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Dark Places
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Dark Places More at IMDbPro »

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51 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Dark Places indeed

8/10
Author: Eric von Dorster (evondorster) from Paris, France
31 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What do you expect from a story with a title like that? You do indeed find them in this earnest and thoughtful movie. A fifteen-year-old boy accused of pedophilia and Satan worship who gets his girlfriend pregnant and is then accused of murdering his mother and two sisters by his third sister - how much darker can you get without it seeming too contrived?

As with Flynn's other tale brought to the cinema, Gone Girl, there is a mystery at the heart of the story that leads to a surprise ending that has been carefully built up but is nonetheless completely unexpected. A constellation of great character actors helps populate this dreary landscape of poverty and despair. And it does end with a note of resolution and hope. The truth shall set you free.

The plot revolves around an event that takes place in 1985 and an investigation thirty years later that seeks justice for the boy sent to jail for killing three family members. Fans of the book should be pleased with the faithful and sensitive adaptation.

I went last night to the world premiere in Paris. Charlize Theron was there, thanking the French people for understanding her attraction to dark places. Her brilliant performance may not get her another Oscar - the film itself is not the sort of story that many will find entertaining - but she has again created a memorable character who suffers and is redeemed.

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37 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Always skeptical about a movie based on a good book - was not disappointed...

7/10
Author: skitzavolly15 from United States
1 August 2015

A lot of people compare Dark Places to Gone Girl and say, book-wise, Gone Girl was the better book. I actually liked Dark Places better, so when I found out they were making it into a movie, I was of course skeptical about whether or not it'd be good. I just finished watching it and was happy that my skepticism was for naught - this movie stayed true to the book. Casting was done well and the flow proved that the screenplay writers & director paid attention to the original book.

The book is dark, has some twists and turns and doesn't gloss over anything. Where in Gone Girl I felt like some scenes were made a little lighter for the screen, Dark Places doesn't have that issue. The sets were also very accurate - it's been YEARS since I read the book, but while watching the movie everything came back to me...the layout of the farm house, the crappy apartment Libby lived in as an adult with her collection of stolen items...all the way down to crap hole Runner was living in...

This is not going to be a big blockbuster. Most people will not like it (as you can tell by the ratings) but I will tell you, if you like thrillers/mysteries with twists and turns then watch it. If you've read the book, watch it. It's not the greatest movie ever done, but it was good enough that I felt compelled to write my first IMDb review.

And even if you don't watch the movie, read the book. If you like Patterson, Demille or Clancy, you'll like Dark Places.

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43 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Another gripping mystery filled crime drama?

7/10
Author: paul_3-960-896774
10 April 2015

Dark Places was interesting but not as riveting as I had hoped. I never had a chance to read the book - because the movie came out very early in France - so I watched the film with fresh eyes not knowing what I was in for. Problem solver that I am, I watched the film looking for clues but I fairly quickly had all the right suspects lined up before I even got through a quarter of the movie. I don't know if it's a testament to my "mad" deductive skills or a lack of mystery in the story telling. The exact same thing happened to me with Gone Girl - the book - which is why I didn't finish reading it. I guess I was hopping for more of a challenge with Dark Places, something that would have surprised me at the end.

Anyway, I still enjoyed the film, particularly how Libby's past memories were shot. They had an 1980s feel to them, I mean in the quality of the images, they had an old VHS tape look to them. They were grainy and shaky, which also gave them an horror movie vibe, while at the same time illustrating how Libby feels about them.

The film is like the title suggest dark, and I'm not just talking about the murders but the whole context the characters are in. It's socially realistic, you really feel for the struggling mother (Christina Hendricks) and her kids, the poverty and the hardship of their situation is almost palpable and that's thanks to Hendricks' performance. The rest of the cast is good but Christina Hendricks and Corey Stoll stand out and elevate the film.

So to me Dark Places really depicts how prejudices, despair, and a bunch of white lies can snow ball and change people's lives forever. It's definitely not thriller of the year but the film is not boring. @wornoutspines

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49 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Haven't read the book, I liked this movie a lot

9/10
Author: glorygopi from India
14 April 2015

I am one of the lucky guys to watch this movie in Paris earlier than the fans around the world. After the initial 30 minutes, the movie starts picking up its pace which was maintained till the end.The screenplay and direction were near perfect.

