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The Gift

The Gift

Not every gift is welcome.Jul. 30, 2015 USA108 Min.R
Your rating: 0
9.1 1,243 votes

Video trailer

Director

Cast

Jason Bateman isSimon Callem
Simon Callem
Rebecca Hall isRobyn Callem
Robyn Callem
Joel Edgerton isGordo Mosley
Gordo Mosley
Tim Griffin isKevin 'KK' Keelor
Kevin 'KK' Keelor
Beau Knapp isDetective Walker
Detective Walker
Wendell Pierce isDetective Mills
Detective Mills
Mirrah Foulkes isWendy Dale
Wendy Dale

Synopsis

A husband and wife try to reinvigorate their relationship but their lives are threatened by a “friend” from the husband’s past who holds a horrifying secret about him, sending their world into a tailspin.

The Gift
The Gift
The Gift
The Gift
The Gift
The Gift
The Gift
Original titleThe Gift
IMDb Rating7.1 96,814 votes
TMDb Rating6.6 906 votes

(307) comments

  • moviewizguyJuly 31, 2015Reply

    The movie you didn’t know you had to see this summer

    Here’s a surprise: The Gift is a mature thriller that’s more complex
    and classy than the trailers suggest. I don’t know what caused the
    marketing department to make the film look like such a second-rate,
    cheap, predictable thriller that somehow had gotten ahold of talented
    actors, but now we know the truth. As Joel Edgerton’s directorial
    debut, it’s impressive, considering the sense of craft going on behind
    the camera. The cinematography is gorgeous and the pacing is that of a
    slow burn, but it’s never dull. The premise is also deceptively simple,
    turning more intricate and involving as the film progresses.

    Edgerton, who also wrote the screenplay, refuses to adhere to genre
    conventions, constantly subverting audience’s expectations on how the
    story plays out. Red herrings, plot twists, shifting perspectives, and
    moral ambiguity ensue, but they never feel cheap. Like the best
    thrillers, The Gift evolves naturally and realistically. Edgerton and
    Rebecca Hall are great, but it is Jason Bateman who impresses. As a
    natural comedian actor, he plays one of his rare, serious roles to
    terrific effect. But I digress. You should go into this film with a
    clean slate, but know that it is a rare, intelligent thriller that
    doesn’t cheat or spoonfeed its audience. And in that regard, Joel
    Edgerton has given us a gift, indeed.

  • moviexclusiveAugust 2, 2015Reply

    Gripping and thought-provoking in equal measure, ‘The Gift’ is a well-crafted psychological thriller that also marks a fine filmmaking debut for Joel Edgerton

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Jarrett PapernoAugust 4, 2015Reply

    Complete Missed Opportunity

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • jdesandoAugust 6, 2015Reply

    Compelling thriller for end of summer.

    Billed as a mystery and a thriller, Joel Edgerton’s The Gift is indeed
    both of those and more. The sub genre might be ”home invasion” of a
    figurative and a real kind, reminiscent of The Hand That Rocks the
    Cradle. Equally so it’s a home horror film, for some of the traditional
    tropes of that genre are in place (e.g., missing dog, running faucet)
    waiting around the corner of any room so to speak.

    Super security salesman Simon (Jason Bateman) is happily married to
    interior designer Robyn (Rebecca Hall). Their new LA home is wall to
    wall windows, all the better for bad forces to look in and to
    ironically comment on the lack of transparency inside the home as well
    as a security expert’s vulnerability. Then Simon’s old high school
    friend, weirdo Gordo (Joel Edgerton), visits with gifts and memories of
    a troubled past.

    Their home is indeed invaded, not just by nerdy, strange Gordo, who has
    a bad habit of showing up at odd times and gaining access at even odder
    ones, but by the past, which is creeping up on the couple despite
    Simon’s will to leave it all behind and Gordo’s to ”let bygones be
    bygones.” The film bears its tensions well, distributing its exposition
    of the past in the present slowly.

    The Gift doesn’t just give the present a chance to come to terms with
    the past; it also comments on privacy, security, and bullying while
    serving up a fine stew of ironies and suspense. As for bullying, not
    the first time in a thriller, it plays out from high school days to
    adult days in a surprisingly subtle way, forcing us over the long haul
    of the film’s 108 minutes to see it lurking like a clichéd ghost or
    murderer.

    Marriage is also a subject in this taut film, namely how much do we
    really know about our partners or anyone close to us? This film could
    make anyone a skeptic about the goodness of your fellow travelers.
    Speaking of which, Gordo is the outsider, whom writer Flannery O’Connor
    liked to write about because ”he changes things.” Gordo is an agent of
    change, an avenging angel of the past and a messenger for the future.

    Smart thriller for late summer.

  • Sidd the Movie SlayerAugust 7, 2015Reply

    Simon Says Go Watch this Movie

    The Gift is written and directed by Joel Edgerton. It stars Joel
    Edgerton, once again, Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall.

    The Gift surrounds a married couple(Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall) as
    they transition into a new job, new house, new neighbors, new friends,
    basically a new life. As they shop for furniture Simon(Jason Bateman)
    encounters an old acquaintance from High school, Gordon or Gordo(Joel
    Edgerton), with a creepy demeanor and an obvious grudge.

    The Gift is Hitchcockian. I can’t call it anything it isn’t. I went
    into this movie with medium expectations and left with a newfound
    respect and awe for one person. This person is Joel Edgerton. As a
    director, he can’t do wrong. The shots were inspired and eerie. He cut
    at just the right times to ensure the audience is terrified but not
    disgusted. As a writer, he can’t do wrong. This is honestly one of the
    best scripts of the year and I hope it gets an Oscar nomination. It was
    so well written. The major player in both the direction and the writing
    is that no serious violence was portrayed in any scene in this movie
    but yet it manages to crawl under your skin and linger long after the
    movie’s over. This is partly thanks to the excellent cinematography by
    Eduard Grau. Finally as an actor, CAN’T DO WRONG! He was creepy as hell
    but yet you some how want to root for him. He plays the role magically
    and was by far the best part of this movie.

    Jason Bateman, oh how woefully I doubted you. At first I didn’t think
    he could pull it off. But he did. He was perfect as well. he was sly
    and slimy as well as awkwardly funny and relatable ( before everything
    goes down). Rebecca Hall in many ways was the main character. She did
    great. Though she wasn’t as good as Edgerton or Bateman, she certainly
    held her own. Another great aspect of the movie was the soundtrack and
    the score. It fit perfectly to the subtly creepy atmosphere. Finally
    Since the script was so well written the viewer is left in ambiguity
    towards the morals of a character and I find this masterfully executed
    with every twist and turn being virtually unpredictable.

    All and all I loved this movie. Some might argue that the pacing is a
    bit off nut with such a short runtime. Certain things are justifiably
    stretched our skimmed. personally I didn’t find this much of a problem.
    The Gift IS my favorite movie of the year so far and is a must see. The
    Gift gets an A+ or a 10/10. Simon says go watch this movie!

  • yk-sampAugust 7, 2015Reply

    A new layer for the mystery thrillers.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • maclockAugust 7, 2015Reply

    Did I watch the same movie as the other IMDb reviewers?

    Did I watch the same movie as these other IMDb reviewers? I ask only
    because The Gift struck me as being a bit of a snore. Not that there’s
    anything particularly wrong with it, but The Gift failed to take off or
    to shine in my estimation.

    The Gift did have a few interesting moments and scenes, but nothing
    that distinguished it in any real way. Additionally, quite a bit about
    it seemed to be predictable or capable of being anticipated. I doubt
    that I’ll remember much about this film a few days from now and I don’t
    think that I’ll be recommending it to others. See it if you feel
    compelled to do so. Don’t say you weren’t warned, though. Meh.

  • Steve PulaskiAugust 7, 2015Reply

    A taut thriller that never becomes too theatrical for its own good

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • evanmyers15August 7, 2015Reply

    Good, But Not Great

    The Gift is an emotionally charged thriller with some very good
    performances. The story has a lot of twists and turns, some of which
    are predictable, others I could not see coming at all. I really enjoyed
    the movie for the most part. The only aspect of the film that I did not
    like was that Simon(Bateman) is just not a very likable character. From
    the first dinner scene to the final act, he just did not appeal to my
    taste. This caused the emotional impact at the end to be lessened for
    me a lot. I didn’t feel the emotion at the end that director
    Edgerton(who did a very excellent job behind the camera) wanted the
    audience to feel. The film itself is entertaining and there are some
    very suspenseful shots in it. It wasn’t as much a thriller as a drama,
    however it was engaging, well worth a viewing.

  • steve beard ([email protected])August 7, 2015Reply

    Good Reason to Not Attend Your High School Reunion!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • MisterWhiplashAugust 8, 2015Reply

    a dramatic thriller that turns the tables in a very satisfying way

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • cameron-59-297793August 8, 2015Reply

    Best Psychological Thriller I’ve seen!!

    The Gift is an outstanding psychological thriller directed by first
    time director, Joel Edgerton! It tells the story of a Man and his wife
    move back to Los Angeles and run into a high school classmate, who
    mysteriously gives them gifts at their front door. By doing this,
    memories from the past are brought up to ruin many things about their
    marriage! This is by far the best psychological thriller I have ever
    seen! Not only did Edgerton direct this film, but he wrote and starred
    in it! His performance was a masterpiece. But the best performance in
    my opinion is Jason Bateman! Transferring from a comedy actor into a
    serious role is hard but he pulled it off. This movie gets you thinking
    after the credits role thinking about how words from the past can
    really hurt and damage people! This movie was perfect in my opinion and
    I will be disappointed if it is not nominated for multiple Oscars
    especially for best director! A flawless movie! EASY 10 stars and much
    watch!

  • Connor DillonAugust 8, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton simply gave us one of the greatest thrillers of this year!

    The Gift follows married couple Simon and Robyn who get a unexpected
    encounter from Gordo, an acquaintance from Simon’s past. At first,
    Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo, but after a troubling series of
    uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts, a horrifying secret emerges.
    Little do they know that their perfect lives are about to be thrown
    into a terrifying tailspin.

    This film standing as Joel Edgerton’s directional debut, I must say is
    pretty impressive. This was a well crafted thriller put together by
    Edgerton, it wasn’t as predictable as most thrillers are these days, it
    was simply one where our expectations keep getting pummeled to ground
    from how the story keeps transitioning.

    Everyone in this were simply astonishing, Edgerton played such a
    compelling creepy loner with so much aplomb, Hall played her role
    perfectly as a depressed woman that can’t stress enough with all the
    fear and for Bateman, coming from his comedic standpoint, simply
    impressed as the husband with one troubling past. Round of applause to
    each and everyone!

    The film builds an effective sense of suspense and disbelief, you don’t
    know what to believe from all the turn of events. The story was told so
    fluently with the suspense, is wasn’t cheap or hasty but more chilling
    and grim when it came to the very well paced manner, it doesn’t simply
    spoonfeed us with everything it’s doing but really lets us take the
    turn for worst with each surprise hiding at each corner.

    The Gift was simply a shot in the dark when it let loose from the
    formulaic genre it was hanging off of. This nerve-wracking thriller
    maturely sends this main couple spiraling out of control as Edgerton
    simply starts to turn their life upside down by downgrading their
    relationship piece by piece. You can never tell who’s the main
    protagonist, Is It Bateman? Is it Hall? Is It Edgerton? You can’t
    really seem to tell until the surprise-filled ending that takes a
    wonderfully warped take on long-ranged karma. The Gift most certainly
    gave deliberate pacing, believable characters, and masterful
    understanding of cinematic suspense, Edgerton really proved that this
    film shouldn’t be the last present we receive from him.

  • Jacob WoodAugust 8, 2015Reply

    One Of The Best Thrillers In Years

    The Gift is one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in a long time. This
    Gift is almost a perfect film. When I first saw the trailer for this
    film I really didn’t think it would be that good. But when the film was
    released it was really good reviews and everyone was praising the
    movie. Everyone was also saying how the ending is shocking so I decided
    to check it out. After seeing this movie all I can say is ”This is
    probably one of my favorite films of 2015 so far.” The acting in this
    movie is amazing. Joel Edgerton and Rebecca Hall are really great in
    this film but the one person that stand out the most was Jason Bateman.
    Bateman’s performance in the film is probably his best role yet and I
    think his is one of my favorite performances of the year so far. When I
    was watching this film I didn’t see actors acting I saw real people and
    that why Edgerton’s writing was so good. And his directing was also
    great in the film. This is probably one of the best directorial debuts
    from an actor I’ve seen in a while. The film did have a Hitchcock feel
    to it because every scene is slow and very tense and my heart was
    pounding in those moments and I was on the edge of my seat. The ending
    of this film is shocking and it made me feel sick in my stomach for
    awhile. One minor problem I have with this film is the jump scares now
    there weren’t that many in the film but it felt cheap and didn’t feel
    right. But I would have to admit there was one good jump scare in the
    film and if that was the only one in the film that would’ve been great.
    Overall please see this movie it deserves all the money it could
    possibly get and whatever you do don’t see the trailer just look up
    what the film is about and see this movie you won’t be disappointed by
    it.

  • LursaAugust 8, 2015Reply

    Wickedly, Creepily Awesome

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • UberkillsAugust 8, 2015Reply

    Not the stalker movie you thought it was

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • george.schmidt ([email protected])August 8, 2015Reply

    Effective throw back to ’80s psychological domestic thrillers

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • trublu215August 8, 2015Reply

    A mind blowing, twisted film that just solidified itself as one of the best films of the year.

    ”You may be done with the past but the past isn’t done with you.”, one
    of the many creepy and subtly sinister lines out of Joel Edgerton’s
    brilliant directorial debut. The Gift is the definition of a sleeper
    hit. It has all the right things going for it, a great cast, a great
    script and the potential to be a future classic. What starts off as a
    slow burn thriller, giving the audience enough exposè to make us really
    connect with these characters and sympathize with every single one of
    them then slowly turns into a new age Pacific Heights. The film pits
    Simon and Robyn, two newlyweds that have just bought a house in Simon’s
    hometown. While out shopping, Simon runs into Gordo, a guy from his
    high school days that is a bit off and at that moment, the film takes
    off and we’re given enough twists and turns to constitute this as
    shocking to say the least. Actor and, now, director Joel Edgerton
    knocks this film out of the park, making this a home run for it being
    his directorial debut. Hell, if this was his tenth film, it’d be a home
    run. Edgerton directs his screenplay and actors with such confidence,
    you’d think Adrian Lynn directed it. The three leads in Jason Bateman,
    Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton couldn’t be more perfect. Bateman
    delivers a career best performance, ditching his recent string of light
    comedies and applying his condescending attitude towards the yuppie
    entitlement in Simon. Rebecca Hall, who has yet to deliver a bad
    performance in my eyes, makes this no exception. She’s fantastic in
    this film. Joel Edgerton also proves extremely eerie as Gordo and for
    someone to pull off the perfect trifecta such as Edgerton, it puts him
    in the same league as Ben Affleck. This is a fantastically twisted
    potboiler film that needs to be seen. The Gift stands as single
    handedly the best film of the summer and one of the very best of the
    year.

  • Max van DongenAugust 8, 2015Reply

    The Gift is Better Than Your Average Thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • renezelweAugust 8, 2015Reply

    wasted opportunity

    The colours, lighting, exteriors, interiors and jump scares were all
    good, but the action wasn’t. A topless female is photographed twice
    from the back through frosted glass, and a female is barefoot in 4
    brief appearances, 2 of a couple of seconds and 2 so brief they are
    barely noticeable. Did the actress(es) back off from all that or was it
    the Director? Unless thrillers have female flesh and violence as proper
    ingredients and not just fleeting glimpses they will not regularly put
    bums on seats. I have been an avid and regular cinemagoer since the
    early 1950s and have probably seen as many horrors and thrillers in
    their various versions as anyone, and I again have to use No One Lives,
    Maniac, Ex Machina, It Follows and 50 Shades Of Grey as recent examples
    of excellence. Since then we have had the wasted opportunities of Knock
    Knock and now this one. I went to a first performance where the
    audience had all paid about £7 and were bored stiff. Has no one seen
    the chilling Tale Of The Large Empty Barn?

  • Red_IdentityAugust 8, 2015Reply

    Tense, unsettling, and so well paced…

    Yeah, this was a lot of fun. I mean, the story reminds me of many
    others (most noticeably, Gone Girl and Side Effects) in that it’s able
    to turn its story in more ways than one. As a very straight- forward
    thriller (the first half of the film) it works marvelously. Edgerton
    really has such a confident control of the pacing and the tone he wants
    the film to have, and when it switched direction, he’s still able to
    keep the audience in their toes. What’s most impressive is that this
    really is such a B-plot in many ways, but Edgerton goes further and
    really develops a thoughtful morality tale. Just when the film seems
    like it’s going to go down the rabbit hole and not come back, he
    reveals another aspect of the story that puts it al in perspective.
    There are a few implausibilities (like someone else said, not sure if I
    can buy that she would be unaware of how he was for such a long time)
    but there are enough answers to such questions that are satisfactory
    and don’t damage the film as a whole.

    The three leads are also so fantastic. Edgerton is perfect, and Bateman
    also really surprising. Who knew the lead from Arrested Development
    (although in retrospect his character never really stayed in caricature
    mode really) had this in him? He has some really dramatic scenes that
    blew me away. Rebecca Hall is such a great screen presence so her I’m
    not surprised about at all. She’s just great.

    I think what’s also really impressive about the film is that nothing
    comes out of nowhere. Every turn you sort of have an inkling, and you
    see all of the clues planted early. This may seem like a problem for
    many (”i totally saw that coming”) but for storytelling, it’s what
    works best in retrospect. The film at its core is really about the way
    our past can have consequences not just for us but for others, and the
    way it can also shape other people in ways you wouldn’t expect. Simple,
    but effective.

  • bambioscAugust 8, 2015Reply

    Not what I thought it would be

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • viewsonfilm.comAugust 8, 2015Reply

    VIEWS ON FILM review of The Gift

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • nyc manAugust 8, 2015Reply

    It should be called ”Boo” when it tries to scare you

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • horcrux2007August 8, 2015Reply

    ”The Gift” lives up to its title in the best way possible

    The 90’s was the golden age of highly stylized stalker thrillers with
    flicks like Basic Instinct, Single White Female and The Hand That Rocks
    the Cradle, and the actor-turned-director Joel Edgerton hearkens back
    to those films with his directorial debut The Gift. In The Gift, young
    charismatic Simon runs into an old high school acquaintance named
    Gordon, and after a painfully awkward conversation, they go their
    separate ways. Simon’s wife, Robyn, thinks it’s just a chance
    encounters while Simon wants nothing to do with ”Gordo the Weirdo.”
    Gordon then slowly starts inserting himself into their lives and brings
    to light secrets about Simon’s life, and Robyn realizes that she
    doesn’t know who her husband really is. The thing that makes The Gift
    so unpredictable is the ambiguity of the villain. Initially, we think
    that Gordon is the villain since we seem him suddenly become too clingy
    and start stalking the couple, but as the plot progresses, Gordon
    reveals several secrets about Simon that make Simon seem like the true
    villain. Each secret revealed about Gordon and Simon twists the plot
    even further but not so much that it causes the film to meander through
    its story. This is a very controlled movie. None of the suspense comes
    from big chase sequences or any real action; it’s the revelations about
    the characters that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The Gift is a
    surprisingly well-crafted and intense thriller film that feels like a
    throwback to the best 90’s stalker flicks.

  • Jacques CieslaAugust 9, 2015Reply

    Sleeper hit of this summer.

    The summer movie season is meant for big budget superhero flicks and
    trashy horror for teens with no taste. Yet somehow, one of the best
    films of the summer of 2015 is a low budget, intelligent, psychological
    thriller, called The Gift.

    Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married
    couple who recently moved to the beautiful Californian suburbs. By
    happenstance, Simon is reacquainted with a former high school
    classmate, Gordo (Joel Edgerton). This reunion, however, brings back a
    secret from Gordo and Simon’s past that threatens everybody involved.

    The thing that was truly startling was how remarkably well directed
    this film is. Edgerton, who also stars in the movie, wrote and directed
    The Gift. For a rookie director, I was truly surprised at how well done
    this film was. It’s a bit of a slow burn but the tension really shines
    through in the third act. The editing was also superb and used
    wonderfully to increase tension throughout the length of the movie. As
    good as Edgerton was behind the camera, the first 15 to 20 minutes
    didn’t grab me the way a film like this should.

    Edgerton was remarkable in the director’s chair but he also shined as
    Gordo. He plays it in such a way that is truly menacing but also quite
    sympathetic and emotional. All the performances where good for that
    matter; Bateman was surprisingly solid considering he is better known
    for his roles in comedies. Rebecca Hall was the performance that was
    really surprising however. Not only did she have a bigger role than the
    trailers lead me to believe but she was the emotional base of the
    movie, the only character that the audience could attach themselves to.

    All would be in vain if it wasn’t for the magnificent script. Thrillers
    like this are a dime a dozen and something has to be really special for
    it to stand out from a crowd of mediocrity. The Gift is the true
    definition of a physiological thriller. It relies on the performances
    and the plot to bring you to the edge, rather than gratuitous violence
    and creepy imagery. Joel Edgerton said in an interview that he was
    inspired by Hitchcock and his classic thrillers when making this film.
    And the inspiration shows. Much like Hitchcock it plays the audience
    like a piano with pacing and craftsmanship rather than typical
    Hollywood garbage.

    The Gift was simply great. It will inspire conversation and disturb the
    viewer. Edgerton is excellent both behind and in front of the camera.
    It has a fantastic ending that is original and dark. The Gift is a
    surprisingly great film that deserves your time.

  • Tango and CashAugust 9, 2015Reply

    (close to being) a masterpiece

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Thomas DrufkeAugust 9, 2015Reply

    Let Bygones be Bygones

    There are plenty of thrillers that have plenty of promise but fail to
    come through in their execution. The Gift is just the opposite. The
    trailers were really well done and pretty much all the marketing for
    the film was handled extremely well. Apparently the studio sent out
    ‘Gifts’ to plenty of critics and media personnel well in advance in an
    attempt to stir up the buzz for the film. It worked because my theater
    was packed on a Sunday at 2pm. I was taken aback by the amount of
    people. You just don’t see that unless it’s a big summer blockbuster.
    So it’s safe to say they got people to go see the film. Now did they
    execute in the making of the film? Absolutely.

    The Gift is a thriller in every sense of the word. It tells the story
    of Simon and his wife who recently move out to California in order to
    get away from past personal troubles, but ironically Simon’s past finds
    him. Gordo, an old classmate of Simon’s, runs into them and doesn’t let
    bygones be bygones. Several gifts show up at the couples house day
    after day and chaos ensues. And it’s not completely an original film,
    in fact several clichés are used. But I thought the execution and the
    building of tension throughout was meticulous crafted. Especially the
    music done by Danny Bensi which contributed to said tension a lot. This
    is Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut and boy did it make an impression
    on me. He is simply one of my favorite people in the business. After
    Warrior, Gatsby, and Zero Dark Thirty he was already in the list of my
    favorite actors, and his performance is great here too. But it was the
    simplicity of his directing job that I felt was most impressive. He got
    one of Rebecca Hall’s best performances out of her and I don’t think
    Jason Bateman has ever been better.

    But like I said before, it wouldn’t be a great thriller if the writing
    of the inevitable twist or climax wasn’t done well. There was about a
    15 minute interval near the end that the film almost lost me, but it
    picked back up and the final minutes are tremendous. The great part was
    that I was far more interested in the arcs of each individual character
    than I was of the reveal or anything else. It’s a tribute to the great
    character development that Edgerton did. Now, I could have probably
    done without the friends of the couple in the film as I don’t think
    they really had a purpose, or at least I didn’t need them. There are
    also quite a few things either left up to interpretation or just not
    addressed, which some may have a gripe with, but I thought it worked to
    it’s benefit. The film already had a pretty decent length as at times I
    felt the 2 hour runtime, but it’s a really enjoyable psychological
    thriller. I was really pleased with this film, because we don’t see
    many of these films anymore, or at least good ones for that matter.

    +Character arcs

    +Rebecca Hall steals the show

    +Music

    +Executed the clichés well

    +Ending

    -Supporting characters

    8.7/10

  • David Ferguson ([email protected])August 9, 2015Reply

    High School Reckoning

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • cultfilmfanAugust 9, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton’s The Gift

    Joel Edgerton’s The Gift (which he wrote, directed and co stars in) was
    certainly a film that took me by surprise. I had seen no trailers of
    the film and really knew nothing about it when going into the theatre.
    It was one of those films that comes along every once in awhile, where
    there is not a lot of media coverage, or promotion of said film and yet
    the critics are really liking it and once you go to see it, at the end
    you are just in shock in awe of what you had just seen, but at the same
    time, you liked every single minute of this film and it was a master
    class in every meaning of the word in terms of how thrillers should be
    done. I have since I was a teenager been a fan of thrillers/horror
    films and I watched several during that adolescent portion of my life
    and also got together a good size collection of films and memorabilia
    related to the genre. Over the years I found though, that the films
    from years ago from this genre, that they still appealed to me greatly
    and I still had a strong fondness for them, but the newer films coming
    out were just almost pathetic and certainly nothing to write home
    about. It seems all the really good films from years ago were now being
    remade into terrible remakes and once one idea was done then it would
    be recycled countless times and you would continue to get multiple
    remakes of the really good films and also an endless slew of
    unnecessary sequels to them. Trends have come and gone in this
    particular genre. I liked the slasher films of the 80’s and 90’s, but
    once we got to the last 15 years, or so, people started getting more
    lazy and what was considered ”hip”, or ”in” at the time was just not
    something I was buying. I did not care for that whole ”torture” series
    of horror films that after each film, one after the other they tried to
    out do one another with how vicious, nasty and gruesome they could be.
    Totally unappealing and worthless. I also never got into the Japanese
    horror films (with the exception of Takashi Miike’s Audition). People
    screaming loudly into the camera and a lot of loud noises and bombastic
    musical scores did nothing for me either. The found footage genre had
    some interesting ideas (e.g. Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch
    Project), but after awhile, everyone was using that technique and after
    awhile it wasn’t new, fresh, or original anymore. I could go on, but
    won’t due to limited space. What a breath of fresh air with Joel
    Edgerton’s The Gift. Here is a thriller that knows how to do the film
    right and exceeds on all possible levels. The story at first glance may
    seem simple enough, but as the film goes on it becomes more and more
    involving and after a few twists and turns it really gets us on the
    edge of our seat and it was also one of those films that certainly
    stays with you lost after you have watched it and leaves both an impact
    on the viewer and leaves you thinking about it for a long time. This is
    also more of a thinking person’s thriller as it really gets one
    pondering about human nature and how we treat each other as humans. I
    can not go into it any further as I don’t want to spoil the film, but
    you really start to wonder who if anybody you are rooting through
    during this picture, which I think is the point and something to be
    applauded. There is not a single scene of graphic violence during the
    whole running time of the film and nor is it needed. The film is so
    involving and captivating and what it does not show us in terms of
    violence is all the more effective at creeping us out because it leaves
    more to the viewer’s imagination and leaves us to guess and assume
    certain things which is even more powerful and at times scary than if
    they had gone the opposite route and been really violent, or gory. The
    film works as a good character study as we certainly get several good
    depictions of human nature and the effects we can have on one another.
    The film works as a human melodrama and we get caught up in the lives
    and actions of these characters and at times it almost plays out more
    like a drama film, but then we get back into the thriller mode of the
    film and it all comes together so brilliantly than the end result is
    fantastic. The direction and writing here from Edgerton is really
    impressive. He certainly knows how to concoct and craft an expertly
    done thriller and film and it is an extremely impressive directorial
    debut. The acting from Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton himself
    is also all top notch and serves the film well. This was more of a
    smaller low key type of film, but I am so glad that it got a mainstream
    release and that people are going out and seeing it. This is the type
    of film you want to tell people about and have them see because of how
    good it is. This is certainly the finest film I have seen this Summer
    and I know it will be on my year end top films list. Highly
    recommended.

