2This is the latest entry in director David Fincher's ("The Social Network," "Fight Club," "and "Se7en") impressive resume of dramatically tense thrillers that bend away from the light, both physically and, much more importantly, psychologically. Fincher has a gift for finding an intimate darkness in characters, even when extraordinary events are afoot. While I wouldn't put "Gone Girl" at the top of Fincher's successes, it is nonetheless a well-deserved entry.

Affleck and Pike deliver compelling performances as Nick and Amy Dunne. Their individual character work coupled with their complex interactions make a solid foundation that the rest of the film builds on well.

"Gone Girl" is a satisfying mind romp that is difficult, at the best of times, to predict. This is one of the best examples of a cinematic roller coaster I can think of, second only to "The Dark Knight." The action and drama rises and falls so often in "Gone Girl" I wasn't entirely sure when or where the movie would end. For a film that is two-and-a-half hours long to feel like it reached it's ending at about an hour and a half in is both an outstanding accomplishment and, at the same time, the film's greatest flaw. The final ascents and descents are less tightly wound than those in the first half of the film. As such, some of the tension starts to unravel. However, that moves "Gone Girl" out of outstanding-territory only slightly. If this is the precursor to the great cinema we can expect this fall, it looks like the holidays might be coming a little early.

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