Crime thriller GONE GIRL (18: 20th Century Fox) doesn’t have many good things to say about the state of modern relationships, but it does provide an aborbing mystery.
David Fincher directs this unsettling tale, which revolves around the hunt for missing Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), the perfect blonde wife of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck).
When Amy disappears under suspicious circumstances, Nick seems distraught, but he’s soon the prime suspect.
Your sympathies and suspicions undergo a constant change as a twisted, ‘he-said/she-said’ story unfolds and Amy’s diary entries reveal some home truths about their marriage. Or do they?
Affleck oozes charm, but his good looks mask a sense of resentment that could be lethal.
Pike, nominated for this year’s Best Actress Oscar, is superb as the chilly beauty hiding a myriad of secrets.
Neil Patrick Harris, as an old flame of Amy’s, is sinister, while Tyler Perry is charismatic as the outspoken go-to lawyer for wife-murderers.
And there are a couple of shocking scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in Se7en.
> I, Frankenstein, released on DVD a few months ago, tried to reinvent one of cinema’s most famous monsters and failed miserably.
Now DRACULA UNTOLD (15: Universal) attempts to do the same with only slightly better results.
One part history lesson to several parts Hollywood spectacle, it stars Luke Evans as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, the Transylvanian who’s believed to have inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional fanged fiend.
Desperate to save his land from an invading Turkish baddie (Dominic Cooper), who’s seeking soldiers for his child army, Evans turns to the dark side, personified by a heavily latexed Charles Dance.
But with great power comes not only great responsibility, but also fangs, bloodlust and a side order of CGI bats.
Mildly entertaining without offering any great quality, the action scenes are OK, but there is enough cheese and ham to fill a tasty sandwich.
> Kevin Costner and Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman team up in DRAFT DAY (15: Lionsgate), yet another movie about US sport.
However, don’t expect any on-pitch action in this watchable American football drama. It’s all about the backroom machinations of draft day, when teams in the NFL get their pick of the best rookies on offer – just like the Premier League’s transfer deadline day, only fairer and with more razzmatazz.
Costner dominates proceedings as the under-the-cosh manager of the Cleveland Browns, who’s attempting to pull off the best deal while trying to avoid the sack from the owner (Frank Langella) and flack from his head coach (Denis Leary).
In the Costner sporting canon, it’s no Bull Durham, Field Of Dreams or Tin Cup, but the star is a rock-solid presence and is well supported by a cast chock-full of recognisable faces.
Among them are Jennifer Garner as his colleague-cum-girlfriend, Ellen Burstyn as his recently widowed mum and Sam Elliott as a rival coach.
But at nearly two hours in length, it could be a bit of a drag if your knowledge of the game is basic.