Gone Girl

Intelligent, mesmerizing, high-level pulp

When a man’s perfect, loving wife inexplicably goes missing and foul play is suspected, he finds himself at the center of a media circus as his own innocence comes into question. There. That’s really all I can tell you, because this is one of those flicks where, on a regular basis, you learn that everything you know is wrong. Don’t even read any other reviews, lest you spoil some of the delicious, titillating and gruesome twists coming your way.

One of the best movie mysteries since The Usual Suspects, this is a perfect match of material (Gillian Flynn scripts from her own best-seller) and director (David Fincher, who has charmed us with films like Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

It’s flawlessly cast, from top to bottom, starting with Rosamund Pike. I’ve always liked her character work, but I had no idea she had this kind of acting chops. And Tyler Perry is terrific in a rare non-Madea role as a celebrity defender of “wife killers.” Even Ben Affleck doesn’t suck. Intelligent and mesmerizing, this is excellent, high-level pulp. Two and a half hours but edge-of-your-seat all the way. (145 min)