  • AlanjackdAugust 9, 2015Reply

    well wrapped

    Why as a seasoned movie addict and theatre visitor am I always amazed
    at the way the ” Blockbusters” get all the press and gossip and
    fantastic movies like this slip through the net. Like last years
    immense ” The Babadook ”, this directional debut by Joel Egerton is a
    really good thriller and has had nowhere near the media coverage it
    deserves. It makes me so angry that the Marvel franchise gets rammed
    down our throats on TV and in fast food cafes and masterpieces slip
    through the net. Excellently directed and very well acted,this clever
    little well – wrapped gift is all we need to let us know that the
    proper movie making process is still alive and kicking. Very few
    special effects and perfect use of sound( or lack of it in some cases)
    with 1 or 2 shocks to keep us going,it carries a clear message of our
    past waiting to wreck our future. I think it cleverly slows pace half
    way through then wakes up in the last third.Grab it while you can guys
    cos this will just go after a week or 2.

  • vengeance20August 9, 2015Reply

    Dark & Unnerving, though unfinished at the end…

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ArunPaul145August 9, 2015Reply

    One of the best films of 2015

    The Gift is the story of a married couple (Jason Batemen and Rebecca
    Hall)who purchase a new home in California and come upon an old
    school’friend’ of Batemen’s in the form of ‘Gordo’ played by Director
    and Writer of the film Joel Edgerton, what follows is a 108 minute
    thrill ride filled with tension, an incredible amount of twists and
    some truly phenomenal acting. All three central performances are
    Oscar-worthy however the pick of the bunch is Jason Batemen as the
    married man with something to hide, he gives an astonishingly layered
    performance and shares fantastic chemistry with Hall. Full credit must
    be given to Joel Edgerton for his masterful directorial debut, he and
    cinematographer Eduard Grau utilise slow and controlled camera-work to
    give the film its tense feel, also Edgerton’s choice of using music
    sparingly in the opening third and then adding more and more as the
    film builds to its incredible climax shows the mark of a fine director.
    The script is truly great and it offers a truly original idea that
    Hollywood hasn’t really explored, whilst all of the twist and turns in
    the films storyline could cause a bloated feel, due to the well paced
    delivery it keeps the viewer enthralled to the very end. The Gift is a
    film that grips you from beginning to end and one of its greatest
    features is its opening, it spends little time setting up the scenario
    and throws the viewer straight in, an unconventional method proves a
    genius move and allows for atmosphere building tension to be built
    immediately. Needless to say The Gift is a film that demands watching
    by all and is hopefully the first of many directorial turns by Joel
    Edgerton.

  • doofuspoofusAugust 9, 2015Reply

    A true tale of what goes around comes around

    This movie was about as impressive as writing can get. I mean the utter
    suspense of this film was just present around every corner. The
    direction was wonderful and the performances. Kudos to Jason Bateman.
    This was a different character for him to play as he usually plays the
    funny guy with the heart of gold looking for a break.

    When you see these types of films you expect them to be really
    predictable to a point where it’s boring (I.E No good deed, the boy
    next door, or Secret Window) not that I didn’t enjoy the films I
    mentioned; predictable films can still be entertaining but this for me
    had me curious throughout. I love movies that leave no loop holes in
    the end and just form a perfectly complete puzzle which it did. I also
    enjoyed and didn’t expect the scares. It had a little horror mixed in
    with the suspense but not so much that it took away from the film.

    This was a story that fully shows that a person’s actions good or bad
    can always come back to haunt them and even the simple message of the
    film wasn’t too in your face. I love how Simon says ”some people just
    don’t change after high school” because in the end that was more true
    about him than Gordon. See this film. It’s one of the best of the
    summer and a wonderful directorial debut.

  • mm-39August 9, 2015Reply

    Depraved:

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • juliemanigliaAugust 9, 2015Reply

    There are no thrills…

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • maurice yacowarAugust 10, 2015Reply

    childhood victim returns to wreak revenge

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • subxerogravityAugust 10, 2015Reply

    A weird twisted tale that leaves a strange taste in my mouth

    A fascinating look at what floats in the mind of Joel Edgerton who
    wrote directed and co-started in the film with Jason Bateman, who
    played a great jerk in the film, and did a really good job of it.

    It’s a tale about the victim of a bully seeking redemption. If you
    yourself know what it’s like to be bullied, you might get the biggest
    thrill from the twist and turns being made here.

    It’s a nice horror set up without being a horror movie. it’s a thriller
    that reminds me of the type of things Alfred Hitchcock did.

    Edgerton plays creeping and awkward really well, almost as well as
    Jason Bateman’s jerk. The two did quite well in this movie building up
    tension and slowly unveiling the plot to the movie.

    The Gift is a good watch.

  • mcgregorrowlandAugust 10, 2015Reply

    A good edge of your seat thriller.

    I love suspenseful films. So naturally when I saw the trailer for this
    I was really intrigued. It made me even more excited that Joel Edgerton
    was directing and writing this film. So naturally I saw this film and I
    was not disappointed.

    This movie had great suspense. You kept getting surprised the whole
    movie and you found yourself at the edge of your seat a bunch. This
    movie also had some horror and creepy moments which added more to the
    suspense.

    Everyone doubted Jason Bateman because this was a horror movie. But boy
    were they wrong! He did great acting and I was very impressed with his
    performance. Rebecca Hall and Edgerton did very good as well.

    Edgerton’s writing was great with a lot of twists and suspense. It
    definitely kept you at the edge of your seat and you were wondering
    what was gonna happen next the whole time you were watching.

    If you love edge of your seat thrillers and a lot of plot twists then
    you will love this film.

  • Edgar Allan PoohAugust 11, 2015Reply

    This brilliant expose of America’s One Per Center bullies . . .

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • kevjfarrellAugust 11, 2015Reply

    Good suspense thriller

    I loved the acting and the characters in this movie, they play their
    parts well. I found the first half of the movie somewhat clichéd.

    The pace of the movie is good and there are enough moments where you
    are waiting to jump out of your seat. The character Gordo is weird and
    creepy and you wonder how his character will unfold and what the basis
    of his relationship with the couple is really about.

    There’s plenty of tension as the story builds, but I was expecting more
    from the ending. I’m not sure how I would have liked it to end, but I
    feel it could have been even more of a surprise and shocker.

    All in all, not a bad movie by any means, but if you want to see a
    suspense thriller I would go for Gone Girl rather than this. But that’s
    my opinion – judge for yourself. It is worth a watch!

  • Film-SlaveAugust 11, 2015Reply

    EXTRAORDINARY cloaked in the familiar

    I have seen this film three times and it almost demands two screenings
    to see what is really going on. The subtlety with which Jason Bateman
    delivers the character of Simon.

    Many reviewers have failed to view the beginning of the film through
    the filters of what we know about these characters at the end. What if
    Simon immediately recognized Gordo and remembered everything about
    their shared past? What we learn about Simon is that he likes the upper
    hand. How does that apply here? Edgerton’s clever use of over-worked
    types and settings to provide cover for an astounding main story is
    smile inducing. The energy with which he approaches this story is
    elegant. This is not a jolting roller-coaster, but a first-time sky
    dive with a perfect landing.

  • Shane BreenAugust 11, 2015Reply

    A Perfectly Executed Cautionary Tale

    A young married couple’s lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin
    when an acquaintance from the husband’s past begins to bring mysterious
    gifts to the couple’s new home.

    This film is written and directed by Joel Edgerton and serves as his
    feature length debut. He does a fantastic job at setting the tone and
    atmosphere for the story to unfold. Throughout its 108 minute run time
    there is always a sense of dredd and unease, Edgerton showcases great
    build ups of tension while also pacing the film perfectly. As the film
    progresses the lines between antagonist and protagonist become blurred,
    the film concludes as a sort of cautionary tale that you will never
    forget.

    The cast of this film is superb, Rebecca Hall plays the paranoid wife
    ”Robyn” who suspects there is more than meets the eye, Joel Edgerton
    inhabits the character of ”Gordo” whom is incredibly engaging whenever
    he is on screen, you can’t help but want to know more about his
    motives. Fargo’s Allison Tolman is also great in a supporting role as
    ”Lucy” a woman who acts as the only comfort in ”Robyn’s” life. However
    the stand out performance has to be Jason Bateman as ”Robyn’s” husband
    ”Simon” he delves deep into his characters psyche, it is a brilliant
    testament to his ability when you stop seeing him as an actor and only
    see the man he is playing.

    From fascinating dialogue, top-notch acting, an engaging plot and
    impressive directing The Gift succeeded all my expectations. When the
    motion picture concludes it will have you discussing its characters and
    consequences which is what any great film should do. This film does act
    as a cautionary tale and an important one at that, it teaches us that
    you can never bury your past no matter how many people you deceive and
    that words can be the most painful weapon of all.

    Overall I found The Gift to be a highly engaging and tension filled
    film, which has its twists and turns to set it apart from many other
    mystery, thrillers. I am going to give it a 9/10.

  • Davis PAugust 12, 2015Reply

    Very well done thriller!

    The gift is a very well written, well casted and acted, and well
    executed! Jason Bateman, Rebecca hall, and Joel Edgerton all delivered
    wonderful performances! The acting was just so intense and spot on
    throughout the whole movie. The suspenseful scenes delivered a creepy
    and thrilling sense to the audience. The dialogue really impressed me
    here, as did the plot in general and how that was carried out. Also,
    there is a twist right at the end of the film that was really cool and
    interesting to see, I won’t reveal what that twist is, you’ll have to
    go find out at your local theater for yourself. This movie really did
    exceed my expectations by the time the credits rolled. Very impressed!
    8/10 for the gift

  • lpquigAugust 12, 2015Reply

    Don’t let this film go unnoticed

    Originally, I was planning on going to see Fantastic Four this weekend,
    but after hearing about what an abomination that was, I decided to see
    this film instead. And thank god I did.

    What surprised me going into this film is that it was written, directed
    by, and starring Joel Edgerton. I’ve been a fan of the guy’s acting
    ever since Warrior, but I was a little bit concerned about what he was
    going to bring to the table with his script and his camera-work. First
    things first, the script is very well written. It feels real, with
    touches of very good humor. But I was most impressed with his
    direction. Right off the bat you’ll notice Edgerton’s use of windows to
    build tension. I found myself constantly on the look out for Gordo,
    Edgerton’s character, who is the main antagonist of the film. His long,
    sweeping, pan shots really build tension, and I was on the edge of my
    seat for a lot of scenes in this film. There were a couple of cheap
    jump scares, but for the most part, he never lets the tension break. He
    also gives a very good, very subtle performance. His character holds a
    lot of grief and dark secrets, and he is able to show that without
    overdoing it. All in all, hats off to Edgerton all around.

    I have to talk about Jason Bateman as well. He is by far doing the best
    work of his career here. I totally forgot I was watching a primarily
    comedic actor. Also, Rebecca Hall gives a very good performance. The
    viewer primarily lives through her performance, as we see the story
    unfold just as she does. Great acting all around.

    There is a big reveal in this movie, and it is very good. I’m not going
    to say anymore because I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s a
    film that really made me think, and I appreciate that. I’m urging
    people to see this. Its a great thriller with some very interesting
    themes.

  • Ian McConaghyAugust 12, 2015Reply

    A Haunting MASTERPIECE

    …A marvellous thriller to end the summer. Gone Girl was my favourite
    movie of 2014, when I saw the title of this movie, it intrigued me,
    when I saw the genre it compelled me further, and when I saw the
    trailer it struck me right in the heart. That very night I went out to
    see it with a friend and I came home in awe of this fantastic film.
    Less than 48 hours later, I saw it for the 2nd time, with a bigger
    group of friends, yet again coming out in awe, seeing little things I
    had missed the first time. All I can is… Don’t spend anymore money on
    films, until you see this ONE…. Joel Edgerton (Gordon aka Gordo) is
    an amazing actor, and an even better director!!

  • HellmantAugust 12, 2015Reply

    Keeps you guessing, all the way until the very end!

    ‘THE GIFT’: Four Stars (Out of Five)

    A psychological thriller film written, produced, and directed by Joel
    Edgerton (in his feature film directorial debut). Edgerton also costars
    in the movie, with Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall. It tells the story
    of a married couple, who keeps getting unwanted visits, and gifts, from
    an old high school acquaintance of the husband’s. The film is a classic
    suspense thriller; that keeps you guessing, all the way until the very
    end!

    Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall) are a young married couple, that just
    moved from Chicago to California. They seem happy, but Robyn just
    suffered a miscarriage; and the couple is looking to start over; away
    from the big city life. They’ve also moved, to a part of town, near
    where Simon grew up; and they run into an old high school classmate (of
    Simon’s), while shopping at the store, named Gordo (Edgerton). Simon
    doesn’t remember Gordo, at first, but he quickly remembers how weird,
    and bullied, he used to be. Gordo keeps coming by their new home,
    uninvited and bringing gifts. Things go from awkward, to haunting and
    disturbing; as Gordo won’t seem to leave them alone.

    I’ve been a fan or Edgerton’s acting since 2011’s ‘WARRIOR’ (my
    favorite movie of that year); I’ve also enjoyed multiple films co-
    written by him too (like last year’s ‘THE ROVER’). Now, I’m happy to
    see, he’s a gifted director as well. He says one of his main
    inspirations, for this movie, was Alfred Hitchcock; and I think he does
    a great job, paying him homage. He also gives a great, creepy
    performance, in the film too; and Bateman and Hall are fantastic as
    well (I love seeing Bateman continue to stretch as an actor, doing more
    dramas and thrillers). The movie is definitely worth a watch; it’s a
    more than impressive directorial debut, from Edgerton! Can’t wait to
    see what he does next.

