Wish You Were Here (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

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7/10
Pretty good drama mystery
MattyGibbs6 September 2014
Wish you were here is the story of four people who take a holiday in Cambodia but one of them goes missing. The film pieces together the mystery of where the missing man has gone.

It's a relatively small film but is well filmed nicely combining drama with the ongoing mystery. It stars the on the up Joel Egerton who is very good in this and he receives excellent support from the rest of the cast who all put in believable performances.

It held my interest throughout as it keeps you guessing as to what has happened to the missing man. The main downside is that it does maybe lose a little steam towards the end and the ending is a little flat.

Wish you were here will not appeal to those who seek action or thrills and is not a brilliant film however for those that like nicely pitched drama's this is well worth watching.
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Falls Flat...
dandelionfields10 May 2012
Wish You Were Here is a directorial debut for actor Kieran Darcy-Smith and written by Darcy-Smith and his wife Felicity Price. The premise of the movie is promising: four Australian friends are enjoying a holiday in Cambodia, but one goes missing after a particularly "heavy" night of partying. The movie is superbly shot and mostly well acted, but I was nevertheless disappointed.

We see the holiday firstly as a 10 minute sequence which moved too rapidly for me. As the movie progresses the holiday is shown in beautiful flashbacks, which give us insight into the characters as well as depicting some of the events that took place. When husband and wife, Dave and Alice (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price) return to Sydney, they leave Alice's sister, Steph (Teresa Palmer), to try to find out what happened to her boyfriend, Jeremy (Antony Starr). Dave is uneasy and troubled, and even more so when Steph arrives home and the first of many secrets is uncovered.

Joel Edgerton is marvellous as a man wracked with guilt and tormented by secrets and lies he dare not reveal. Teresa Palmer is also very good, but unfortunately her part is underwritten. I found that I became a bit bored with Felicity Price's character, Alice, especially when we start to see more and more of her and less of Dave. About half way through, the movie seemed to become stuck, and I was wanting the original storyline to develop and to give answers to the mystery. When truth is finally revealed, it is terrifying, but it feels anti-climactic, because we've had to wait too long.

I found it hard to sweep my expectations aside and see the movie as the writers/director intended it to be: a story about the effect on family life when one spouse hides a dark truth from their partner. I was expecting more of a thriller, and even as I tried to accept the way the plot unfolded, I still found it disappointing. At certain times I felt sympathy for the characters and I felt their pain; but there were scenes where the magnitude of emotions that the characters were experiencing was not adequately conveyed, (for example, the ending). Obviously, Wish You Were Here was not as engrossing for me as it was for others, but I wish it had been.
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8/10
A Compelling Mystery Thriller From Australia
perkypops12 September 2014
The plot is simple, two couples visit Cambodia but only three people return, and the film spends its time skilfully cutting between then and now until we understand what went on during the trip, and also understand the unfolding dramatic relationship between the three who make the return trip.

As a film I thought the acting, the script, the cinematography and the sound were all very commendable. Although the plot format is not original it is very well done after a seemingly confusing opening few minutes leaves you thinking you may have blinked once too often, as the opening credits run with the film. But once the film has settled down the action is driven by the acting and the script, which are always thoughtful. The film makes no attempt to sentimentalise anything but reveals the story as if we are eavesdropping on the actors. There are several poignant moments which are down to great performances by all concerned.

