Review: The Gift

No more massive windows.

Seriously. Does anything good ever happen to people who live in these nice houses with more floor to ceiling windows than actual concrete walls? No. Because it's creepy. I love a nice view as much as everyone else. I also like blinds. 

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have recently moved from Chicago back to California, not far from where Simon grew up. He got a new job, she's recovering from depression after a miscarriage, this new start seems fitting. However right when they move back, they run into Gordo. (Joel Edgerton) Gordo is an awkward old classmate of Simon's that seems innocent enough at first, but he starts leaving random gifts on their door step and showing up with Simon isn't home. When they try to end things with Gordo, Robyn starts to realize that maybe there's a very good reason he's showing such an interest in them.

I first saw the trailer for this a couple of weeks ago, and I figured it would be a renter. Then I found out Edgerton wrote and directed it, and the Fantastic Four bombed, so I decided to make a go of it in the theaters. It ended up being a solid thriller. Sure, it relied on a few jump scares (one even got me) but overall I felt it had enough going for it that set it apart from the many films like this.

The casting is perfect. Bateman plays a good asshole, Hall always has a likable presence and Edgerton really brought the pain behind Gordo's eyes. The ending seems to be dividing people. I won't spoil it. There is a massive flaw in the logic of it, but you can't say it's one that you've seen 100 times before. It makes you feel really gross at first, then the more you think about it, you can't help but question it.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Kids are honest." - Simon (Jason Bateman)

12 comments:

  1. hmmm i keep hearing interesting things about this. Will definitely watch. the trailer is intriguing.

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    1. It's definitely not what you'd expect. I think you should give it a shot.

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  2. Yeah the ending was a huge let down - it's not even ambiguous because it's kinda clear what happened. I wish the film was as well written and is was directed. Which jump scare got you? The shower one?:D

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    1. That stupid dog one. I am so ashamed. I do think the ending is a bit ambiguous because Gordo could seriously just be fucking with him again. I don't think he would actually do anything to Robyn since he liked her, but he'd definitely lie to get to Simon. I don't know, it's interesting to think about.

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    2. For me it's clear he didn't do anything because he saw her as good and innocent

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    3. I think so too, and I really don't want to think about him *actually* doing that. Ugh.

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  3. I missed this at press screening and now I'm bummed that I did!! I like Joel Edgerton as an actor and sounds like he's a decent filmmaker too, good for him! I like Bateman & Hall, that's quite an unlikely pairing but that intrigues me.

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    1. I really love all three of these actors. They're perfect for their roles. I hope you get a chance to check it out in theaters!

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  4. Fine review. It's interesting to hear the discussion on the ending. I loved it. It definitely leaves things behind that normally are addressed but I kinda liked that. The ambiguity feels right (and I'm not just talking about the final 'did he or didn't he' question). The film leaves you wondering what happens next because certain things are left behind and not addressed. But I didn't need to get into all of that. I thought it stopped on just the right note.

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    1. Yes! I agree. I was surprised to read so much criticism on the ending. If anything, I'd think more people would be happy it didn't have the normal thriller ending.

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  5. The ending worked well enough, and I really liked the cast and Edgerton's direction. B for me.

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    1. I think it did too. Definitely not as bad as some of the fuss would suggest.

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