Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Gone Girl is Certified Fresh

Plus, Annabelle, Left Behind, and new TV.

by | October 2, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a mysterious disappearance (Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike), a spooky doll (Annabelle, starring Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton), and the end of the world (Left Behind, starring Nicolas Cage and Lea Thompson). What do the critics have to say?

Gone Girl


As the old promotional tagline goes, “You’ve read the book — now see the movie!” In the case of David Fincher‘s Gone Girl (adapted from Gillian Flynn‘s page-turning bestseller), critics say that’s sage advice, for the film is a psychologically penetrating thriller that’s chilling and darkly funny — and it features a performance from Rosamund Pike that’s likely to catapult her to the big-time. Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Pike) are a seemly idyllic couple. However, when Amy goes missing, and the media descends on their small Midwestern town, Nick looks increasingly suspicious. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Gone Girl is well-acted, intelligent, and deeply unsettling — in short, what we’ve come to expect from Fincher. (Watch our video interview with the cast and crew here.)



That creepy doll Annabelle cut such a striking presence in The Conjuring that she got her own movie. Unfortunately, the critics say it’s too bad she couldn’t get a better one; despite a few undeniably effective scares, Annabelle is by and large a compendium of horror movie cliches. A young couple with a baby on the way witnesses the shocking murder of their neighbors by a satanic cult. Soon, our heroes experience sinister goings-on throughout their house ; could that weird vintage doll the husband purchased be the cause? The pundits say Annabelle is a pretty generic haunted house flick, though it’s spooky enough on occasion to wish it were more.

Left Behind


Nicolas Cage plus the Book of Revelations should equal apocalyptic excitement, right? Apparently not. Critics are less than — ahem — enraptured by Left Behind; they say it’s a limp, clumsily crafted potboiler with cheesy special effects and minimal character development. Based upon the bestselling novels by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, the film stars Cage as Rayford Steele, a disaffected airline pilot who witnesses several passengers and crew members vanish in mid-flight. Steele must safely land the plane while chaos reigns on the ground. The pundits say Left Behind is mostly amateurish and largely bereft of thrills.

Fresh on TV this week:

This Amazon Prime dramedy is winning high praise for its honest, empathetic, and funny depiction of a dysfunctional family; critics say Transparent (98 percent) features top-notch performances from the likes of Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, and many more.

Gracepoint (73 percent) is an American adaptation of the critically-adored British detective series Broadchurch, both of which star David Tennant. And while critics say it’s not quite as sharp as its predecessor, it’s sophisticated and stylish, and features a strong lead performance from Anna Gunn.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Nas: Time Is Illmatic, a documentary about the making of one of hip hop’s greatest albums, is at 100 percent.
  • Last Hijack, a documentary about the life of a Somali pirate, is at 100 percent.
  • The Blue Room, a thriller about a man whose adulterous affairs lead to serious trouble, is at 90 percent.
  • For Those In Peril, a drama about a man who survives a mysterious fishing boat accident off the coast of Scotland, is at 89 percent.
  • The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon in a drama about a group of Sudanese refugees who attempt to make new lives for themselves in the United States, is at 85 percent (check out our interview with the cast here).
  • Copenhagen, a drama about a man who befriends a teenage girl while searching for his grandfather in Denmark, is at 83 percent.
  • Harmontown, a documentary portrait of Community creator Dan Harmon, is at 60 percent.
  • The Decent One, a documentary about how Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler thought about his actions, is at 50 percent.
  • Men, Women & Children, starring Jennifer Garner and Adam Sandler in a dramedy about the ways that technology has changed the way that parents and teens communicate, is at 40 percent.
  • Inner Demons, a horror film about reality show subject who appears to be a drug addict but may be suffering from something even scarier, is at 40 percent.
  • A Good Marriage, starring Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia in a thriller about a woman who makes a shocking discovery about her husband, is at 38 percent.
  • The Liberator, a biopic of Simón Bolívar and his fight for Latin American independence from Spain, is at 27 percent.
  • The Hero of Color City, an animated adventure about anthropomophic crayons featuring voice performances by Christina Ricci and Craig Ferguson, is at 20 percent.
  • Drive Hard, starring John Cusack and Thomas Jane in a thriller about a racecar driver who’s enlisted to drive the getaway car as part of daring heist, is at eight percent.