It would be good to see some more output from this stable because there is real promise on show.
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9/10
Compelling and engagingly complex
fildurh210 August 2014
Sometimes I wonder what it must take to keep some people happy with their movies. Here is a taut thriller with unexpected twists and turns, complexity and intriguing characters. Actors who you can't take your eyes off, locations to die for. I think perhaps some viewers simply want to be spoon-fed on the usual stodge so they don't have to think too much, just let their digestive system do all the work for them. There's no need for me here to go over any of the plot, scenes or theme as it's already been outlined. But it may be useful for me to point out that for some who may be Americo-centric in their outlook that there is another world out there, many in fact, than may not exist in your philosophy. This film is engaging, indeed compelling in its storyline, utterly believable if you know anything of the real world, the acting moving and impressive, the actors very easy on the eye as well, the action intense - those Asian mafia were truly menacing - and if it's a little too hard in your thinking to integrate a thriller with a deeper investigation of human relationships then perhaps this movie will be beyond you and you should stick with your usual suspects. Highly recommended.
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10/10
The perfect movie about modern Cambodia
TobyWanKenobi16 May 2013
I was working in Phnom Penh and saw this movie at The Flicks Community Movie House. For me, it perfectly captures both the light and the darkness of modern Cambodia. Cambodia is Eden -- lush, green, magical, innocent. And the opening montage of shots in and around Phnom Penh perfectly captures the pure joy that foreigners can often feel as they experience this wondrous place. But the story of Eden also contains the fall. And what tourists (like the 3 Australians in the film) don't always get, is that Cambodia is still healing, still recovering from the wars (2nd Indochina, followed by Pol Pot, followed by 19 years of civil war). And just beneath the surface of paradise, there can be real danger especially for those who don't know what they are dealing with. I walked out of the theater (into the blasting heat of Phnom Penh) grateful that someone understood and was able to capture through film the complex energies of this moment in this place. (Even though more than half of the movie takes place in Australia, this is very much a movie about Cambodia -- as seen through the eyes of foreigners.)

This was also the first time I've seen Joel Edgerton in anything -- and he's a brilliant actor I think (I'm told he's been a big deal in Australia for a while). I just saw Edgerton in Zero Dark Thirty in a small role. I also rented (bought?) Animal Kingdom on iTunes because he was in it and he's great in that too.

I'm hoping Wish You Were Here gets a theatrical release in the U.S. If not, I'm hoping it will get a release soon on iTunes and Amazon.com. I've probably checked both places 10 times hoping it will be available but no release yet. I plan to recommend this movie to friends and family (in spite of the very intense subject matter) just because it captures the energy of the place that is so hard to put into words.

Your mileage may vary. But this movie hit me at just the right time and 6 months later, I'm scouring the internet trying to find a way to see it again.
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5/10
No thrills here
streamofstars29 April 2012
Wish You Were Here starts with a barrage of sights and sounds, as married couple Dave and his pregnant wife Alice (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price), Alice's younger sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) and new boyfriend Jeremy (Antony Starr) holiday in Cambodia. All too quickly Dave and Alice have returned to Sydney, and we find out that Jeremy is missing after a drug fuelled night. As Steph returns home, questions are asked and secrets revealed as the trio try to cope with what happened.

I was intrigued as to where the movie was headed, but at around the 50 minute mark I was starting to lose patience, waiting for it to get to a point. When it finally got to that point, although shocking, I almost didn't even care what had really happened. And the final moments felt rushed and glossed over.

We don't get to see nearly enough of Edgerton or Palmer, both of whom have exceptional talent. Edgerton really embraces the character of Dave who is hiding a dark secret and it's slowly tearing him apart. Palmer doesn't get the chance to shine as her character is left alone to suffer. Considering it was Steph's boyfriend who disappeared, it would have been better to see more from her point of view. Price floats through with the same bored expression as a self absorbed wife. Starr is likable and very believable, but again we don't get to see him enough.

Unfortunately director Kieran Darcy-Smith's first feature doesn't know what it wants to be, and perhaps tries to be a little too clever for it's own good. I'll admit that the stunning trailer with the hypnotic music was what captivated me and gave me high hopes for Wish You Were Here, but I also feel that the trailer gives a different impression of what the movie ends up being about. It starts out as a mystery, but about half way through Alice becomes the main character and the movie takes a left turn into a narrative about a marriage breakdown from only one person's point of view.

The locations in both Sydney and abroad have been beautifully shot. The scenes between past and present flow seamlessly. Besides the opening of the movie, the fateful holiday is shown only through minor flashbacks, which I think are the highlight.