    Watch our movie review show ‘MOVIE TALK’ at:
    https://youtu.be/a2oJP7OqaOg

  • Quietb-1August 12, 2015Reply

    Unwrap and say thanks for The Gift.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • GavinHeisenbergAugust 13, 2015Reply

    The Most Must See Movie of the Summer

    ”The Gift” is the most must see movie of the summer. It is such a
    compelling thriller from start to finish. Just when you think you know
    where it’s going it throws in a twist you won’t see coming. Hat’s off
    to Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, who all give great
    and very subtle performances. All 3 leads are multilayered and
    engaging. Edgerton is great as a sweet but social awkward loner.
    Bateman plays a smug condescending douche to a T and Rebecca Hall was
    very likable. It’s nice to see her in a great movie again. It’s
    disturbing, gripping and thought provoking. It has the best ending to a
    movie I have seen all year long. It is this year’s ”Nightcrawler”. In
    terms of plot and execution I would say that this and ”Inside Out” are
    easily the best movies of the Summer. Along with this ”Unfriended” and
    ”It Follows”. it has been a damn good year for Thrillers. Rush out to
    see it. A Film that has to be seen with an audience 8.6/10

  • ctowyiAugust 13, 2015Reply

    A Psychological Thriller That Pulsates With a New Beat

    I saw the trailer for The Gift a few weeks ago and wasn’t too excited
    about it. Movies which I can surmise the plot straightaway from
    watching the trailer don’t entice me at all. But great word of mouth
    and some exceptional reviews changed my mind, and I am so glad I caught
    this before the run is over. This is easily one of the best
    psychological thrillers I have seen this year.

    There is a lot to admire in The Gift but its chief virtues are its
    refusal to align with any character and its unpredictability in terms
    of its plot. Joel Edgerton wrote, acted and directed this thriller and
    it is a superb piece of smart writing. He knows his audience well
    enough to know where our minds will take us and what we will expect to
    see, then he subverts the expectations and zigzags us into the dark
    recesses of the human heart.

    It may sound easy to pigeonhole this one as ”your past will come back
    and bite you” revenge thriller, but the script does a solid job in
    deconstructing the current state of climbing the social-corporate
    ladder and what a sound marriage entails. In short, this one has
    levels. I also love how Edgerton shifts gears in such a subtle manner
    that I never saw how it morphs from social commentary to horror to an
    investigative procedural and finally surges towards an exuberant
    mindfcuk finale.

    Most movies nowadays sleepwalk through the usual paces but not this
    one. You will never be able to guess where this one is heading based on
    what you see in the beginning. One of best twisted movies I have seen
    and it even has a lot to say about the current state of human behavior
    in this fast-paced society which takes no prisoners.

  • RforFilmAugust 13, 2015Reply

    The Gift a real gift: half a scary thriller and other half intriguing character study

    Don’t you hate it when your on Facebook when you receive a friend
    request from some that that says they knew you in school, yet you draw
    a black when you try to remember them? Reconnecting with old friends or
    even people from school tends be something of an interest. While I may
    not flat out meet them for coffee to catch up, I at least like knowing
    if they made something of themselves. Did any student government
    officials ever go further in politics? Did the class poet ever try to
    publish something? Did the mathletee ever become an engineer. That’s
    what social media pages are for these days.

    I also think about once high school ends, the positions of geek, bully,
    jock, and many other labels are suddenly dropped from your personality.
    When I see those old souls on Facebook, I try to see them as functional
    adults, yet part of me still sees their role from school. Even if the
    bully-like jock became a ballet dancer, I’d still see them as the jock
    more then anything. The story of The Gift is all about reconnections.
    Some reunions are nice while what we see here is much darker and
    sinister.

    A couple, Simon (played by Jason Bateman) and Robyn (played by Rachel
    Hall) has just moved from Chicago to Los Angeles with two purposes;
    Simon has accepted a new job and they’re both getting away from a
    miscarriage that has troubled Robyn into prescription drugs. While
    getting some home decorations, Simon runs into Gordo (played by Joel
    Edgerton), an old high school classmate that was known as ”Gordo the
    Weirdo”. While a little socially awkward, Gordo seemed sound enough for
    Simon to say, ”I’ll see you around”.

    Gordo pays a visit to Robyn, getting a tour of the house and is eve
    invited to have dinner. Gordo in return invites the couple to his
    place. Simon still senses some odd behavior from Gordo and promptly
    tells him that he doesn’t want to be friends and doesn’t want him at
    his house. In the next couple of days, Robyn become paranoid that Gordo
    may be targeting the couple as their dog goes missing and the koi fish
    in their pond are killed. Simon places all the blame on Gordo for being
    weird, but Robyn starts to get other sides of the story from other high
    school friends to understand something that she doesn’t know about
    Simon.

    I have to stop there as I would ruin the full enjoyment for those that
    haven’t seen The Gift. Most stalker stories tend to revolve around a
    strange character following someone until a fight ensures. This one
    throws more surprises and even plays around with conventions on how we
    see people. Perhaps are villains may be sound or maybe our heroes are
    truly evil. Joel Edgerton also wrote and directed this story that’s not
    only scary, but intriguing with the many directions that it takes.

    Jason Bateman balances out his determined workaholic personality with
    his backstabbing attitude well enough for us to say that we know at
    least one person in out lives that act this way. Joel Edgerton is just
    as creepy, but enough of a sad guy that we feel sorry for him. I’m
    surprised to say that The Gift belongs to Rachel Hall. She is the
    buffer between Simon and Gordo and must act accordingly if she wants
    the truth. The gift feels a lot like a Hitchcock- esqe story much like
    Fatal Attraction. It’s defiantly scary, but I would put this in the
    thriller- mystery category.

    I’ll give this eight gift boxes out of ten. The Gift is truly a gift;
    it’s half scary thriller and other half interesting character study.
    This is one of my biggest surprises of the summer. If you’re spooked
    easily by this material, skip it, but I beg you to give it a chance.

  • medwa6347August 13, 2015Reply

    Spectacular. An instant classic in it’s genre. Looking forward to more Edgerton!

    If this film is any indication, then count me as a fan who will be
    watching very closely by more work by Joel Edgerton.

    The trailer tells a compelling story, but really only scratches the
    surface of how deep this film really is (don’t worry – no spoilers
    here.) The complete story is so much more than what you may think
    you’re signing up for – which I’ve always considered a good thing.

    The characters develop throughout the course of the film in often
    unexpected ways…and they develop so wonderfully slowly and subtly,
    such that the transformation feels so real…and each character
    perfectly embraces the circumstances they’re put in with again a key
    realism and gripping nature that is really seldom seen.

    I personally found the Rebecca Hall, who plays Robyn, incredible in
    this film. Can’t dive into more without giving too much away, but
    suffice it to say I found her character to be nothing short of an
    absolute triumph of the human spirit.

    Did I mention cinematography? It was stunning. The opening shots say it
    all. The whole film felt like an homage to an Alfred Hitchcock-style
    film making – keeps you on edge and fills the screen with meaning and
    depth without all the cheap scares that fill today’s modern thriller.
    I’ve heard it said that horror is not gore, it’s metaphor…and this
    film is truly horrifying…while being so much more at the same time
    (again would love to elaborate, but you’ll just have to see it!)

    I was truly moved by this movie and am looking forward to owning and
    watching it as a classic in it’s genre.

  • Joseph ThomasAugust 14, 2015Reply

    Highly Recommended and Original

    I first saw the trailer for this film when I went to see another film
    months ago and I was interested in what I saw due to Jason Batman
    playing a rather serious role, as apposed to a comedic actor. As far as
    what I expected from the film, it looked to be a typical stalker film
    that I have seen many times before. But this movie took it to another
    level through great acting by all cast members and great directing by
    Joel Edgerton as well as his role as Gordo. This film is different from
    other stalker flicks because of its unique story and slow pace. This
    movie is not movie by any stretch, yet I had no problem staying engaged
    through the entire film. I do not wanna spoil anything so I will just
    end by saying you should go watch this film if you enjoy great acting
    and intense moments and are looking to avoid the new Fantastic 4.

  • Seyed Sadra Sadraddini ([email protected])August 14, 2015Reply

    Excellent thriller, one of the best movies in 2015

    ”The gift” is an authentic thriller with a solid dramatic story line
    that makes you ponder for a day or two after seeing the movie. Some
    reviews are already comparing this movie to some Hitchcockian classics.
    Unlike cliché thrillers, the movie is not all about frightening dark
    scenes and screaming woman characters; Instead, it is based on
    representation on realistic emotions. The pace of the movie is so
    smooth that the character build up is done near to perfect. Twists are
    really interesting and entertains audience. The music didn’t impress
    me. Such a movie requires much better music.

    I recommend this movie to everyone, specially those like me that are
    interested in mystery dramas.

  • FindmeindelawareAugust 14, 2015Reply

    slow and painful

    I have to say, i was very excited to see this movie. However, after
    about 30 mins in, i was bored, eyes rolling and twiddling my thumbs. It
    is very slow. It builds up and up rather painfully, until you are
    waiting for what you hope makes the whole 1 hour 20 mins you’ve been
    watching less painful. Its a good twist, but i did guess before it
    happened, there is a lot of unnecessary diversions and back stories.
    Overall Jason Bateman does a good job of helping you cling on to
    watching more of this film. I think it’s overrated to be given a 7.7
    It’s a one time watch, rather forgettable.

    Longwinded and dull until the very end, where it’s sort of okay but
    still pretty retarded.

  • Anthony IessiAugust 14, 2015Reply

    Go Ahead, Open It.

    ”Let bygones be bygones”.

    Truly, out of the clear blue sky comes ”The Gift”, and it’s the
    creepiest psychological thriller in ages. The sleeper hit of the
    summer. Joel Edgerton is amazing as Gordo. He really constructed a
    unique, extremely creepy, pathetic character for himself. You really
    don’t know whether to feel bad for the guy, or just hate him for being
    so intrusive, and irrational. Jason Bateman is another big star here.
    In a rare turn, he goes completely dramatic, and he is spectacular. I
    want more serious Bateman. He has the workings of a master class actor,
    and Edgerton had the courage to pry that out of him. I was cringing in
    my chair, and having a ball the whole time.

  • LogLady25August 14, 2015Reply

    Big Fan Of Joel Edgerton.

    Joel Edgerton directed, produced, wrote, and starred in this movie.
    Usually, directors in their own movies is a bad thing, but he’s
    incredibly creepy.If you saw the previews and thought that this was
    just another stalker movie, it isn’t. I was still putting it together
    when it ended. It’s intelligent and it makes you think. It was compared
    to The Hand That Rocked the Cradle, Rosemary’s Baby, and Cape Fear, and
    I thought that it couldn’t possibly live up to all of that, but it did.
    It was creepy in a subtle way, but there were also jump scares that
    actually made people scream. There’s little violence and no gore, but
    the tension is constant. Go see this movie!

  • Jasrick JohalAugust 14, 2015Reply

    A delightful dark film. Summers best film thus far.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ([email protected])August 14, 2015Reply

    Not Worth the Money………..

    The movie is slow, takes a while for the story to build-up and seems to
    drag. They tried to make the movie gripping but loses the punch.

    Movie starts off well and very quickly introduces the 3 main
    characters. The middle part is where the movie lacked the meat. It just
    did not do a good job of building-up on the story. The ending was okay
    but you may feel what just happened. The only good part of the movie
    was good acting. Background music was okay.

    This movie is definitely not worth $10+ for big screen. I was very
    disappointed with the movie and was really hoping for a tight, gripping
    and a good thriller.

  • Matt GreeneAugust 14, 2015Reply

    Ominous Suburban Nightmare

    The trailers for The Gift make it seem like a dull home-invasion yarn
    as forgettable as last week’s soap opera. In actuality, director
    Edgerton’s debut is quieter and more skillfully patient film than
    expected, with a style and tone more mature than most. With shades of
    Polanski, the ever-present tension is more of the skin-crawling
    variety, with only a few earned yet effective jump scares. It’s a
    suspense film firmly staked in real-ness, making it an ever-ominous,
    steadily increasing suburban nightmare. The situation is uncomfortably
    relatable: a couple (Bateman and Hall) becomes increasingly annoyed /
    creeped out by a strange and assertive man (Edgerton) from their past.
    Each of these three performances is really strong and naturalistic.
    Hall plays broken perfectly, and Bateman is fantastically authentic as
    Simon, a wonderfully complex character whose morality and motivations
    are as fluid as his truth. Edgerton, however, is the standout as the
    subtly pushy and socially-off neighbor. Every time his character showed
    up uninvited, I got physically nauseous, as if I had to deal with him
    myself. The movie wants us to be annoyed by him, all while feeling bad
    for it, and it fully succeeds. Much like last year’s Gone Girl, these
    first-class discomforts work as a takedown of the American Dream. When
    our success creates space for boredom or selfish ambition, dangerous
    fear and anxiety can lead to poor judgment. Along with manipulation and
    compulsive lying themes, it’s not necessarily the happiest movie of the
    summer. However, The Gift is a slow-moving, non-pandering thriller made
    for adults that’s a nice change of pace in the middle of the blow-em-up
    summer cinemas.

  • kastigarAugust 14, 2015Reply

    Good-Guy/Bad-guy

    Part way in, I thought this was going to be a Good-Guy/Bad-guy movie,
    with the question being resolved at the end.

    It wasn’t! I sat through the credits trying to figure it out. I almost
    asked the usher on the way out. Maybe I should have stayed in the
    theater and watched it a second time.

    I hadn’t heard anything about this. I didn’t see it advertised. It was
    playing at a convenient time and it had gotten good reviews. It wasn’t
    a blood-and-guts movie, and it didn’t appear to be, nor was it, a
    horror movie.

