What it's about:
Libby Day was only seven years old when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. In court, the traumatised child pointed the finger at her brother, Ben, and her testimony put the troubled 16-year-old in prison for life.
Twenty-five years later, a broke and desperate Libby has run through donations from a sympathetic public and royalties from her sensational autobiography, without ever moving past the events of that night. When Libby accepts a fee to appear at a gathering of true-crime aficionados led by Lyle Wirth, she is shocked to learn most of them believe Ben is innocent and the real killer is still at large.
In need of money, she reluctantly agrees to help them reexamine the crime by revisiting the worst moments of her life. But, as Libby and Lyle dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding the murders, her recollections start to unravel and she is forced to question exactly what she saw–or didn’t see. As long-buried memories resurface, Libby begins to confront the wrenching truths that led up to that horrific night.
What we thought:
I will start this out with an honest confession. I’m a hardcore Charlize Theron fan. I’ve never watched a Charlize movie I didn’t like. (Yes, I even loved Aeon Flux) So it’s with great sadness that I have to admit that Dark Places is the first Charlize flick to disappoint. Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote Gone Girl, the movie focuses on the brutal murder of a family in rural Kansas. Charlize’s character (Libby Day) survives the massacre as her brother is pinned for the murders. Forward 25 years later and a secret murder society try to convince Libby that her brother Ben Day (played by both Corey Stoll and Tye Sheridan) is actually innocent. The events of the night of the murder unfold as the story jumps between the present and past and that’s exactly where things get messy. Somewhere along the line the subplot of the murder society goes completely missing as the mystery painstakingly unravels. Even though the cast give really powerful performances their work gets lost in a film that’s not entirely sure what it wants to achieve. The scenes feel like boxed in little snippets that don’t connect instead of flowing together like Flynn intended. The failure of Dark Places rests solely on the shoulders of director Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Brenner cut the movie into hundreds of small little pieces that he sadly couldn’t glue back together again. The film drags along at such a slow pace that by the time the plot twist is revealed you don’t really care anymore.
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Hands of Stone is a bland, unlikable portrayal of a real-life boxer that struggles to hit the highs of Rocky IV let alone Raging Bull or the original Rocky. Mark this one down as “for boxing fanatics only”. Read More »
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