Australian movies certainly have the ability to pull you in and not let you go. But it's frustrating when you know a movie has the potential to move you and engage you, and it fails to do so. This should have been a gripping dramatic thriller, but sadly there are no thrills to be had here.
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5/10
While on holiday in Cambodia, two couples partake in all the traditional tourist attractions the impoverished country has to offer.
SLUGMagazineFilms20 January 2012
While on holiday in Cambodia, two couples, Dave and Alice Flannery (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price) and Steph McKinney and Jeremy King (Teresa Palmer and Antony Starr), partake in all the traditional tourist attractions the impoverished country has to offer, but after attending an underground dance party, Jeremy unexpectedly disappears and a dark secret is buried within the circle of friends. What starts out like a third chapter in "The Hangover" franchise quickly morphs into a simple and dismal story of betrayal that drags its feet through the first two acts, only to conclude on an intriguing high note. However, the compelling conclusion only leaves an irritating aftertaste, since the journey certainly isn't worth the pay off. Director Kieran Darcy-Smith neglects his characters' foundations and significance to such a degree that viewers have little to invest in. In turn, everyone's wavering fates are insignificant and disposable. In the same fashion of the story, Edgerton and Price float through the film without devoting too much into their characters, but once the finale comes into play, they immediately switch gears and display their true acting abilities.
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5/10
Good acting, poor story,poor film
Rebasguy19 September 2012
Saw this recently on a flight from Bangkok and although it was only on the incredibly small screen, I think it was about the right size for the story. It was a very simple tale, with not too much drama and fairly predictable narrative wrapped around a very obvious dialogue. The main lead acted well and that in my mind magnified the shortcomings of the story.

There were obvious gaps in the story that the actors tried to fill with raw emotion but that didn't quite gel with me and there was the willing suspension of disbelief with regard to the final scenes that were meant to sum up so much but instead left you feeling that the tale had been dragged out somewhat.
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5/10
Dramatically unrewarding with a dud ending.
jackcwelch2315 October 2017
This movie only manages to keep viewers vague interest. It also is unconvincing in its plotting and characterisations. Teresa Palmer is given a plain boring role but still manages to give it a good shot, where as Joel Edgerton is pretty week, trying to be mysterious but giving us little reason to care what he's hiding. The movie is well shot and has solid faming and colour but also comes off like a Bali tourism advert at times. The central mystery just isn't that compelling and whatever tension is there throughout the story quickly deflates rather than explodes like it should. It just simply isn't worth an hour and a half of your time.
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10/10
Really Good Acting & Tense Drama
trickstar_trippy22 September 2012
Great acting, that's what first comes to mind. Also, a refreshing sense of proper Aussie film-making (in the vein of 'Animal Kingdom' or 'Wolf Creek'). It's tense, very well lensed, fleshed out characters. As the personal drama in the family life unfolds, so does the mystery begin to unravel. The ending doesn't come as a shock, but as a carefully built up finale. Strongly recommended for everyone who's into thriller/drama with horror touches. It uses enough plot elements which aren't the most original, but the way the script blends all these elements into a coherent and well-paced story. A sense of permanent dread menaces the situations on-screen, but this is far from being a grim film. It balances out really well, as there are enough family subplots that lighten it up when the film becomes too tense.