    I’m still wondering: Did I miss something? Was it clear who was the
    Good Guy and who was the Bad Guy? Is there something I didn’t
    understand?

    This was good – really good. Very worthwhile seeing.

  • Mario PetoshatiAugust 14, 2015Reply

    ”The Gift” is a gift to anyone who bothers to watch it.

    ”The Gift” is Joel Edgerton’s first film as a director (he also writes
    the film, and plays the character of ”Gordo”), and what a wonderful
    attempt it is. Let me start by saying that this is not the horror movie
    that the trailers make it out to be; it is a deep, psychological
    thriller that will leave you wondering how and why characters made
    certain decisions. The writing/dialogue is superb in this film: you
    have to really pay attention to every little word mentioned in the
    film, as they have a heavy significance on the outcome of the film. The
    writing would have been in vain were it not for the fantastic actors:
    Jason Bateman (Simon) takes a wonderful turn from his usual comedic
    roles, and puts in the best performance of his career, without a doubt.
    Rebecca Hall (Robyn) also turns in a fantastic performance as the
    scared, and somewhat confused, person in the midst of all the film’s
    drama. However, the star was always going to be Joel Edgerton (Gordo).
    Edgerton was born for this role; he is so convincing as this ”weirdo”
    that for two hours, I did not see Joel Edgerton; I saw Gordo. Edgerton
    is able to make the viewer sympathise with Gordo, despite the fact that
    he continuously delves deeper into the heart of evil with each of his
    actions. The slow shots in this film, and the way that Edgerton paces
    it is truly a sight to be seen. All of his shots are full of thought,
    and are extremely artistic. Overall, ”The Gift” is the best film of
    2015, so far, without a doubt. Ignore its trailers, and go out and
    watch the film, as it has not received anywhere near the amount of hype
    that it deserves. 8.5/10 Toes

  • Neil WelchAugust 14, 2015Reply

    Solid drama from Edgerton – good work!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • preppy-3August 14, 2015Reply

    It’s good but slow

    Simon (Jason Bateman)and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a married couple who
    have just moved to California. While shopping they run into Gordo (Joel
    Edgerton) an old schoolmate of Simons. Gordo is socially awkward and
    strange but they invite him over for dinner. Then he starts to show up
    all the time at the house showering them with gifts. They tell him to
    leave them alone…but then things turn deadly.

    This has been praised to the high heavens by critics. While it is a
    good thriller–sometimes a VERY good thriller–it’s not that great.
    It’s slow-moving and flatly directed by Edgerton. There are a lot of
    good twists and turns at the end and the acting is good all around but
    the slow pace makes this sometimes frustrating to watch. 10 minutes
    easily could have been removed from this. Also visually it’s nothing
    special and the stereo soundtrack adds nothing to it either. No blood,
    gore or nudity either. This would play just as well on TV as up a
    theatre. So I slightly recommend it but don’t pay full price.

  • izildasystemsAugust 15, 2015Reply

    Good movie.. This scene got to me – SPOILER

    Just saw the movie.. I thought it was original and i liked the fact
    that it wasn’t about killing, guns, military etc. however i’ve seen a
    lot of movies that have messed up scenes, but there was one scene in
    this movie that i came out of the movie feeling sick and sad to my
    stomach. The scene where Simon is walking up to Gordo and tried to
    apologize and Gordo is not willing to accept his apology. Simon just
    starts to push him, kick him, knocks to the ground and kicks his
    things.. even after all of this Gordo just stands there and takes it
    and tried to pick up his things.. I mean Gordo is not a small person,
    he could have easily punched Simon, but he just took it and basically
    telling him to stop.. I just felt like sharing and was wondering if
    anyone felt likes this as well.

    Good movie

  • ahmet-erik0August 15, 2015Reply

    Definitely worth a watch

    I went into the film with not so high expectations. Since I have an
    unlimited can I can see any film. Which is what I did and went to see
    this film. I can say that you won’t get bored or dislike the film. It
    does have scary parts ( thriller). But the whole script and the story l
    line, in my view, is great. The acting is really good and there are
    some surprising things that you will miss. Pay attention to the film
    and enjoy it. Joel Edgerton does a great job as directing. To be honest
    I am not a huge fan of him, as I haven’t seen him very much. However as
    directing and acting on this film he makes a great job. His best film
    probably is the Warrior with Tom Hardy. But as I said you will enjoy
    the film especially if you like thrillers. I don’t want to bore you
    with long reviews. Also ”Mr. Brooks” is a great and underrated crime
    thriller for those people out there to watch. Very underrated. Enjoy

  • jadepietroAugust 16, 2015Reply

    All the Trimmings

    (Rating: ☆☆☆ out of 4)

    This film is recommended.

    In brief: A neatly packaged psychological thriller.

    GRADE: B

    Before we review our feature presentations, let’s take a moment to
    discuss the sorry state of today’s movie trailers. The simple job of
    the film preview is to entice the moviegoer into returning, with cash
    in hand, to see the finished product by showing short snippets of the
    future movie. But nowadays, these coming attractions seem to come in
    two varieties, leaving nothing to one’s imagination. They do a
    disservice to their commodity, either giving away too much plot, as in
    Southpaw, Max, Ricky and the Flash, or Woman in Gold or totally
    misleading the audience into thinking it is seeing another genre with
    its slight-of-hand like Mr. Holmes and our main event today, The Gift,
    which comes off as a possibly violent psycho-slasher thriller when the
    opposite is true.  Instead, The Gift is a nifty little mystery that
    keeps one guessing throughout the movie’s twists and turns and even
    holds up after viewing. It doesn’t tie up all the loose ends in one
    neat little package (pardon the pun), but it makes logical sense when
    discussing the time frame and circumstances with your movie-going
    friends after-wards. It is a rarity these days to enjoy an well
    thought-out adult suspense drama since so many filmmakers tend to go
    for shock value and violence to cover-up the flaws in their
    storytelling. The Gift is that atypical movie that respects its own
    genre and doesn’t go that easy route and one needs to admire such a
    film.

    The film starts off rather slowly as we met Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and
    Simon (Jason Bateman), a well-to-do couple recently moved to Los
    Angeles. This used to be Simon’s hometown and it is here that he once
    again bumps into a high school acquaintance named Gordo (Joel
    Edgerton). Both share a deep dark secret from the past as they renew
    their strained relationship, which instills some concern from his
    curious wife, especially when Gordo the Weirdo (his high school
    nickname) bestows on them several gifts as his personal thank yous. His
    behavior gives off a mixed message: Is he out for revenge and stalking
    this couple or just a lonely social misfit looking for friendship?

    The Gift is a taut psychological thriller that engages the moviegoer
    and expects its audience to have a modicum of intelligence in following
    the clues. Sometimes it does overstate the obvious and goes for cheap
    scare tactics with startling sound effects or an inane dream sequence
    to cause some screams along the way. But, on a whole, it respects its
    Hitchcock tradition as a solid mystery should.

    Mr. Edgerton did triple duty on this film. It is his feature debut as a
    writer / director and he co-stars in his project. Glad to report, his
    talent succeeds in all of these areas. His script is slightly
    convoluted but efficiently written and his characters are well drawn.
    His direction is concise and focused and he allows suspense to build
    through the character’s actions. His acting shows Gordo’s
    vulnerability, sadness, and anger ever so subtly. He also wisely chose
    to fill his other characters with Ms, Hall and Mr. Bateman playing
    opposite him. Ms. Hall pulls you into her character’s dilemma from the
    onset as she begins to confront the lies and cover- ups. The actress is
    excellent in her changing moods. But it is Jason Bateman who impresses
    with his acting range, taking his good guy persona and adding some
    rough edges to his character as he plays this game of intrigue. It is a
    fully accomplished portrait of a man trying to control his present life
    but unable to do so because of past transgressions.

    The Gift delivers the goods with all the trimmings. Even if some
    omissions in the plot are never fully explained, the film remains a
    tense and rewarding mystery thriller.

    Visit my blog at: http://www.dearmoviegoer.com

    ANY COMMENTS: Please contact me at: [email protected]

  • DoctorJackalAugust 16, 2015Reply

    A Sleek and Effective Thriller

    The Gift is a fairly simple film, yet it doesn’t feel predictable. It
    tells the tale of a young married couple who move into a new home. They
    both seem innocent enough, but the past has come back to haunt them. We
    learn of a disturbing history and a compelling story of justice.

    The movie is immensely intriguing and doesn’t feel conceited. Joel
    Edgerton hits it out of the park with an awesome performance, a
    competent script, and brilliant direction. Each scene is superbly shot
    and builds a lot of tension. Hallways are long and dimly lit, the
    pacing is steady, the score is ominous, and some stellar acting brings
    it all together.

    While I think Edgerton is the real star of the show, Jason Bateman and
    Rebecca Hall also bring a lot to the screen. Their characters aren’t
    flat and the chemistry between them feels organic. The confrontations
    they face, with each other and otherwise, are convincing. We feel
    connected, which is vital for making a good thriller.

    The plot is simple. There’s a moral to the story, but the direction it
    takes doesn’t feel too preachy. The ending is somewhat open for
    interpretation, but by the time the movie comes to a close, it wraps up
    nicely. It’s straightforward and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Movie
    fans of all kinds have something to enjoy here. In a swirling sea of
    disappointing summer schlock, this one stands out. Do yourself a favor
    and see this in theaters.

  • Jacob CornblattAugust 16, 2015Reply

    A Thrilling Thriller

    Up until its final moments, ”The Gift” keeps you thinking. Actually,
    let me rephrase that: ”The Gift” keeps you thinking until weeks after
    you’ve seen it.

    Its acting, cinematography, directing, sound, and pacing are some of
    the best in recent history. The film’s ability to build – and hold –
    tension is astounding, as well.

    Joel Edgerton has made quite the name for himself with his debut, and I
    am looking forward to his future films.

    By the way, I am very picky about giving out a ten on IMDb. The fact
    that I gave ”The Gift” a ten means that by my standards, this was a
    perfect film.

  • zetesAugust 16, 2015Reply

    Good, but I didn’t quite like some of the twists

    Pretty good thriller directed by the multi-talented actor Joel
    Edgerton. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a married couple who move
    back near where Bateman grew up for his new job. There they run into a
    former high school classmate of Bateman’s, played by Edgerton. They
    were not friends back then – there’s clearly some bad history between
    the two men which Bateman is not entirely open with with his wife – but
    Edgerton seems friendly enough. But tensions rise when Bateman wants
    Edgerton to stay out of their lives. This seemed like it would be quite
    predictable from the trailers, but it has some good tricks up its
    sleeve. The strongest part of the film is the characterizations – these
    really feel like three dimensional people (it is unfortunate that good
    actresses like Alison Tolman and Busy Philipps appear in a couple of
    thankless supporting roles, but no big deal), and the three leads give
    performances to match the good script. I did think that some of the
    final twists didn’t quite work, but it’s still a solid movie.

  • Robert W. ([email protected])August 16, 2015Reply

    A total gem in a missing genre

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • cjardine-85465August 16, 2015Reply

    Mind boggling film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • aharmasAugust 16, 2015Reply

    Telling Stories

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Fernando PonienteAugust 16, 2015Reply

    So much hype, so little thrill.

    Unrealistic plots, might as well be a sci-fi movie. So much holes and
    eye brows raising cliché. Viewers left empty and disgusted. Viewers did
    not like it. This movie will only please few people. I’ve seen a lot of
    movies and I can say this movie is one of the worse in 2015. Jason
    Bateman was good but I think I got used to it seeing him in goofy
    movies and I don’t think he is the right guy for the role specially for
    this kind of movie. It is very predictable. Very slow and incomplete
    character introductions. This is for killing time and if you like to
    torture your self with slow pace movie this is for you. Nothing I can
    say more. peace.

  • grand-15854August 17, 2015Reply

    Dumb

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Russ Matthews (russellingreviews)August 17, 2015Reply

    Think twice before opening the door – 3.25 stars

    ‘Let bygones be bygones’

    Walking into the cinema… It looks like a thriller on the level of
    Hitchcock, but what is the real message of this film?

    Overall Rating: 3 stars Cinematic rating: 3 stars Bigger questions
    rating: 3.5 stars

    Moving house can be exceptionally stressful. For Simon (Jason Bateman)
    and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) their move is to get a fresh start for their
    lives. They are excited about the beautiful scenery and the new
    neighbours in the suburbs. He has a new job with a multitude of upward
    mobility opportunities and his beautiful wife works from home and makes
    herself busy setting up their new home. Yet, things in their new world
    are not as idilic as they seem. As their story begins to unfold in this
    suspense thriller, as they look for new beginnings and put their pasts
    behind them, one of Simon’s former classmates comes into their lives
    through a chance encounter. As happens after 20 years, it takes time
    for Simon to recognise ”Gordo” (Joel Edgerton) from high school, but
    eventually the familiarity becomes apparent and leads to a series of
    events that will test the relational depth of this young couple. Gordo
    begins leaving various gifts at their door, comes by unexpectedly and
    gradually exposes Simon’s past sins. Mistakes he made in this life that
    he wishes would remain locked away. Gordo’s frequent visits grow in
    their level of cringe worthiness, but break through Simon’s facade and
    show his dark side. As their lives unravel, Robyn begins to question if
    she truly knows the man that she has married. The Gift provides
    insights into the twisted existence of mankind through past memories,
    current relationships and the potential for revenge.

    Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings) wears multiple hats in this
    outing in film- making by plying his hand at writing, directing and
    acting in this twisted tale. He develops the needed tension with
    haunting imagery and gritty character development. The filming had a
    Hitchcokian flavour and each character was given a depth that
    uncomfortably unfolds with each new scene. The multiple layers of the
    story gave way to disturbing elements that deal with a topic that has
    plagued the human experience since Cain and Abel (Check out Genesis 4,
    if you do not know the reference). The script and direction provide the
    twists and turns that keep the audience off balance up until the
    disquieting end. Not wanting to give away too many plot points, this
    film will do for bullying what Fatal Attraction did for adultery. In
    this outing, Edgerton proves that he has the potential for multiple
    influences in this industry.

