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

TV renewals Lionsgate nbcuniversal young adult Prime Video rt labs based on movie all-time First Look RT21 Lucasfilm remakes ghosts joker The Academy razzies worst movies boxing Fox News Quiz hidden camera Netflix Mary poppins Bravo Countdown Marvel Studios animated Fantasy interviews 2018 Food Network richard e. Grant 1990s justice league Pixar teaser cancelled TV shows DC Universe football Esquire reviews pirates of the caribbean YA LGBT 99% Native green book gangster thriller revenge dceu satire Captain marvel Holiday zombies GoT live action 2017 Polls and Games directors Sci-Fi South by Southwest Film Festival Character Guide kaiju The Witch mcc Sundance Now RT History Extras Election The Walking Dead tv talk AMC Plus Superheroe FXX Disney streaming service doctor who stoner Interview slasher Horror politics Hallmark Christmas movies streaming movies indiana jones Nat Geo Masterpiece Academy Awards strong female leads comedies TV One free movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina japan Mary Tyler Moore TV 007 Image Comics USA Network Hear Us Out nfl SXSW 2022 psychological thriller Summer 24 frames VICE dark SundanceTV Nominations black comedy docudrama BET Universal Pictures binge blockbusters jamie lee curtis news Music Trophy Talk cats TruTV twilight Comic-Con@Home 2021 cancelled TV series discovery FX police drama HBO TCA Awards Tubi critics concert witnail Epix biopic new star wars movies dexter Turner comiccon renewed TV shows fast and furious Watching Series anime Fall TV Fargo comics ViacomCBS posters Family video on demand Cartoon Network Sundance TV Walt Disney Pictures Paramount Plus Amazon Studios godzilla Spike trailers japanese true crime 20th Century Fox The Purge NBA sag awards 94th Oscars Syfy Winners Year in Review DGA venice Crunchyroll anthology video BBC One spider-verse OWN elevated horror Musical ratings rt archives Emmys El Rey scene in color christmas movies feel good Disney Plus The CW TV Land Photos Red Carpet foreign basketball Classic Film Starz medical drama TCA Mudbound Premiere Dates Comics on TV 2020 Country adenture BBC America PlayStation Tumblr Awards Tour high school New York Comic Con TV movies TIFF adaptation Box Office SDCC laika USA Black History Month obi wan ITV batman dogs Marathons Sneak Peek what to watch Trivia criterion San Diego Comic-Con diversity art house biography BET Awards streaming game of thrones spanish Netflix Christmas movies italian Stephen King Film Festival broadcast spy thriller suspense YouTube Red Certified Fresh WarnerMedia YouTube Disney Channel marvel cinematic universe supernatural Rocketman The Arrangement hispanic scary movies Ovation Tarantino GIFs finale Avengers Discovery Channel Hollywood Foreign Press Association HFPA dreamworks sequels superhero Lifetime Christmas movies Best Actor IFC Films PaleyFest universal monsters prank name the review Sundance Women's History Month Broadway sitcom television Marvel Television Star Wars Celebration die hard Black Mirror summer TV Apple TV+ AMC cartoon TCM know your critic composers Calendar HBO Go ABC Family ABC Signature target french jurassic park comic book movie reboot king arthur Oscar Schedule A24 Teen hispanic heritage month Rocky Television Critics Association toronto singing competition documentary Comic Book Star Wars heist movie Pop TV book adaptation social media child's play festival boxoffice cooking movies ID latino halloween tv GLAAD Best Actress trophy quibi vs. Paramount Apple TV Plus IMDb TV rotten Set visit sports Hallmark unscripted films halloween Infographic hist HBO Max black blaxploitation Showtime romantic comedy game show Turner Classic Movies Funimation Winter TV spinoff Universal Heroines 73rd Emmy Awards 45 target scene in color independent Best Director docuseries Oscars MGM adventure indie Marvel CBS All Access summer preview kids Emmy Nominations Apple Hulu Amazon History Peacock travel Warner Bros. versus OneApp war debate emmy awards scary Reality TNT technology PBS 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Song of Ice and Fire Disney+ Disney Plus Tags: Comedy mission: impossible asian-american Animation Anna Paquin Rock APB Wes Anderson Alien aliens Shudder Martial Arts BAFTA franchise blockbuster Christmas miniseries IFC LGBTQ National Geographic comic book movies children's TV E! Crackle Lifetime MSNBC CNN Shondaland ESPN nature Tomatazos CMT A&E theme song monster movies disaster Legendary Reality Competition series Brie Larson Pride Month breaking bad Nickelodeon CW Seed Neflix Amazon Prime Video deadpool mob Disney screenings YouTube Premium robots lord of the rings festivals 4/20 Pop james bond E3 Paramount Pictures DC Comics Tokyo Olympics a nightmare on elm street FX on Hulu classics Awards Western Instagram Live sopranos Columbia Pictures action-comedy dc TBS Best and Worst obituary 90s crossover Vudu TCA 2017 cancelled spain Acorn TV talk show crime thriller Grammys Valentine's Day DirecTV FOX science fiction Paramount Network Sony archives Kids & Family 93rd Oscars Amazon Prime Cosplay Indigenous south america BBC kong Sony Pictures harry potter olympics Travel Channel Chernobyl President canceled Logo Film leaderboard Drama award winner marvel comics Freeform zombie streamig cults Ghostbusters critic resources Ellie Kemper The Walt Disney Company scene in color film series genre TCA Winter 2020 rotten movies we love Superheroes Mystery historical drama live event Comedy Central summer TV preview CBS cinemax comic slashers See It Skip It casting hollywood international 72 Emmy Awards Pet Sematary fresh Fox Searchlight movie Action Podcast Star Trek parents 21st Century Fox romance australia new zealand stop motion Baby Yoda Opinion transformers royal family scene in color series sequel VH1 cars worst WGN golden globe awards psycho American Society of Cinematographers cops rom-coms Dark Horse Comics screen actors guild wonder woman political drama VOD Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt superman Biopics Focus Features documentaries Elton John werewolf 2021 space Mindy Kaling TLC crime drama popular 71st Emmy Awards MCU Creative Arts Emmys 2016 Super Bowl MTV Mary Poppins Returns crime stand-up comedy Spectrum Originals rt labs critics edition scorecard Arrowverse serial killer X-Men Trailer Cannes dramedy Video Games legend chucky spider-man 2015 canceled TV shows Spring TV Rom-Com NBC Thanksgiving Writers Guild of America mutant aapi Geeked Week vampires Pirates spanish language 2019 Exclusive Video Musicals facebook king kong period drama NYCC Television Academy best dragons mockumentary Comedy natural history cancelled television Adult Swim First Reviews toy story SXSW DC streaming service golden globes Holidays telelvision women Toys Binge Guide zero dark thirty new york Endgame comic books book Pacific Islander Britbox Best Picture 79th Golden Globes Awards saw ABC