And, again, great performances from the actors.
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3/10
A climax definitely not worth the wait
karmaswimswami19 April 2014
Two Sydney couples vacation in Cambodia, drop some E, and then one of them doesn't return. One wades through 90 minutes of feints and starts, red herrings and miscues, script McGuffins and irrelevant intrigue, all to get to the punchline, the climax, the upshot, the endpoint of what happens to Jeremy. You'll find out, in due time, boredom having grown sufficiently intense within you, only to realize knowing is not worth the tedium. We spend pointless time being faked out by the subplot that Steph, Jeremy's girlfriend, slept with sister Allison's husband (the wag in me watched this and kept saying, "no they didn't!" because it is miring digression that bears little credibility and no relevance). Australia's film industry can do way better than this jaded, cynical, unoriginal, stereotype-laden confection. I hope.
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9/10
Read Me
williamperno17 September 2012
If you call a great movie.. a great film... this is the movie for you. Wish you were here brings real hope that there is still real talent left in the movie industry. This film was somebody's baby, with obvious signs that serious time was taken on how to reveal each scene while building up to an emotional response with the audience. This film may leave some viewers feeling that some of the film was slow and simple but that's part of the beauty here folks. I was very impressed with the acting from all characters across the board and I mean all... It was real... Wish You Were Here ..I say well done! If you enjoyed this then I suggest checking out another great film . .. City Of God
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4/10
Good example of what not to do
ovid-owl17 November 2014
I got through the movie, the acting was not horrible, but I absolutely hate when the movie keeps bouncing from past to present. Drives me nuts and I have to think the director thinks they are creative, I just think they are lazy and can't tell a decent story. That being said, all actors were believable, and the story did its job. This really shouldn't be necessary to say, but if you go somewhere new, it is not a good idea to get so blitzed out that you lose your sense of well being. Stay safe! Everyone wants to have fun, and Cambodia I have no doubt is beautiful and offers a lot of entertainment. I think anyone who watches anything on Asian cultures knows they delve into areas that are distasteful. It is not a place I would care to visit but if I did, I wouldn't be stupid about it.
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7/10
Effective telemovie mystery centres on middle-class marital woes, following a Cambodian holiday gone wrong.
adam-703-8086893 July 2013
Don't be put off by the opening of this movie, which shows four privileged thirty-somethings indulging themselves on a SE Asian holiday; followed by more self-conscious family life in pretty Sydney surroundings. Then it appears not all is well. One of the four, a businessman, has gone missing, and other things which happened on the holiday begin to be revealed. Excellent performances from Teresa Palmer and Joel Edgerton, and a skillful withholding of information, keep this mystery/emotional drama ticking over. The prettiness of the photography is a nice irony, contrasting with the increasingly murky revelations. There's a slight over-indulgence in arty camera angles when you'd like to get closer to the characters and their feelings; the performances by the missing man's parents are unconvincing, and the the lead female performance is often curiously detached. Nevertheless this is one of those stories which slowly grows stronger; its twists are credible and powerful. Good work!
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10/10
Still in love with this team
MayaKavanagh25 November 2013
I know I'm a bit biased when it comes to the savants behind the Aquarius Films and Blue-Tongue Films collective but I can't help it: these guys are just too damn good!

Wish You Were Here is an emotional roller-coaster that explores the varying reactions of human beings when they are faced with turmoil. Felicity Price (co-writer with husband Kieran Darcy- Smith) plays Alice, a pregnant, formidable mother who discovers after returning from holiday in Cambodia that her husband, Dave(Joel Edgerton) had an affair whilst on the trip. It is the who rather than the how that causes the most drama as the "other woman" was Alice's younger, crazier sister Stef(Teresa Palmer). This love-triangle drama is framed by the wittingly suspenseful disappearance of Stef's new boyfriend, Jeremy(Antony Starr), who vanishes during their final days in Cambodia seemingly without a trace.

Darcy-Smith (DS) and the crew behind WYWH play the audience brilliantly: from their calculating publicity strategy to play up the disappearance of Jeremy over the main drama revolving around Dave and Alice's strained relationship; to the eventual unfolding of the film's overall story which happens as if pages of a book had been torn from the spine and fluttered on the ground, only for the reader to read them in whatever order he found them. It is a brilliant way to tell films that turns the traditional circular narrative completely on its head. DS and Felicity Price have a delightful way of writing which encourages the audience to view the narrative from all points of view. When you believe you have sided with one character, something happens next to completely change your allegiance and before you know it, you're rooting for the other side.