Needless to say, Charlize Theron has done an amazing job in acting. She carries the film on her shoulder from the beginning to the end. Next to her, Chloe has done a good job. Apart from these actors, the other people play a little role.

I can say that it's better than Gone Girl. Just go for it people. You won't get disappointed. My rating : 9/10.

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46 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

Very Good

9/10
Author: julesfromny from United States
8 April 2015

Unlike Gone Girl (which I liked a lot), this movie does not have a major plot twist in the middle. This is a Whodunit, with the finger pointed on a different character every 15 minutes or so. And instead of flashy, campy directing by David Fincher, Paquet- Brenner opts for social realism and... dark. Which is a good thing, because it keeps the focus on the plot which is thick, and moves at breakneck speed. The past and the present are interwoven seamlessly until the end, which was surprisingly moving - and for my money more satisfying than Gone Girl's. The acting is solid throughout, with special mention to Christina Hendricks and Corey Stoll as the emotional core. Hendricks is absolutely stellar. Gillian Flynn's unique voice comes through in the Voice Over narration and the dialogues which are at times funny and quite cynical. This time, the themes are growing up as a victim, confronting your past, the satanic panic of the 80's, as as with Gone Girl, the lies we tell ourselves and others. Definitely worth the price of admission. 9/10

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A great indie mystery.

8/10
Author: albertojleal1
12 August 2015

A great little movie. Slow and intense, it tells a very good story. Compelling as well as intriguing, the movie real characters. Normal human beings that for better or for worse are people dealing with their life in a desperate way of making things better. It is heart braking as well as full of hope even is the latter is harder to find at times. I had a great time watching this movie but I also didn't expect it to be Gone Girl - which is directed by David Fincher. Gilles Paquet-Brenner gives us a good mystery with a secret that doesn't reveal itself until the very end. Great cast, good script but this movie is more challenging than Fincher's. Gave it your absolute attention, and you will be rewarded.

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27 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

VERY underrated suspense thriller!

9/10
Author: closerlookfilms from Arizona
4 August 2015

I'm going to do this short and sweet: This film starts out like an episode of "True Detective" or "Touching Evil", and then as it comes down to the final inning, shifts into a beautifully paced and developed revelation, that is truly unexpected and chilling.

Charlize Theron, as always, is amazing. Her performance here has the intensity of both "Monster" and "North Country, " and she gets great support from the supporting cast.

Ignore negative reviews. This is a film that you need to see and then make an opinion about. For me, this was a very satisfying and effective movie that deserved far more accolades than it has received.

After viewing "Dark Places", It is hard for me to comprehend that it is not receiving a positive buzz right now. After being somewhat disappointed with "Goodnight Mommy" and seriously disappointed with "It Follows," "Dark Places" is a thriller that actually thrills. Bottom line" you need to see it!

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19 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A satisfying mystery that tells of savage desperation and sadistic cold-hearted murder

8/10
Author: Nicole of ArchonCinemaReviews.com from United States
20 July 2015

Ungodly and sinister, Gillian Flynn's Dark Places is just as devilish as you hope.

Again Gillian Flynn takes inspiration from the headlines, this time Dark Places sheds unsettling and ominous light on the famed mass murders that capture society's attention.

When Libby Day (Charlize Theron) was just seven years old, she was the lone survivor and he family was viciously murdered in what the media claimed was a satanic occult sacrifice at the desolate farmhouse in Kansas. Her brother Ben, just fifteen at the time, was found to be guilty. Twenty-five years later, in desperate need of cash and with no way to get it except capitalize and exploit her seedy past, she allows an organization obsessed with real life murders investigate the case with her help, as they hope to exonerate Ben. As she investigates her past, she opens old wounds and uncovers things about her life she had long since buried deep in her soul.

