First I will discuss the acting. There are only really two characters. Patrick Wilson's performance is brilliant. He has great emotional range and is very convincing in any situation. Ellen Page is also great, but she is not as strong. However, considering that this was one of her first films, it is still an impressive performance.
Now for my criticism. My main issues are with the plot. As I said before, the premise has potential, but I really did not like what they did with it. Of course the pedophile photographer is a terrible person, and he needs to be stopped. That being said, I don't think a tiny 14 year old girl, who is also a wanna be vigilante, is the one to do it.
Her character could have just reported him to the police as soon as she became aware of him. I know that would have been a very boring film, but I am making a larger point. Instead of doing it, she goes far out of her way to lure him in, and then turns out to be a crazy sadist. We could argue all day about which character is worse, but the fact that it is even a discussion is a problem. For a film like this to work, the hero needs to be a better person than the villain. So you can root for them to win. Instead with this, there are just two terrible people and it is hard to like either of them. In fact, there are times when I actually felt bad for the pedophile, and I resent the film makers for that.
There will be some of the girl power gang who think this is great because there is a young woman inflicting violence instead of a man. I think these people have missed the point. You can either, get revenge by fighting fire with fire, and in doing so, forfeit the moral high ground, OR you can refuse to sink to the villains level and by doings so, keep moral superiority. Her character (and this whole film) tries to do both, but her character quickly crossed the line and I was unable to root for her after that, and her smug moral judgements seem laughable given her own actions. So despite this films potential, I did not like it.
The cast is great and they all do a great job. Rose Byrne plays a charming love interest. Louis character gets bullied and harassed by pretty much every female character, but, the following three are the most domineering. His ex wife played by Helen Hunt is by far the most outright abusive. His business partner played by Edie Falco is always nagging him to do things. At times she is in the right, but, it doesn't make her any less annoying. His ex girlfriend is played by Pamela Adlon. This character is kind of obnoxious and not nearly as charming as she thinks she is. The actresses might all be nice people, but I found their characters very annoying. Louis' character is okay, at times I sympathised with him and at other times I wanted to shake some sense into him. He is okay at acting, but, his delivery is nowhere near as good as his stand up. I'm sure if he keeps working at it he will get better. Charlie Day really is a scene stealer. He has some of the best lines in the film and biggest laughs. I thought John Malkovich and Chloe Grace Mortez were the best. Their scenes together were my favourites. He has to be one of the most charming actors in the business and she is already one of the best actresses of her generation. They were able to take what could have been a very creepy dynamic and actually make it charming and believable.
My main issues are with the plot. There were a lot of times I wanted Louis' character to stand up for himself more. I also think the ending could have been better. The film was entertaining enough, but, it didn't really express any clear message.
For his first proper film, Louis did well. I don't know if he will ever be back after his scandal, but if he is given another chance, he has the potential to make some great films.
P.S. I had to include a spoiler alert so I could include my thoughts. I would not have had sex with the pig. If I were the prime minister, I would not let a random psychopath, other slimy politicians, those unelected sponges the royals or the disgusting public tell me what to do. As it turns out, I would have made the right decision, because the guy had released her 30 mins before anyway. So I wouldn't have had to f*** a pig. That whiny princess would be let go and the crazy terrorist would be the only one harmed because he cut off his own finger. I also hate the PM's wife. She is really angry at him even though he didn't do anything to cause the situation. I hated that reporter the most. Luckily she got shot. That made me very happy.