The cast of this film is also well selected however, I believe some characters (and their corresponding actors) were downplayed a little too much for instance, the character of Stef and our lack of ability to experience her pain and grief and the loss of her new love. Of course, this is all done within reason which the viewer discovers towards the end of the film when we find out that Jeremy and Stef were only new flames, not old embers like Alice and Dave which, whilst it sounds cruel to say, doesn't encourage the audience to feel as sympathetic for their romance being cut short considering it only lasted 6 weeks. Still, Teresa and Antony both give it their all despite their limited screen time which only adds to Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price's performances who play their characters effectively and with a great sense of knowledge about the inner workings of their characters' minds. Its very difficult to watch actors who are inwardly judging their own roles but there is none of that from these two leads. This may come down to Felicity's affiliation with the story from the writing stage but at lot more can be attributed to her as a great actress, as it can with Joel and his capabilities.
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6/10
It drags on....
Vancouver7718 April 2021
Here is a review based on my enjoyment of the film, bearing in mind I have no film background or any credentials as a film critic. Basically I am just telling you my own personal perspective, which I fully accept others may or may not agree with: The acting was convincing and engaging, the settings were authentic (I really felt like I was there with them in Cambodia)... It's just that the movie goes on and on and on... and there really is no mystery in the end (I don't want to say more bc it might spoil it for you). I spent most of the movie trying to entertain myself - surfing the net, taking breaks to do laundry and chores - so I could still watch but keep myself occupied bc basically I was bored. I thought the ending was good as it pulls the story together. I just would have preferred they got to the ending quicker. Wish it had been a 45 minute movie, instead of 1.5 hours. I did watch the beginning of the movie (it was good), and I watched the end of the movie - it was mostly the stuff in the middle that ran over-long.
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3/10
Wish You Were Here - But Don't Stay Too Long
krocheav6 February 2021
What seemed like a reasonable story on paper gets the over-edited, padded out flash-back screen treatment, till the viewer doesn't want to know anymore. This might possibly have been a fair 1Hour TV episode but instead, gets stretched out to 1.1/2 Hrs with a sub-standard, messy convoluted edit style.

What we have here are two Aussie couples behaving badly in Cambodia, falling afoul of druggies, grotty child sex sellers and assorted underground types - leading to a missing man. There are several ambiguous occurrences which seem to be left relatively unexplained IE; the true nature of the missing man's business, a mysterious red car that occasionally follows them around, then there's the young sisters cold disregard for her sister - in light of the fact she seriously lusted after her sister's husband (the father of her sisters children)

Performances are mostly good but the situations are not always up to par and the ending offers little more than a tacked-on let down. Especially when we are left with the definite feeling these events can only get worse for these characters. An added song section near the end (seemingly included to pad out the R/T to 90mins) further slows it down unnecessarily.
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8/10
Great, but more drama than thriller
mrnunleygo13 December 2015
This was a terrific movie if you let it be what it is: a character-driven drama about a marriage challenged by an occurrence too frightening to be ignored. I watched it because I'm a Teresa Palmer fan, but it was Felicity Price (also co-screenwriter) who was the revelation. The opening montage of Cambodia captured the other-worldliness that tourists in Asia often experience but also the joy they brought with them to that experience; later reminders that introduced flashbacks also brought in the sense of menace that goes with encounters with the unfamiliar. The acting was great, the actions of the characters quite believable taken in context. Scenes with children have the potential to wreck otherwise good movies, but those here were excellent. I agree with reviewers who think the movie was slow-moving and there were times I wanted to move on to the next scene, but notwithstanding this it held my interest throughout.
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10/10
At least we give it ago.
whipthedog5 May 2012
Aussies are so attuned to all types of media being American sourced, that watching a movie without American actors and accents in Australian theaters seems totally foreign. It actually took me a while to get accustomed to the accent coming from the screen. My partner, who is brilliant at picking up the smallest clues in the script had to keep me informed on the plot as it progressed. I am one one those viewers that enjoys a movie much more on the second viewing. And that is not only this movie, thats all movies. There is no need for me to go into detail of the plot, that has been covered in other reviews. I must have been engrossed without realizing it, because I was sort of caught off guard when the credits started rolling. I had a mental picture in my mind as to how the whole mess these people had gotten themselves into, was going to pan out. And I was way off.
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7/10
Drama Suspense Mystery....Yes!
Fancytower28 November 2015
Australia is giving us some impressive films and Wish You Were Here is a fine example of that. Australia is churning out some amazing directors, actors and films. I'm at that point where I see Australian directors, I give it a view. And you should definitely give Wish You Were Here a view.

