Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are writers who met, fell in love, and got married in New York and now live in Missouri, where he teaches creative writing and helps his twin sister run a bar. They’re just about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary when she goes missing, and a shattered glass coffee table suggests something bad happened.
Her wealthy parents, writers themselves, fly in to launch an effort to find her, and when the media discover that the missing woman was the basis for their hugely popular series of “Amazing Amy” children’s books, the disappearance becomes major national news.
Adapted by Gillian Flynn from her 2012 bestselling novel and told partly in flashbacks, this a quite good mystery-suspense film full of twists and surprises. There’s one scene of fairly graphic violence, and some elements of the plot are disturbing, but the story is also satirical, nicely skewering the modern news media’s tendency toward herd coverage of Big Stories, and some might view the whole thing as a very, very dark comedy.
The cast is excellent, including Tyler Perry as a celebrity lawyer, Neil Patrick Harris as Pike’s now-ultra-rich high school sweetheart, Carrie Coon as Affleck’s supportive twin sister, Kim Dickens as a local police detective, Missi Pyle as a parody of Nancy Grace, and Sela Ward (who incidentally looks about 30 but is nearly 60) as the host of a talk show.
Recommended, but probably not a good date movie.