to picture anyone else as the Irish stud. Rosamund Pike, whose work I have always admired and who has always been a supporting character in films like Pride & Prejudice and more recently in The World’s End, has found her stride as Amy Dunne. Pike exceeds expectations as the gorgeous blonde who goes missing and she and Affleck have intensely real chemistry in their scenes.


Tyler Perry also impresses as famous lawyer Tanner Bolt, who defends Nick, while Neil Patrick Harris is eerie and sentimental as Amy’s ex-boyfriend Desi Collings. Kim Dickens is engaging as Detective Boney, while Carrie Coon is just lovely as Nick’s caring sister Margot or as she is mainly referred to as Go.

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The compositions of Fincher’s films have always been a driving force, acting like a leading character in several ways, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score in Gone Girl is no different. Just like in The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the music is hauntingly beautiful and intense, very much like our lead characters in the film.

Gone Girl fulfills the fan expectations and there’s no doubt that more than a few will walk away wishing they had come across Flynn’s work earlier. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike give two of the most memorable performances of the year as Nick and Amy Dunne, while Fincher still succeeds as one of Hollywood’s most talented filmmakers.

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