    Jason Bateman (Hancock) stretches his acting skills and moves out of
    his comfort zone of comedy to an exceptionally serious role. His
    hauntingly effective and tragic portrayal as the supposed loving
    husband who proves to have a sinister past is convincing. Rebecca Hall
    (Transcendence) shows the vulnerability and naivety that is essential
    for this young wife, but it is the performance of Edgerton that truly
    delivers this troubling journey of revenge. He has the look and feel of
    the person in high school that no one seems to remember, but still
    manages to get caught in the cross hairs of the high school bullies.
    Also, he shows the patient demeanour that is needed to deliver the
    creepiness factor to garner awards ceremony attention. The story line
    and performances are exceptional, but this film did leave a bitter
    after-taste on leaving the theatre. The story is exceptionally
    confronting and worth considering the bigger problems in society, but
    does not deserve the label of ‘feel good film’ of the year.

    The Gift opens the door to a multitude of discussions on the topics of
    relationships, revenge, bitterness and forgiveness. The relational
    layers provide various glimpses into the human condition and what is
    both right and wrong with the world. The common thread that pulls the
    story together and causes the lives of this young couple to unravel is
    bitterness. This cinematic thriller causes an evaluation of how we
    treat people throughout our lives. Understanding that at different
    times we do make mistakes in our dealings with those that come into our
    orbit, the need for forgiveness is an essential part of life. For the
    sake of drama, genuine forgiveness was the missing component in The
    Gift, but does not have to be in real life. Is there anyone that you
    need to forgive or ask forgiveness of today?

    Leaving the cinema… It is hard not to be deeply effected by a film
    like The Gift. Anyone who has been effected by bullying can relate to
    all of the characters in the film. It was well acted and directed, but
    hard to enjoy. As a life lesson it was fantastic, as entertainment it
    was disheartening.

    Reel Dialogue: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from
    this film? 1. What does the Bible say about revenge? (Proverbs 24:29,
    Romans 12:19) 2. What does the Bible say about bullying? (Proverbs 6:
    16-19, Matthew 5:43-48) 3. What value does forgiveness offer? (Luke
    6:37, Ephesians 4:32)

    Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @
    Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews #thegift

  • JabezGillAugust 17, 2015Reply

    Alright, but not as great at the reviewers are saying

    All of the other reviewers seem to be typing tons of paragraphs…so I
    will try to keep mine brief and to the point.

    I like Joel & Jason a lot as actors. I thought the movie was okay, but
    towards the end of the movie I found myself just ready for it to
    resolve and be over…so is the movie good?

    Was I entertained? All in all, Yes. Was the Acting, Writing & Filming
    well done? Yes, very. Was it Suspenseful? I jumped Once. Never felt any
    real suspense though. Was it a thriller? Not really, more like a short
    story drama drug out for 2 hours Would I recommend it? No, but I also
    wouldn’t say DON’T see it. Would I see it again? No. Will I remember it
    in a few months? No. Was the ending good? No, it kind’ve ruined the
    movie a bit for me.

    Pro: Great Acting, Interesting Concept on the Surface. Con: No
    characters are sympathetic enough to care about, So you never get
    invested.

  • Ravi MendisAugust 17, 2015Reply

    Not Your Regular Slasher Film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • englandchristineAugust 17, 2015Reply

    Biggest waste of 2 hours ever!

    I gave this movie 2 stars for the 2 times it actually got us and made
    us jump. The rest of it was just terrible. I’m not sure if it was the
    acting, the writing or the directing or a combo of all 3. We left that
    movie feeling we just wasted 2 hours of our life that we would never
    get back. The first 20-30 minutes was just slow, awkward banter that
    was there to set up the movie (which I get), but it was so strained it
    felt uncomfortable watching it. My impressions was that Jason Bateman
    must have been desperate for cash to make this and that the rest of the
    actors were just new and haven’t quite figured out how to act. The
    whole movie fairly predictable and not remotely entertaining. Don’t
    waste your time on this one!

  • stankactormanAugust 18, 2015Reply

    A taut psychological drama

    Unlike Vegas, what happens in high school doesn’t stay in high school.
    Such is the case when former classmate, Gordon, writer, director Joel
    Edgerton shows up and insinuates himself in the lives of newly arrived
    couple Simon and wife Robyn (Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall). The gifts
    start coming in this taut, well-paced psychological drama. That’s all I
    can reveal regarding the plot. I will say this – everything is
    justified and there is no ‘comes out of no where, last minute reveal
    that makes no sense what so ever’ ending. This is a well constructed,
    suspenseful tale with fine acting and direction that will keep you
    guessing ’til the end. Score: 8.5. Go. It’s a cinematic present.

  • doctorshahraamAugust 18, 2015Reply

    Must See – great storyline & great play!

    After watching some Hollywood movies on a weekly base with my friends
    that is pretty much attracts by its boring visual effects… This was a
    great movie with good storyline and play. As a detailed oriented
    critics person, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this movie.
    Perhaps there are many true stories like that but the way this was
    directed all I can say is: WELL DONE JOB! I haven’t seen some major
    characters played in this movie before but they did a fantastic job
    acting in this for sure. A type of movie that you certainly don’t
    regret spending time watching it. My expectation was 7-8 before
    watching it and I am giving 10 now! Go watch it, you won’t regret! What
    Goes Around, Comes Around! (apparantly sooner or later …)

  • Python HyenaAugust 19, 2015Reply

    The Film is a Gift.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Mark WatsonAugust 19, 2015Reply

    A sad rip off

    POSSIBLE SPOILER

    The entire crux of the film, the reveal and the emotional implications
    it carries are directly lifted from the 2011 Spanish film Mientras
    Duermes. The rest of the film plays out as expected, a similar tactic
    used in The Hunger Games, embellish and recreate the back story but
    essentially steal the ending of an earlier, lesser known film. Populate
    with decent actors, capable of carrying a standard thriller and give it
    a chunk of money to disguise the fact it has been lifted directly from
    Mientras Duermes. I’m very surprised this hasn’t been credited as a
    direct remake. I hope the producers and writers of Mientras Duermes
    spot this. Why does Hollywood do this? Neither fair or original. 1
    Star.

  • doscentavosAugust 19, 2015Reply

    Has its moments, but overall, a totally second-rate thriller

    How many bad movies do you need to see in a row before you forget what
    a good movie really is? For me, it’s 3.

    And this is the second one this week. (Still Alice was the other.) A
    better title for this film might be: ”How NOT to respond to a stalker.”
    I can’t imagine ANY educated,successful couple playing along with an
    unstable weirdo for more than a minute.

    The acting is second-rate from beginning to end, and I think that’s
    because there’s only so much any actor can do with a bad script.

    BTW: recently, while shopping for some good info about writing, I found
    that there are MANY books on ”how to write a screenplay.” No doubt they
    are full of formulas.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this script came from such an instruction
    tool.

  • cabutschekAugust 20, 2015Reply

    Suspenseful but disappointing

    I went into this movie with modest expectations. I was thoroughly
    entertained for most of the movie as this movie builds and maintains
    your suspense masterfully. It has just enough ambiguity and creepiness
    to keep you on the edge of your seat. Also, I thought all of the
    actors/actresses played their roles very well. That was what I liked
    about the movie.

    Now let’s get to why I rated it a 3 out of 10. While I thought this had
    sind serious potential, it just never really delivered. You kept
    waiting for it to really get good and you kept your hopes up until the
    credits started rolling and you realized that nothing actually really
    ever happened in this movie. You waited and waited and nothing. Without
    giving anything away, the big secret of the husband’s past is not
    nearly as twisted as you hope it will be, which kind of just kills the
    movie when you realize there isn’t more to it. I don’t know why
    everyone is praising this movie. I left the theater a very disappointed
    customer. Hopefully I can set more realistic expectations for anyone
    who reads this review so that don’t go into this movie expecting a
    ”movie of the year” like I did after reading the reviews.

  • Mek TorresAugust 20, 2015Reply

    Surprising New Spin

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Yagya SharmaAugust 22, 2015Reply

    So Far Best Thriller Movie Of The Year

    The Story revolves around a married couple(Simon and Robyn) whose lives
    turns upside-down when an acquaintance(Gordo) of Simon’s past brings
    mysterious gifts and thus emerges horrifying secret. I am not going to
    spoil any thing,this movie totally knocks me out.Its a best thriller
    movie of 2015 till date because of its uniqueness, the performance of
    cast-Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton were great but Jason Bateman is sure a
    winner,a guy known for his comedy played a serious role to terrific
    effect, the drama revolves around the character + plot twist,shift
    perspectives(of the characters) which keeps audiences guessing right
    till the end and after the end of the movie. Joel Edgerton done a
    terrific job in creating this unique well- crafted intense thriller in
    his directorial debut and looking forward for what he does next? ”Don’t
    do unnecessary bad things to anyone that it will effect his/her life
    because it can be haunted in the future.” i am gonna give ‪A‬ to this
    ‪‎Mystery‬ ‪‎Thriller‬ ‪Movie‬

  • tjgoalie13August 23, 2015Reply

    A Film that is Sometimes Terrifying, and Sometimes Eye-Opening

    The Gift is a creepy psychological thriller that features great
    performances, and an ending that you won’t see coming. As far as
    directorial debuts go this is one of the better ones in recent memory,
    and Joel Edgerton does a great job through acting and directing
    creating a terrifying tone for the film to settle in to. The film
    features great performances by Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, and
    Rebecca Hall. The character development is very good, especially Jason
    Bateman’s character, who you grow to hate, and coincidentally also
    sympathize for. Not many directors can make you feel an array of
    emotion for a character, so kudos to Edgerton. In essence the film’s
    tone helps terrify the audience with it’s creepy stalker themes, and at
    the same time uses character development and storytelling to help prove
    a very important point, bullying is bad.

  • texsheltersAugust 24, 2015Reply

    Tense, taut and thrilling.

    ‘The Gift’ is for the Audience

    Redemption, revenge and forgiveness are major themes in first-time
    director Joel Edgerton’s tense psychological thriller, ‘The Gift.’
    Edgerton also plays one of three main characters, Gordo, in the film,
    and he wrote the script. He succeeds in all three jobs.
    Congratulations, director!

    ‘The Gift’ has many false turns and a lot of misdirection. Where ‘Gone
    Girl’ is a poorly acted, predictable marriage thriller, ‘The Gift’ is
    clever and extremely well performed. Part of the thanks goes the
    casting of Jason Bateman as the husband. Here, Bateman demonstrates
    that he is more than just a comedic actor and more than up to the
    complicated role. Rebecca Hall underplays her dramatic role with
    expertise. And Edgerton’s Gordo is a potent presence even when the
    character is off the screen.

    ‘The Gift’ builds its drama deliberately, not wasting motion while not
    rushing. And the payoff is tense, entertaining and cathartic. The Gift
    is not your typical stranger/stalker film, your spouse gone bad film,
    nor your typical mystery. Are you listening Hollywood? It can be done!
    I can’t emphasize this more: the trick is in the writing.

    Rating: Pay Full Price

    The film scares us in a way that modern horror films don’t, for it’s
    real and tense. The editing isn’t perfect, and while the music is
    excellent, it is overblown at times. The film is a taut, tense thriller
    that deserves the overused label, ‘Hitchcockian.’

    Peace, Tex Shelters

  • Surya TejaAugust 24, 2015Reply

    A mystery/Drama very well taken

    The gift is such movie where the viewer might actually think everything
    is going well in the drama until the turning point is reached. My every
    conclusion to the movie have failed and it emerged to be completely
    different. It has got all the elements a mystery fan can ask for.
    Family centric mystery, some witty comedy and high levels of suspense.

    The movie is about a husband and wife who moved to the that street very
    recently and are visited by an old friend who might be a trouble to
    them. The story is very slowly unveiled as the visitor becomes more and
    more visible. I loved the way the story was wrapped up really like a
    present and only comes to limelight when the gift is opened. There is a
    message at the end of the movie if you can take that home.

    Jason Bateman, Rebecca hall and Joel Edgerton have all literally lived
    in their roles and are a delight to watch. Each of them did complete
    justice to their roles carrying the suspense element in their
    expressions too.

    But I am sure this movie will be one of those underrated movies which
    will not be talked about because the budget discrimination.

    Go watch it and you will know how good it really is.

  • Anurag-ShettyAugust 24, 2015Reply

    One of the best thrillers of all time!

    The Gift tells the story of a married couple. Simon(Jason Bateman) &
    his wife Robyn(Rebecca Hall), move to Los Angeles from Chicago on
    account of Simon’s new job. After they move to Los Angeles, Simon meets
    an old high school classmate named Gordo(Joel Edgerton). Simon
    introduces Gordo to Robyn. Gordo starts giving a number of gifts to the
    married couple. Gordo also shares a secret that turns Simon & Robyn’s
    life, upside down.

    The Gift is a spectacularly crafted thriller. Though the audience may
    think they know who the real culprit is, this film will have you on the
    edge of your seat & will keep you guessing right till the end. The
    concept of the movie is unique & unnerving. Joel Edgerton excels in his
    directorial debut. Edgerton has managed to induce a growing feeling of
    dread, as the film progresses. Don’t worry. There are a handful of jump
    scares in the movie too. Hats off to Edgerton for writing this
    fantastic & original script in a world of sequels, spin-offs & reboots.
    The three leads have given commendable performances. Jason Bateman is
    outstanding as Simon. It’s refreshing to see Bateman, in a dramatic
    role for a change. Rebecca Hall is superb as Robyn. Hall portrays
    Robyn’s paranoia & fear, effortlessly. Joel Edgerton is the star of the
    show as Gordo. Edgerton’s subtle performance keeps the audience
    guessing as to the intentions of his character. The supporting
    characters are great. The Gift is a must watch, not just for thriller
    fans but, for everyone.

