'The Gift' Just Keeps On Giving

Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"The Gift" (STX Entertainment)

"The Gift" is a movie that just keeps on giving right up to the last frame of the film. It gives the audience a solid plot, well acted characters, and enough twists and turns to keep the excitement building. This film stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton. It was also written, produced and directed by Edgerton. Who knew this guy was so multi-talented!

As the film starts Simon and Robyn (Bateman and Hall) are moving back to his home town. They had been living in Chicago but a new job required the move. It is a chance for some new starts as Robyn had some pill problems after losing a baby. Simon wants her to work from home and take care of herself.

After they have found a house and moved in, they go out to do some shopping. While doing this they run into a man named Gordon (Edgerton) who recognizes Simon as someone with whom he attended high school. Though their meeting is a bit awkward Simon does get his number and says he will call him.

Later a "gift" appears on their doorstep and it is from Gordon. A day or so later he shows up at their door when Robyn is home alone. She invites him in and asks him to stay for dinner. Simon arrives home from work and they share an awkward meal. Gordon is a bit of a weirdo which Simon tells Robyn was his nickname in high school.

At this point the audience has been totally seduced by the roles of each of these three characters. Now it is a question of what are the secrets in their relationships and when will they be revealed. The movie does not disappoint and slowly peels off one layer after another until you reach the heart of the story. What you get is not what you expected and that is always a plus.

The three actors are perfectly cast. Bateman is required to offer a range of emotions as his layers are revealed, and he does not disappoint. He has always been known as the guy audiences love to like and that is the quality he establishes from the start. There is a depth to Bateman's performance many will not expect but it is there from start to finish.

Hall is not as well known as her two male co-stars so it is easier to accept her as a blank canvas. She is immediately determined to be vulnerable but there is a core of strength that peeps through her layers. She has so many facets of characteristics in her acting wheelhouse and she uses them to their best advantage.

Edgerton has the most mysterious character and emphasizes this mystery repeatedly. He manages to confuse the audience time and time again as to who the real Gordon is and his ability to do this makes the movie better than it would have been without him in the cast.

The movie is rated R for profanity and violence.

"The Gift" is a movie surprise. The trailer looked interesting and the film is all that and more. It doesn't have a star studded cast but the three lead actors totally inhabit and present their roles. Then there are the twists and turns that really work. It all adds up to good, solid entertainment

I scored "The Gift" a well packaged 7 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper