Quick Hit Movie Reviews #5: 'Gone Girl', 'The Loft' And 'The Boy Next Door'

The Quick Hit Movie Review feature is back! Eclectic Pop has parsed the crucial parts of each title's full-length movie review for your brief reading pleasure. If you would like to read further, simply click on the designated link. Kicking off the feature's return are 3 thrillers that share one distinct story thread; infidelity.

'Gone Girl', 'The Loft' and 'The Boy Next Door' all feature characters suffering the consequences for their wandering eye and it is because of that congruent theme they were paired together. Of interesting note is that the first two titles feature no redemptive characters as their protagonists, while 'The Boy Next Door' offers a much more sympathetic lead character at its epicenter. The answer to which movie earned the highest rating might surprise you...

[Image by 20th Century Fox]

"Gone Girl" (2014)

What do you get when two unlikable characters are embroiled in a mystery? The answer is a story that boasts hardly any emotional stakes. “Gone Girl” opens on the day that Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears. A concerned call to the cops turns their house into a crime scene and the court of public opinion is soon weighing in. Where is Amy? Is Nick (Ben Affleck) involved in her disappearance? From the outset the answer seems obvious.

 “Gone Girl” resonates as a film chock full of unrealized potential. In comparison to the racy erotic thrillers of the 80’s and 90’s, this is a cold imitation. Being asked to root for unlikable characters is not anything new.

These characters are just not interesting enough to warrant the passionate reaction the leads of those earlier films provoked. They are so tediously lacking in complexity that response to them readily settles into indifference. In the end, the questions surrounding the mysteries of "Gone Girl" become a cyclical churning of “who cares?” rather than “who’s guilty?”.

Rating: 6.4/10 – Read the full review

[Image by Open Road Films]

"The Loft" (2014)

To its credit, “The Loft” is a thriller that is genuinely surprising, never dull and entirely engrossing. Its various twists and turns, shy away from melodramatic shock value and the story progression avoids tedium with a tempo that keeps the story developing at a rapid enough pace to keep one on their toes, and a slow enough one to catch the crucial details.

Director Erik Van Looy terrifically handles the jumbled timeline and though it’s an element that is difficult to get used to at first, it ends up serving the story in a fashion that sidesteps sheer gimmickry.

Rating: 7.4/10 – Read the full review here

[Image by Universal Pictures]

"The Boy Next Door" (2015) 

In Jennifer Lopez’s starring vehicle, a gender reversal sparks a refreshing take on the erotic thriller. "The Boy Next Door" never takes itself too seriously, unabashed in its mischievous gleam. Just as director Rob Cohen did with his spin on the “Point Break” set-up of “The Fast and the Furious;" he infuses enough stylistic modifications to keep “The Boy Next Door” from being a complete copycat of similar fare. By doing so he has creates a guilty pleasure that is significantly pleasing and there’s no guilt in admitting it.  

Rating: 6.3/10 – Read the full review here 

[Featured Image by Universal Pictures /Open Road Films/ 20th Century Fox]