It is difficult to write a review of a movie and not give away any plot points. The story is as much about a family and familial ties as it is about a mystery of a missing person. Nicely shot with superb actors and you get a nice little mystery with some family drama and international intrigue. A+
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6/10
Good drama
grantss21 April 2020
Good Australian drama. Intriguing, compelling. Solid direction.

Great performances, especially from Felicity Price and Joel Edgerton.
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3/10
Expected Better! 3/10
leonblackwood5 July 2014
Review: I wasn't that impressed with this film. I found it quite boring and the storyline became a bit annoying because the director kept on using flashbacks for the audience to piece together. You have to wait ages before anything really happens, which is a shame because the concept wasn't that bad. The performances were fairly average, but it's really the direction that let's the movie down. On the plus side, I did like the ending, when everything finally comes to light, but it's not enough to save the movie. Average!

Round-Up: Joel Edgerton has really come to light recently, with major roles in The Great Gatsby and Warrior, he really can't complain about how his career has progressed. He only really shined in this movie towards the end, but that's not due to his acting ability. He usually brings great emotion to his roles, which is why I chose to go with this movie, but the pace was way too slow. I think that the audiences were also disappointed with this movie, judging by the dreadful takings at the box office, but it's not that bad if you want something to pass the time, at home.

Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: $50,000 (Terrible!)

I recommend this movie to people who are into there dramas about 2couples journey away together, which takes a turn for the worst. 3/10
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6/10
functional mystery
SnoopyStyle29 November 2016
Alice Flannery (Felicity Price) is pregnant with husband Dave (Joel Edgerton) and two kids. Her sister Steph McKinney (Teresa Palmer) has new boyfriend Jeremy King and suggests going on vacation to southern Cambodia. Jeremy has a drug connection and disappears one night. Alice and Dave return to Australia. Steph returns later after the authorities give up on the search. Dave and Steph reveal to Alice that they slept together but it's not the only secret that night.

This is a marginally compelling mystery. Edgerton can turn a few different ways and the ending leaves him a little disappointing. The reveal is not shocking enough. Edgerton becomes pathetic which is well within his range but not that appealing as a characteristic. Felicity Price is good. This is a functional first world cautionary tale.
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2/10
Bad script, Bad direction, good story
shishir_dahal3 January 2014
It could have been a very good movie. Story looks good but script is too poor and more than that direction is the worst in this world. Switching between time frames confuses viewers whether they are watching current incident or a past event. I started this movie because synopsis was appealing and starting of the movie was good. I tried my best but could not complete this movie till the end. Watch if you really have a long vacation and have a lot of time to watch shits. could the story been flown smoothly, it could have been a best movie. Otherwise, stay away and use your time wisely. this is not good movie. not good. my recommendation is don't watch".
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6/10
A movie where the plot & idea are better then the actual movie. Last 20 min are good, getting there is a struggle. I say B-
cosmo_tiger11 July 2013
"Something happened the night of the party, after you went to sleep." Steph McKinney (Palmer) and her boyfriend Jeremy go on a vacation to Cambodia with her sister and her husband Dave (Edgerton). They are having a good time laying on the beach and relaxing. When they return home only three of them make the trip. Now all three are trying to figure out where Jeremy is and why he didn't come back. Only one person knows the truth. This is another perfect example of a movie where the idea is much more exciting then the actual movie. While the movie isn't that bad it is pretty slow moving up until the last 20 min. Until then the movie jumps around a bit and makes it a little hard to follow for the first half. The acting is very good but nothing really seemed to happen for most of the movie. Again, the last quarter is good but getting to that point is a little bit of a struggle. Overall, a movie that starts off very slow but worth sticking with to see the ending. I give it a B-.
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