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October 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Reviews of director David Fincher’s Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Rosmund Pike, are overwhelmingly positive. However, the handful of critics who didn’t like it really didn’t like it. Rex Reed in the New York Observer fired a volley of invectives at the movie: "Preposterous, illogical, senselessly over-plotted and artificial as a ceramic artichoke. … a stultifying bore." But Reed also uses his review to criticize his colleagues who praised the film: "Another example, I guess, of today’s hysterical, overhyped media reaction to everything confusing, overwrought and drowning in pretentious overkill." Reed is not without some distinguished company. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times refers to Fincher as "one of those filmmakers whose technical prowess can make the mediocrity of his material seem irrelevant (almost), … His art can overwhelm characters and their stories to the point that they fade away." And Lou Lumenick in the New York Post comments that Fincher "badly stumbles" with this "glossy, empty and ultimately unsatisfying — if undeniably entertaining — movie." But those discordant notes are drowned out by an otherwise chorus of praise for the film. "Gone Girl shows the remarkable things that can happen when filmmaker and material are this well matched," writes Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News praises it as a "hypnotically great movie." Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune calls it "a stealthy, snake-like achievement. … designed to make you squint, recoil and then lean in a little closer." And Claudia Puig in USA Today writes, "If Alfred Hitchcock were alive today, he’d surely have wanted to film Gone Girl. But the brilliant Fincher may just be his successor, having done the job magnificently."