  • Jonathan RosasAugust 24, 2015Reply

    Sympathy for the ”villain”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Michael RadnyAugust 26, 2015Reply

    A Gift To Surprise All

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • DarkVulcan29 ([email protected])August 26, 2015Reply

    One of the better thrillers I’ve seen in a while.

    For the first time as writer director, Joel Edgerton really pulls out
    the stops here, the jumps scares, just when you think it is going in
    one direction, it completely surprises you.

    Simon(Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn(Rebecca Hall) while shopping
    meet a man named Gordon(Joel Edgerton), who claims to have gone to
    school with Simon. Simon admits he does kind of remembers Gordon, Soon
    Gordon starts coming around there house more and more. Soon Simon and
    Robyn come to realize that there is something not quite right with
    Gordon.

    This thriller reminds us that not everything is what it seems. It had
    some good suspenseful scenes, even when there are moments when there is
    no music playing building the scenes up. Joel Edgerton really plays
    Gordon with such a creepy edge, you really feel it every time he’s in a
    scene. Rebecca Hall is great, the greatness of her acting really shows
    here. Jason Bateman was also good, I hope he does more dramatic roles
    in the future, cause he shows he is quite good at it. A very well
    written and directed film by Joel Edgerton, and also well acted by him.

  • Rob StarzecAugust 26, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton’s Anti-Bullying Commercial

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • stephendaxterAugust 27, 2015Reply

    An edge of seat experience that i recommend you watch

    ‘The Gift’ is a mystery thriller starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall
    and is the directorial debut for Joel Edgerton who also starred in the
    film. The film had a very creepy and suspenseful tone for most of the
    movie that has you on the edge of your seat. I will say right out of
    the gate that if you fall asleep easily and aren’t into slower films
    this is probably something you might not last through, because to
    create that suspense the film is a very slow burn for pretty much the
    entire film.

    For the first hour of the film i was completely engaged and the creepy
    tone had my full attention, the film had me trying to guess what would
    happen next only to prove me wrong on most occasions. It was a great
    unpredictable ride right until that one hour mark where it almost looks
    like someone else took the reigns and steered the film in another
    direction. For the whole second act it ditches the the suspense for 30
    minutes of strict character development with some development of the
    main plot that answers a question that could have been answered in like
    5- 10 minutes with the same resulting effects. This imbalance really
    damaged the film and the sudden switch in tone felt more like a
    lifetime drama with a hint of mystery than a straight up mystery
    thriller.

    The film does manage to revert back to the creepy and unsettling
    mysterious tones in what resulted in an incredible final 15 minutes
    that had me in awe. The first hour of the film in combination with the
    fantastic finale shows that Joel Edgerton can do a really good job at
    creating a film with good tone, characters and plot that work really
    well together, but that drop off in the second act shows that he still
    has a little more to learn in the art of directing.

    Lets now move on to the cast and their performances, to me, i thought
    the whole cast were pretty great and it was a relatively small cast
    with only Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton, and Rebecca Hall playing
    characters you will remember. They all did a great job at playing their
    characters and they didn’t feel cliché and acted very natural and how
    you would think some people would react in these situations. Joel
    Edgerton proved his acting skills again as he nailed that fine line
    between creepy and generous that had me second guessing myself an many
    many moments. I was particularly curious to see if Jason Bateman could
    take on this very serious role and execute it well, as we are used to
    seeing him in more strictly comedic roles. And now i have to believe
    that he will be getting more of these roles in the future because of
    this very convincing performance playing a character who gets more and
    more interesting as the film goes on, and just as the character got
    more interesting Jason was getting better and better.

    In the end, this indie mystery thriller is a good example why indie
    films are becoming some of the best films to release this year and can
    really go up against the big blockbusters. – 7.5

  • Andrew_DawsonAugust 29, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton’s Directing Debut Was….

    A SUCCESS! I mean, obviously I thought so, rating it an 8 out of 10,
    but wow, this was a great thriller. The story starts with introducing
    Simon and Robyn, a married couple moving to California for Simon’s new
    job. There, they run into Gordo, Simon’s former high school classmate,
    which sparks a chain of events consisting of gifts, horrifying past
    secrets, and an ending no one saw coming.

    The three main roles were played to perfection throughout the whole
    film. Rebecca Hall (Robyn) did a great job of playing a troubled wife
    trying to figure out what in the world is going on. Jason Bateman
    (Simon) steps out of his comedic comfort zone and shocks the audience
    with his gritty performance as a husband who is more than what meets
    the eye. And lets not forget Joel Edgerton (Gordo) putting on a
    fantastic performance as a mysterious, creepy guy who no one feels
    comfortable being in the same room with.

    Throughout the whole movie, my heart was pounding through my chest and
    I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. If that’s not
    a recipe for a good thriller, than I don’t know what is. But beyond the
    feeling of intensity throughout, the plot also had me very intrigued.
    Edgerton laid out a unique story that made me want to pay attention and
    try to figure out why certain things were happening. And the ending had
    me literally holding my hands on my head in disbelief.

    Honestly, without the critical and commercial success of this movie, I
    probably would’ve taken a pass on it. However, The Gift was definitely
    worth seeing and one of the better films I’ve seen lately. Constantly
    wondering what was going to happen and resisting the urge to look away
    due to the wonderful suspense, I am excited for what Edgerton has in
    store for us next!

  • ([email protected])August 30, 2015Reply

    ”bad things in life, they can be a gift…”

    Many people feel obligated to acknowledge a gift by giving a gift in
    return. So why would someone feel it necessary to keep giving gift
    after gift? What original gift could be so huge that you’d feel you
    could never repay? ”I believe that the bad things in life, they can be
    a gift…”

    This is a clever, psychological thriller that plays like a
    hold-your-breath slasher flick except the maniacal madman is not as
    obvious and the horror is in the back-story. Simon (Jason Bateman) and
    Robyn (Rebecca Hall) move from Chicago to Simon’s hometown. They run
    into Gordo (Joel Edgerton), who went to high school with Simon. Gordo
    drops off a bottle of wine as a welcoming gift; the first of many gifts
    that continue to multiply as the plot deepens, the story weaves a
    keep-you-guessing path, and the reunion gets creepier and creepier.

    Edgerton directs himself as Gordo and exacts a perfect mix of empathy
    and psychopath. Bateman gives a great performance as you question
    whether the story he’s telling is true or not. And the story…wow! It
    unwinds at a delicious pace and reveals itself just steps before you
    figure it out. It’s smart and really makes you think about ”What does
    ”bygones be bygones” mean?”

    Like nothing you’ve seen and a refreshing respite from the recent
    sequel/re-make/super hero fluff being delivered from the major
    Hollywood assembly line. Happily give up your entertainment dollar on
    this one! You’ll be giving yourself a gift!

  • invernessmovieclubAugust 31, 2015Reply

    Return to form for the psychological thriller!

    Over the last few years the thriller genre has been somewhat neglected.
    There are, of course movies that get tagged as a thriller but they
    rarely leave you with that sense of fear and vulnerability as well as
    the tension and, well, thrills that this genre demands. Aussie actor
    Joel Edgerton has quietly been making a name for himself over the last
    decade with a run of strong and versatile performances. He can now add
    another string to his bow as the director of The Gift, a psychological
    thriller that will keep you biting your nails and leave you guessing
    how it’s all going to end.

    The Gift centres around Simon (Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn
    (Rebecca Hall) as they move from Chicago to Los Angeles so Simon can
    begin employment at a new Security firm and to possibly escape a few
    personal issues they’ve had. Whilst shopping for furniture for their
    new home, they meet Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who went to school with Simon
    years before. Everything seems pleasant enough initially as Gordo
    accepts a meal invitation and returns the favour by leaving them a few
    innocent gifts. But as the movie develops Simon takes exception to
    Gordo randomly appearing at the house and eventually asks him to leave
    the couple alone. Is Gordo really as innocent as he seems? Or could
    Simon be hiding something in the past that he doesn’t want Gordo to
    reveal?

    It would be impossible to expand further on the plot without giving too
    much away but the slow build and reveals leave you hanging on to see
    what the next act brings.

    The three leads are all excellent. Jason Bateman is giving the chance
    to play a little against type from his usual nice guy to the nastier
    aspects of Simon’s nature. Rebecca Hall is also on top form as the
    vulnerable Robyn where you never know if her personal issues are
    causing her to overreact or whether she really is in danger at times.
    The movie though belongs to Edgerton who brings both sides of emotion
    to Gordo as making the audience feel threatened and also sorry for him.

    There is no real action as the budget was less than $5m. It is simply a
    decent story based on the characterisation of the three actors and the
    claustrophobic edge that Edgerton brings to the direction. The Gift is
    by no means perfect and there are certain scenes that feel overlong at
    times. The plot itself also isn’t anything we haven’t seen before but
    The Gift is a more than satisfying thriller that will leave you gripped
    to the final scene and will make you think twice about reuniting with
    old acquaintances from the past.

  • scottshak_111August 31, 2015Reply

    A beautiful direction, even better than most

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • DoubleOscarSeptember 1, 2015Reply

    A Great Success for a First Time Director

    As many people were, I saw the trailer for The Gift and assumed it
    would be yet another cheesy movie about stalkers. The plot overall
    isn’t that captivating. It centers around a family who just moved and a
    person from the main character’s past continues to leave gifts at their
    front door. Yeah, not so interested. However, I heard a few people
    saying to give it a chance and check it out, so I did. Boy was I glad I
    did! This is easily the biggest surprise of the year so far and caused
    me to really take notice of what Joel Edgerton can do both behind and
    in front of the camera.

    As mentioned before, the plot centers around Simon (Jason Bateman) and
    Robyn (Rebecca Hall) who are interrupted as they move into their new
    house by a person from Simon’s past, Gordo (Joel Edgerton). From there,
    things take a turn for the worse as Simon and Robyn are continually
    bothered with gifts as they try to settle into their home. Seems like
    your average stalker movie, right? Wrong. There are so many twists and
    turns throughout the magnetic script that causes the viewer to question
    every characters motivations and who is really the hero or villain.
    This constant sense of not-knowing who’s really who creates some
    masterful tension alongside brilliant performances. I like to refer to
    this movie as The Shining meets Nightcrawler because of the way the
    camera moves and follows the character to build suspense and how there
    is no clear cut protagonist or antagonist.

    Overall, The Gift is a magnificent achievement for Joel Edgerton as he
    moves forward in his directing career. With just one film, he has
    already proved himself to have the knowledge behind the camera
    equivalent to some seasoned directors. Definitely check this one out.

    ”You think you’re done with the past, but the past is not done with
    you.”

  • luke-a-mcgowanSeptember 1, 2015Reply

    Its uncomfortable for half, and then Edgerton seizes you in an iron grip and doesn’t let go. Its a thriller in every sense of the word

    From the first shot of The Gift, I felt uncomfortable. That feeling
    does not go away for the entire runtime of Joel Edgerton’s thrilling
    directorial debut. Edgerton has taken a worn out premise and delivered
    something deliciously wicked that will challenge your perceptions of
    its characters and its plot.

    In this one film, Edgerton has emerged as the new Ben Affleck on the
    block. He knows how to work a script (some of the dialogue is so well
    written that you don’t even appreciate that its fiction), he knows how
    to construct a scene, and boy does he give a performance far beyond
    anything I’ve ever seen of him. He completely becomes Gordo (hiding
    behind a creepy mask of facial hair and contact lenses), but stretches
    him beyond a caricature by infusing him with a little bit of hurt and a
    little bit of anger. There is one scene where we get to see behind
    Gordo’s mask and Edgerton could easily cop an Oscar nomination for it
    in a just and fair world.

    Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall also give incredible performances in
    what is essentially a three-person ensemble. The story is simple, but
    the execution is thrilling and the way the revelations unfold and keep
    us guessing about Gordo and Simon shows that this is actually a
    character driven film. Just as we peel away layers of Gordo, Bateman’s
    Simon is also stripped away to be someone we didn’t realise. But the
    beauty of Bateman’s performance and Edgerton’s writing/directing is
    that the clues are there in plain sight, and we find ourselves asking
    why did we ever think the way we did a minute ago? Not everything is
    resolved, and the film’s pacing makes it feel a lot longer than it is –
    but the film’s final 10 minutes was so insanely well done that I can
    forgive it those flaws.

    Edgerton’s directorial style is incredible. The movie is so utterly
    tense – even when we know inside ourselves that it shouldn’t be – and
    much kudos goes to Eduard Grau’s cinematography (it always feels like
    the main characters are being watched), Luke Doolan’s editing and the
    film’s eerie score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. Edgerton
    rarely gives in to jump scares, but on the few occasions he does, they
    are supremely effective and not at all cheap.

    This is one of those films that you want a long drive home to dissect
    it, because the more you talk about it, the more you find to love. It
    grabbed me in an iron grip and did not let me go until the credits
    rolled. My heart raced the entire time.

  • Matthew HSeptember 1, 2015Reply

    Good film!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • kyboomer .September 6, 2015Reply

    First Time a Movie Has Me Rooting for the Antagonist

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lynbayliss-609-705302September 7, 2015Reply

    The Gift…what a gift this movie is

    OK so I’m a bit of a nightmare watching thrillers, I jump, make noises,
    occasionally grab the person next to me. So true to form #thegift
    delivered on all the above.

    By the way I had no idea what the movie was about before heading off to
    theatre on Saturday night.

    I truly enjoyed the story…wouldn’t have picked the ending if I had
    tried. Intense character portrayals. Rebecca Hall is beautiful to watch
    and Jason Bateman nailed Simon. As for Joel E. #thegift who was pretty
    amazing (loved the final scenes) and on the way home I couldn’t stop
    talking about what possessed him to write this story??? No more
    talking…go see it!

  • Brendan de VereSeptember 7, 2015Reply

    Simon Says………….

