Movie Review: ‘The Gift’

The Gift this year’s mind-blowing Gone Girl offering. And in a time when movies are becoming more and more predictable, that’s saying a lot.”

– Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

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With a significant number of movies either made from successful bestselling novels or based upon true events, audiences more than ever are filing into theaters already knowing how these story-lines will unfold. Therefore, when a film is able to shock, surprise and keep movie-goers guessing until the final scene, a true cinema feat has been achieved and deserves to be applauded. The Gift now joins the ranks of 1999’s The Sixth Sense and last year’s well received Gone Girl for delivering a chilling psychological thriller that keeps its plot cards close to the vest.

Joel Edgerton writes, directs and stars in this tense conundrum, playing Gordo—an awkward creeper to a young couple moving into their new house. Nicknamed “Weirdo Gordo” back in high school, Edgerton’s character enters into the married life of Simon (Justin Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) after a random chance encounter that escalates quickly into troublesome meddling.

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In her breakout leading-lady role, Rebecca Hall provides the film’s best performance as wife Robyn. Hall’s perfect blend of graciousness and caution towards the misfit Gordo keenly balances out the shrewdness and anger displayed by her controlling husband, Simon. Hall’s slow simmer to acknowledge her intuitive Spidey senses while Simon goes overboard prejudging Gordo, reverberates an eerie feeling for viewers throughout.

The GiftA thoughtful but terrifying mystery adventure with several twists and turns, The Gift takes an awkward, creepy character and stresses audiences with clever, timely plot changes.

The young married couple that must cope and work together, learns more about each other with every menacing act and conversation posed by Weirdo Gordo. The Gift works because each character further develops in a seamless manner as circumstances and events unravel before our unbelieving eyes. Stellar work—particularly from Hall’s timid Robyn and Edgerton’s puzzling Gordo—make The Gift this year’s mind-blowing Gone Girl offering. And in a time when movies are becoming more and more predictable, that’s saying a lot.

Grade: A-

“The Gift” is rated R for language with a running time of 1 hour and 48 minutes.

A link to more on this movie:  “The Gift”

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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