Not being able to speak of the novel, the Dark Places as a film does a great job of leading you on myriad paths of misdirection. The audience desperately following leads and evidence to discover the truth of what happened that fateful night in the when a family was brutally murdered, leaving two surviving siblings left standing when the carnage stopped. The multi-layered story is well paced and realistically utilizes real life murders and victims for a believable interpretation of a crime.

Gillian Flynn and her fellow screenwriter of the adaptation, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, do a marvelous job of refusing to resort to lazy exposition, showing rather than telling. The result is an engaging mystery that garners your full attention in the hopes you might be able to deduce the truth of the heinously bloody murders. Paquet-Brenner does double duty in directing the film, and translates the subject matter with cohesively gritty and complementary cinematography.

It seems as though fans of the novel were a bit disappointed in the casting for this film, that Theron does not match the physicality of Flynn's written description. Not knowing this fact, Charlize Theron is flawless as the tortured lead Libby. Her Libby and the medley of supporting characters are gripping and match the brutal content of the film.

Dark Places is a satisfying mystery that tells of savage desperation and sadistic cold-hearted murder. Given the weak and bland thrillers of recent years that shy away from the truly horrifying callous of human nature, fans of the genre should be pleased.

7.5/10 Please check our website for full reviews of all the recent releases.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

shine your light on Dark Places

7/10
Author: locatordave from Canada
5 August 2015

I didn't care much for Gone Girl -- maybe it was Ben Affleck -- but I was drawn to this movie despite that. Maybe it was Charlize Theron, maybe it was Nicholas Hoult, whom I have enjoyed watching grow into a first rate actor since his days in Skins. In any case, whatever reservations I had at first rapidly dissolved into a distant memory as the first ten minutes passed.

Usually I roll my eyes at flashback-driven efforts, but not so with Dark Places. Each switch back to 1985 is like the tumblers on a lock giving that satisfying click as you pick it, breeding anticipation and certainty that there is a rich reward at the end for your efforts, every scene evoking a subtle revelation that drives the story onward.

Well cast, well scored, well directed, Dark Places deserves more recognition than it has garnered. If I had to point out one flaw, it would be a forgivable one; MISFITS swag was not that easy to come by in 1985.

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16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

If you've read the book and loved it, you will hate this movie. If you haven't, it's still a horribly boring movie.

1/10
Author: A M
10 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie does a huge disservice to the book. The screenwriter/director went on an ego trip and cut and/or drastically changed characters, changed the setting, and then did lip service to most of the major scenes. Some of the most pivotal scenes in the movie were present, but the setup for why they were important was never made, so when those scenes took place you were just sitting there going "meh."

Example - Ben shows up with dyed hair in the kitchen, but the reaction from the sisters is not nearly as volatile because there's no setup for their circumstances. They skipped over the sh*% storm of an environment that the mother returns to when she comes back with Diane. Later on, when you meet Ben Day as an adult, he is balding and his natural hair color is dark brown...completely eliminating the significance of the dye.

They took away all the suspense of the movie, every person you suspected of committing the murders in the book wasn't even suspicious in the movie. Long before the climactic scene, you knew who killed everyone and you didn't care. Then for some unknown reason they changed the end to something that is just incredibly boring.

Example - Lou Cates is presented as some scrawny average middle aged man, not intimidating at all, and except for some side comment by Lyle about him being arrested later for assault, you would never have known he had any kind of depth to him at all, but by the time you find that out, you don't care and he's never presented as a potential suspect.

None of the characters were properly developed; they were inconsistent with the book, and within the movie itself. Diondra was some sad emotional, but slightly manipulative girl whose only erratic behavior took place under the influence of drugs. How you go from that to what she does makes no sense at all, whereas in the book her actions were consistent with her character.

Other than a small example of kleptomania, Libby Day was never developed as the dark, disturbed person that Gillian Flynn wrote about. One of the primary agenda's of Gillian Flynn's writing is to show that women can be just as dark and twisted as your stereotypical dark male protagonist; this movie failed miserably in that.

Lastly, I'm not really sure what movie the other reviewers watched, but the acting was about as good your average lifetime network special. The scene at the Cates' house was particularly abysmal...no one was believable. Just a huge waste of an amazing book.

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