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

Superheroe DC Universe free movies movie mission: impossible satire Esquire Fantasy Summer 79th Golden Globes Awards Baby Yoda critic resources video on demand serial killer IFC Films video VICE DC streaming service children's TV OneApp 2016 batman Star Trek CNN Stephen King Disney streaming service politics emmy awards SXSW sports slashers Paramount Network Ovation action-comedy dreamworks ABC christmas movies boxing 4/20 high school ESPN stop motion BBC America criterion deadpool Chernobyl YouTube Premium TIFF 007 73rd Emmy Awards nbcuniversal Amazon Prime Video The Purge superman Ghostbusters Grammys 72 Emmy Awards Character Guide AMC Dark Horse Comics olympics 20th Century Fox Marvel ratings razzies discovery Black Mirror cooking documentaries franchise cancelled posters FXX WarnerMedia Cannes Kids & Family scary movies superhero Fox Searchlight comiccon aapi Turner Classic Movies 21st Century Fox MTV halloween Oscars toronto Warner Bros. Drama Musicals dogs football know your critic Columbia Pictures Martial Arts dragons green book heist movie black die hard See It Skip It 93rd Oscars 2017 spanish language 99% scary Action Logo Hollywood Foreign Press Association SDCC BBC One composers Horror disaster medical drama ID X-Men Photos live action hist Christmas Instagram Live witnail zombies Captain marvel Sundance Pixar name the review women Wes Anderson Comedy Central Travel Channel aliens Red Carpet diversity space TCA Awards APB AMC Plus The Witch based on movie dc Creative Arts Emmys A24 Tomatazos 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards period drama ghosts BAFTA miniseries romance psychological thriller golden globe awards kong OWN cancelled TV series scorecard Adult Swim twilight LGBT Lucasfilm romantic comedy PaleyFest Comics on TV festivals BET robots blockbusters scene in color comic book movie Countdown pirates of the caribbean Mary Poppins Returns Alien Binge Guide japan golden globes nature HBO Go Vudu japanese TNT Lionsgate marvel cinematic universe Epix Academy Awards CBS All Access USA Network technology australia trophy cancelled television Anna Paquin Musical IFC Apple king kong Country DC Comics king arthur Chilling Adventures of Sabrina universal monsters Image Comics rom-coms Year in Review Syfy book adenture Walt Disney Pictures TCA 2017 facebook Election supernatural spider-verse HBO Star Wars TV One toy story critics Amazon Prime Tokyo Olympics quibi game of thrones Comedy Tags: Comedy TruTV doctor who Fall TV Thanksgiving war BBC LGBTQ Mystery suspense Awards Tour Ellie Kemper psycho TV renewals GLAAD Super Bowl crime drama live event Shondaland animated gangster venice south america spain Spring TV TCM mockumentary Winter TV reboot Biopics PlayStation Video Games indiana jones Writers Guild of America Freeform movies Music RT History CW Seed Classic Film italian Emmys indie monster movies Watching Series The CW cancelled TV shows Broadway American Society of Cinematographers biography Bravo Extras Fox News wonder woman Elton John Superheroes foreign cops 24 frames Podcast lord of the rings halloween tv Premiere Dates Sneak Peek Marvel Studios Marathons asian-american Cartoon Network Certified Fresh Animation Rom-Com vs. cinemax films blockbuster thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt dark laika spinoff james bond sequel godzilla Awards revenge historical drama ABC Signature HBO Max canceled TV shows genre natural history Film Festival spanish sag awards TV hispanic Tumblr 2020 MCU RT21 concert Nominations USA Television Critics Association independent talk show Spike science fiction nfl GoT Film Best and Worst 2019 TCA adventure versus travel comic 90s DirecTV vampires royal family prank zombie Starz obituary Legendary sitcom VH1 feel good Funimation Turner Pet Sematary Rocketman Pacific Islander child's play slasher docuseries mcc worst cars Paramount trailers stoner YA Interview hispanic heritage month festival docudrama international werewolf unscripted screen actors guild Apple TV Plus breaking bad black comedy ViacomCBS debate Sony Pictures Western rt labs Set visit SundanceTV strong female leads Comic Book Hallmark Christmas movies rotten Netflix Disney Channel Pop TV sequels biopic Women's History Month First Look crime theme song latino archives all-time A&E Opinion spy thriller E! series singing competition Cosplay 2015 Shudder political drama Universal streaming movies Rock MSNBC teaser dexter Trophy Talk hollywood fast and furious 1990s chucky Prime Video Tubi award winner Calendar marvel comics sopranos art house Holidays Acorn TV screenings stand-up comedy Pride Month TCA Winter 2020 streaming binge Mudbound FX Avengers FOX directors justice league Winners Holiday Toys Hear Us Out Peacock mob ABC Family YouTube anthology kids NBA young adult VOD best Hulu Amazon Studios BET Awards spider-man Amazon game show crime thriller The Walking Dead elevated horror hidden camera mutant adaptation Spectrum Originals harry potter dceu Trivia Neflix Sundance Now Britbox First Reviews casting ITV Mary poppins Brie Larson jurassic park Teen finale renewed TV shows TBS History Pop Nat Geo Schedule rt archives HFPA NBC PBS TV movies anime parents Food Network Tarantino The Arrangement a nightmare on elm street Disney+ Disney Plus blaxploitation 2021 transformers comics Sundance TV TV Land E3 Trailer basketball cartoon news Valentine's Day The Academy zero dark thirty Disney Plus GIFs telelvision Fargo President San Diego Comic-Con tv talk FX on Hulu Reality Reality Competition classics 71st Emmy Awards YouTube Red El Rey Box Office television crossover Quiz social media Infographic new york DGA true crime Endgame saw TLC french police drama comic books Nickelodeon Sci-Fi dramedy Polls and Games 2018 Black History Month Mindy Kaling Paramount Plus legend jamie lee curtis remakes kaiju comedies National Geographic Universal Pictures Showtime Family book adaptation Netflix Christmas movies rt labs critics edition Emmy Nominations Rocky Pirates Disney Apple TV+ Crunchyroll Lifetime Television Academy popular Crackle documentary CBS Lifetime Christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire joker cults cats Masterpiece 45 Heroines IMDb TV boxoffice target new star wars movies fresh Comic-Con@Home 2021 canceled Discovery Channel WGN new zealand CMT Exclusive Video Mary Tyler Moore richard e. Grant worst movies The Walt Disney Company NYCC Arrowverse Hallmark Marvel Television what to watch rotten movies we love comic book movies New York Comic Con reviews leaderboard