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Gone Baby Gone Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… twisty, turny, a deep-down bummer … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Storytelling problems surface toward the overwrought climax, but the worst problem is the unrelenting grimness. It's hard to like a movie that leaves you with no hope.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Affleck the director shows excellent instincts, not least of which is letting his younger brother, Casey, hold the center as a young guy not as smaht as he thinks he is.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    It's a tribute to this thoughtful, deeply poignant, splendidly executed film that we replay the conclusion in our minds long after the lights come on.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    There is a compelling ethical question raised skillfully that will haunt viewers. The poignant conclusion probably will incite debate.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The result is a superior police procedural, and something more -- a study in devious human nature.

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  • See all Gone Baby Gone reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Deeply affecting crime thriller for grownups.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this crime thriller (which is Ben Affleck's directorial debut) is so disturbing in spots that it may even make adults flinch. It doesn't shy away from the story's dark elements -- of which a 4-year-old's abduction is just the beginning. There's also neglect, drug use, barroom brawls, gunplay, murder, and plenty of strong language (including "f--k"). That said, older teens and grown ups who do end up seeing it will likely be able to look past the base, repugnant characters and appreciate the leads, who are compassionate and dedicated and fight for justice.

  • Families can talk about why people will want to see this movie -- because of the story, or because Ben Affleck directed it? Why do you think some actors choose to go into directing? Which role gives them more power within the media industry, and why? Families can also discuss how the media handles stories about missing people, particularly children. Do you think cases are covered differently based on their circumstances (i.e. a child being kidnapped from a tough, working-class neighborhood instead of a pretty, manicured suburb)? If so, why?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: This is a dark and dreary world, peopled by junkies, neglectful parents, drug dealers, corrupt cops, and morally bankrupt city officials. They lie and hurt to protect themselves and their livelihood, sometimes to the detriment of a child's life.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Heavy and brutal, and a sense of menace pervades the film. Guns are trained on people at point-blank range and fired fairly frequently, killing more than one victim (one scene reveals what happens when someone is shot in the head). Realistic, painful barroom brawls. Crimes are perpetrated against children, who are also severely neglected.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Some kissing and sexual innuendos, but nothing explicit. Some references to sexual acts.

  • language false5

    Language: Strong and frequent, including "c--ksucker," "pu--y," jackass," and the always-popular "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Nothing really obvious. Names of some drugs and the occasional store signage.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Viewers don't really see any explicit scenes in which characters shoot up or snort drugs, but there's lots of talk about it, including discussion of "bumping rails" (snorting drugs) in bathrooms and doing heroin. Plenty of drinking, especially in dark, seedy bars.