Tag Cloud

Television Critics Association BET video finale strong female leads Ghostbusters The Arrangement GoT Mary Tyler Moore Food Network BBC America Nat Geo Black History Month PBS Baby Yoda Best and Worst Certified Fresh Christmas Amazon Studios boxoffice movies Hallmark Christmas movies Crunchyroll Rocketman comiccon BBC Pixar Masterpiece Travel Channel TBS animated travel Captain marvel Cosplay a nightmare on elm street book indie ABC Family Sci-Fi Turner Tomatazos Comedy twilight universal monsters Holidays franchise TV renewals stoner doctor who IFC Films MTV CMT dogs DC Universe tv talk chucky Pop TV ITV ESPN vampires miniseries dark Marathons VH1 Ellie Kemper Schedule romance YA Pirates Winners movie films blockbuster Pet Sematary Photos directors CW Seed cats Academy Awards Interview YouTube Premium anthology Mary poppins toy story Biopics Peacock Video Games Funimation talk show Stephen King CNN Lifetime Christmas movies comics E3 Action Opinion Hallmark news Paramount scary movies Apple TV Plus free movies Disney christmas movies Sundance TV Song of Ice and Fire cancelled spain VICE canceled TV shows Walt Disney Pictures FOX asian-american LGBT Spike dramedy name the review Reality all-time Marvel Television Comic Book Epix 45 Sneak Peek The Witch DC Comics concert kids PaleyFest werewolf Women's History Month theme song cancelled television Arrowverse cancelled TV shows space dragons Superheroes video on demand unscripted cops TruTV Awards Apple El Rey Character Guide Super Bowl sequel Film Festival slashers Grammys spinoff police drama 2019 ABC BET Awards binge mockumentary sports Fantasy Disney+ Disney Plus 2016 Summer Columbia Pictures Turner Classic Movies Pride Month Teen Starz OneApp mutant critics Amazon Prime Countdown zero dark thirty Universal APB First Look Fox News TV Comics on TV Esquire thriller 24 frames 21st Century Fox green book cars crime die hard WarnerMedia The Purge X-Men MSNBC documentaries Binge Guide supernatural Set visit best Adult Swim game of thrones Sony Pictures Writers Guild of America Holiday comedies TCA Awards Showtime Disney Channel nature GIFs Paramount Network dceu Drama festivals CBS All Access Pop ghosts streaming composers Netflix Christmas movies Warner Bros. Creative Arts Emmys Mystery Western Red Carpet NYCC A24 cancelled TV series game show Trailer TCM History Mudbound Rocky Quiz Television Academy medical drama Lucasfilm TV Land Marvel spanish language IFC BBC One Rom-Com mission: impossible Animation Podcast elevated horror OWN hispanic TIFF cooking versus Valentine's Day Black Mirror joker Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Fall TV Emmy Nominations Spectrum Originals Lifetime war Shudder Mindy Kaling psycho historical drama Discovery Channel Tubi DC streaming service DirecTV Trivia robots Trophy Talk USA PlayStation serial killer 2020 Thanksgiving revenge Year in Review Marvel Studios FX VOD true crime 2018 crossover NBC Mary Poppins Returns criterion cartoon series Dark Horse Comics casting A&E politics FX on Hulu singing competition teaser Britbox witnail TCA 2017 2015 based on movie San Diego Comic-Con Sundance Brie Larson canceled ratings Extras facebook social media rotten movies we love WGN 20th Century Fox harry potter Spring TV spy thriller child's play 4/20 The Walking Dead Infographic Elton John golden globes adaptation Lionsgate crime thriller DGA Musical YouTube zombies Shondaland Hulu Freeform GLAAD biography The CW Toys Horror Logo south america anime transformers satire Vudu Country sag awards Cannes RT History jamie lee curtis documentary Hear Us Out 2017 children's TV reviews Endgame Reality Competition Musicals First Reviews Sundance Now FXX comic period drama USA Network MCU AMC political drama Star Wars American Society of Cinematographers discovery Premiere Dates Superheroe renewed TV shows sitcom HBO Go Cartoon Network President RT21 Nominations 007 stand-up comedy HBO breaking bad adventure Comedy Central Kids & Family Music screenings Awards Tour SDCC TCA Winter 2020 parents psychological thriller Apple TV+ National Geographic CBS Syfy Calendar aliens Election Family latino Acorn TV Rock Chernobyl TLC Emmys SundanceTV television Ovation richard e. Grant quibi Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt E! Disney Plus award winner Martial Arts hist Classic Film dc YouTube Red cinemax batman disaster HBO Max Amazon Disney streaming service Star Trek technology blaxploitation TNT docudrama Netflix indiana jones Bravo independent screen actors guild Oscars natural history See It Skip It Film Polls and Games romantic comedy what to watch diversity LGBTQ crime drama TCA cults Winter TV Anna Paquin Tarantino Box Office halloween foreign reboot Watching Series New York Comic Con zombie Heroines Avengers Amazon Prime Video 71st Emmy Awards Nickelodeon Tumblr spider-man justice league science fiction BAFTA SXSW Crackle