    I always go into a cinema unprepared for the impact of a successful
    thriller, not because I dislike the genre but more to the fact that I
    tend to be a big wuss. With my heart beating at a dangerously high
    level of 200bpm, it is a miracle that I haven’t gone into cardiac
    arrest. I often find myself on the verge of shouting out at the theatre
    screen but control my urge before an annoyed and confused audience
    evict me for spoiling their enjoyment.

    The thriller is the hardest genre for a director to master. Get it
    wrong and the whole production will fall over. Get it right and you
    could quickly find that Hollywood has just labeled you the ‘new Master
    of Suspense’. Unlike other film categories that have the capability to
    distract you with mesmerising CGI or blockbusting action, the thriller
    has very little margin for error. Alfred Hitchcock would rate his own
    productions on the gasps, shrieks and screams that could be heard
    coming from the theatre. A quiet cinema meant the Master Director had
    missed the mark.

    Joel Edgerton has got it right and delivered the audience a
    psychological thriller that messes with the mind and leaves you feeling
    breathless long after the final credits have rolled out. He has also
    lent his talent to the page, creating a story that slowly simmers away
    before catching fire in all its magnificent glory, reminiscent of a
    suspenseful old school Hitchcock thriller from the past. Marvellous
    stuff!

    Simon (Jason Bateman) has returned to California with his wife, Robyn
    (Rebecca Hall) after spending their married life living in Chicago.
    After some difficult times in the Mid-West, it is a chance for the
    couple to start fresh in a new environment. While they are out
    purchasing household items, a school acquaintance by the name Gordo
    (Joel Edgerton) recognises Simon in the store. He presents Simon and
    Robyn with several generous gifts but Simon starts to question Gordo’s
    motives, believing the socially awkward school buddy is a few
    sandwiches short of a picnic basket. Robyn feels that Gordo’s
    intentions are harmless but Simon confronts him nevertheless and
    politely warns his acquaintance to stay away. This is where the film
    starts to catch fire. Simon’s past is slowly revealed to his wife, who
    begins to realise that her husband is not the man she thought he was.

    Casting Bateman in the role of Simon was a brave decision by the first
    time director but the risk paid off as he gives one of his most
    complete performances on the big screen. It was the chance Jason
    Bateman needed to spread his wings beyond his stereotypical outings in
    buddy films and clean skinned all American good guy productions. We get
    to see a different side to his acting abilities as the film progresses.
    Rebecca Hall is convincing as the troubled and volatile wife and Joel
    Edgerton plays his part superbly. His blank expressions throughout the
    movie only add to the suspense but he also is able to bring an engaging
    lonesome character to the story that resonates with the audience. You
    can’t help but feel drawn in to his quiet and awkward behaviour. He is
    an actor that is accumulating an enviable resume. Edgerton has picked
    his roles carefully allowing his talents to grow through the different
    characters he portrays.

    This is a great little thriller for anyone to enjoy. It builds the
    tension nicely to a climax that will leave you feeling fulfilled. It
    hasn’t relied on an overdose of violence preferring to seep the
    suspense into the audiences mind with crafty scenes, meticulous
    attention to detail, strong characters and an eerie score.

  • Nathan Fischer (furtherdownfilms)September 7, 2015Reply

    A thriller that takes its time. In a good way.

    The Gift (2015) – 7 out of 10 A Movie Review by Nathan Fischer

    The Gift is a great example of a slow burn. This movie takes its time
    and is intended for viewers with patience. The trick with movies like
    this though, is that the ending better pay off, or your audience will
    feel as though the film has wasted their time. So did The Gift waste my
    time? The short answer…No. I’m not going to dive heavy in to the plot
    because it’s best not to know much about it. This is a personal story,
    and if I try to sum it up in too many details, it won’t sound
    appealing. In a nutshell, a married couple named Simon (Jason Bateman)
    and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) move from Chicago to California for Simons new
    job. Simon is originally from the area and ends up running in to an old
    high school classmate, Gordo (Joel Edgerton). After that, an off and
    ominous relationship form between the three characters. That’s all I’m
    going to say about the plot. There are a few genre styles going on
    here. It’s not quite a horror movie, although it does have some horror
    elements. It’s mostly a suspense thriller that tries to keep you
    guessing. I say ”tries” because it really does try. It respects the
    audience’s intelligence, and it definitely takes its time…perhaps a
    little too much. But that’s what stood out to me about The Gift. Right
    when I needed it to pick up or take a turn, it did. The pacing may seem
    slow to some, but I was never bored.

    It must be noted that this is Joel Edgerton’s writing/directorial
    debut. Like most actors turned directors, he has an eye to create a
    scene. He approaches it with grace over style. To me, that’s a smart
    move. The shots he chooses are safe, tastefully done and well composed.
    His writing feels natural and the characters, for the most part, react
    to their situations in a grounded and realistic way. There is so much
    deceit and lying going on in the film, and that is where the acting
    shines. Jason Bateman steals the show. He normally plays the sarcastic,
    quick witted funny guy. Not in this movie. Charming, maybe, but not
    funny. And Joel Edgerton feels at home in his role as well, keeping it
    simple. It’s really hard to know whom to trust between the two of them.
    That is where the movie works. Actress Rebecca Hall stands right in the
    center of the drama. I felt for her character but there were a couple
    moments where I thought to myself, ”That is clearly a bad idea”.

    The Gift is a solid first film for Joel Edgerton. I look forward to him
    really spreading his wings as a filmmaker. He went small and safe with
    this movie, as any new director probably should. Aside from some pacing
    issues and an adequate, if not underwhelming ending, The Gift is a
    thriller worth your time.

  • MortalKombatFan1September 9, 2015Reply

    A surprising sleeper from Joel Edgerton

    ”The Gift” is a thriller directed, written by and starring Joel
    Edgerton and also stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall.

    A married couple, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn Callum (Rebecca
    Hall), move from Chicago to San Franciso after Simon finds a new job.
    While out shopping, they run into Gordo (Edgerton), a former classmate
    from Simon’s high-school days that he hasn’t seen in years and doesn’t
    remember well. Shorty after their encounter, Gordo starts dropping by
    unannounced to their home, spending time getting to know Robyn while
    Simon’s at work, and sending them various housewarming gifts.

    Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall are terrific in this picture. He’s laid-
    back with with friends and work colleges, but still competitive and
    career-driven. She left her job in Chicago so they could both move, and
    now she’s working on remodeling the house and making a family with her
    husband. When Gordo invites himself into their lives, things take a
    drastic turn.

    Edgerton’s feature film directorial debut is a well crafted piece,
    filled with interesting twists and turns that keeps you guessing. There
    is a constant sense of unease from the Edgerton’s fine performance as
    the eccentric Gordo, whose unclear motives drive the suspense for the
    first half, and when his intentions do come to light, the movie
    completely turns the viewers’ perceptions of certain characters on
    their heads to great effect. Even the jump scares are done effectively,
    never being cheap or forced.

    While the movie script is unpredictable, the central premise is not
    unlike some other movies that have come out before, namely ”The Cable
    Guy” and ”Fatal Attraction”. But these could be seen more as influences
    rather than material for the story to copy from, and really the movie
    does go in its own direction after the initial premise, so it’s only a
    minor gripe.

    If you’re after an interesting thriller that plays with the
    expectations of the viewer and will leave you in suspense throughout,
    ”The Gift” is definitely worth checking out

  • Paul AllaerSeptember 11, 2015Reply

    Much better than expected… ”bad things, they can be a gift!”

    ”The Gift” (2015 release; 108 min.) brings the story of a
    thirty-something married couple Simon and Robyn (played by Jason
    Bateman and Rebecca Hall). As the movie opens, we see them then looking
    at a beautiful house in Hollywood Hills. They decide to buy it and
    movie in. The very next day at the store, Simon runs into Gordon, or
    more accurately Gordon comes up to Simon but Simon doesn’t recognize
    him. Gordon refreshes Simon’s memory that they went to high school
    together. The next day Gordon leaves a welcome gift (bottle of wine) at
    their door. The day after that, Gordon shows up at the house while
    Simon is at work. At this point we are maybe 10 min. into the movie but
    to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you’ll just have
    to see for yourself how it all plays out.

    Couple of comments: first, this is the Joel Edgerton show all the way:
    not only does he make a very impressive directing debut here, but he
    also also wrote the script and stars as Gordon a/k/a/ Gordo the Weirdo.
    Second, if you are simply expecting a ‘scary’ movie, yes there is some
    of that but let’s be clear: this is not a ‘slash and gore’ movie by any
    means. It is far more like a psychological drama, examining the long
    legacy of something that may or may not have happened a long time ago,
    and how that taxes the marriage of Simon and Robyn. During dinner early
    on in the movie, Gordon comments to Simon that ”bad things, they can be
    a gift”, and this movie certainly turns them into a gift for us, the
    viewers. We are a good hour into the movie when the Big Reveal comes,
    and you had better strap on a seat belt for the wild ride that is the
    last 45 min. The acting performances are solid throughout, even with
    Rebecca Hall looking at her most ‘mousey-est’ as the tormented house
    wife. Last, UK indie band Temples’ excellent single ”Keep In The Dark”
    plays over the movie’s closing titles.

    Bottom line: were it not for a recommendation from a friend whose movie
    judgment I respect, I doubt that I would have gone to see this. So glad
    I did! The matinée screening where I saw this at recently was attended
    okay but not great. Then again, this has been in the theaters for well
    over a month now. Given its minuscule production budget, ”The Gift” can
    be considered a modest but most unexpected summer hit. ”The Gift” is
    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • Zbigniew_KrycsiwikiSeptember 12, 2015Reply

    Non-spoiler review

    Happily married man, Simon, finds he and his wife the object of
    unwanted attention of his old high school friend, Gordo. His motives
    are not clear, initially, but it slowly becomes obvious (to the
    audience) he is playing the wifey against Simon, to ruin his life and
    career in retaliation for some long ago action.

    Many plot twists kept it from being predictable, yet also made it a bit
    too confusing; it leaves too many loose ends, sinking to the level of
    putting it to the viewer to fill in the blanks, and a few plot holes,
    which doesn’t work well here. Too much of the plot is explained second
    hand, and hearsay (especially from two decades ago) is not convincing.
    Without revealing anything of import, the story also gives us no one to
    root for, before its inconclusive ending, which relied too much on
    coincidental timing.

  • ritera1September 12, 2015Reply

    Ended up very disappointed (spoilers)

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bartlettjonSeptember 12, 2015Reply

    ”The Gift” (2015)

    This film ranks as the number one unnoticed film for Summer 2015. It is
    a thoughtful and carefully crafted mystery by Aussie Joel Edgerton who
    wrote, directed, produced and (whew!) acted in this film. The film
    begins with the arrival in L.A. of a young professional couple from the
    Chicago area which brings the husband played by Jason Bateman, back to
    his home city where there is a past waiting to confront him. The wife,
    played by Rebecca Hall, assumes the role of unraveling the secrets of
    the past. An old friend from high school (played by Joel Edgerton)
    bumps into them shopping and what initially seems to be a friendly and
    cordial reunion spins way out of control. The character development is
    slow and methodical but very calculated to support the conclusion.
    American audiences may think about getting some more popcorn at this
    point. Nothing gets blown up. There is no chase scene. San Francisco
    does not get swallowed up in a giant tidal wave, but things sure do get
    tense ala Hitchcock. What makes this picture special is the originality
    of the plot and message. Reality becomes non-reality (Heart of
    Darkness- Conrad). The wife may be viewed as a metaphor for the
    Valkyries where women choose which warrior may live and who shall die.
    There is a swipe at the corporate world and the definition of
    ”success.” But most compelling is the concept of revenge. These themes
    leave the viewer with a lot to think about long after leaving the
    theatre. Casting, acting, sets, photography were all superb. Mr.
    Edgerton deserves special mention for such a film and to convey these
    thoughts. If this is a view of what is to follow… keep it coming, man.

  • bob_megSeptember 16, 2015Reply

    If you’re expecting the usual psycho stalker revenge flick, think again

    In a terminally stale genre such as the revenge movie,
    writer/director/actor Joel Edgerton (who plays Gordo) offers up a
    breath of fresh air in ”The Gift.” It’s refreshing also to see the high
    marks the film has gotten from both critics and audiences as it takes
    literally every payback convention we’ve all committed to cinematic
    memory and turns them around — often aiming them back at us — and
    that may irritate some, but I thought it made the movie far creepier
    and immediate than something like ”The Boy Next Door” or any other
    Blank-from-hell genre flick.

    It’s probably the only film in this genre where I can remember cheering
    on the anti-hero, as he’s played with such damaged low-key charm by
    Edgerton. Jason Bateman similarly downplays his role as ”victim” to
    serve a much greater cause, namely exposing his own character’s
    calloused humanity with just the right dose of frailty so that you
    don’t completely detest him.

    The whole tone of the film is one of quiet eeriness, and the few jolts
    that do come are much more potent because of it. There’s no screaming
    score or screeching sound effects here. Even the tiring sadistic
    ”murdered pet” trope is cleverly subverted.

    It all drives home the fact that often threats that you merely fear are
    far more potent than the ones you wind up facing down. The Gift
    effectively plays with our minds as well as it does the two
    protagonists’. It’s a confident, classy thriller that gets under your
    skin and will have you looking over your shoulder for days to come,
    wondering if perhaps *you* have a Gordo waiting in the shadows from
    your own past, even if you might not think you do.

  • Lord moo_23September 16, 2015Reply

    Great Directorial Debut For Joel Edgerton

    THE GIFT is a dramatic thriller written and directed by Joel Edgerton,
    starring Edgerton, Jason Bateman, and Rebecca Hall. It centers on
    married couple Simon and Robyn who unexpectedly run into someone from
    Simon’s past. After a troubling series of uninvited encounters and
    mysterious gifts, a horrifying secret emerges; one that will cause
    Robyn to question how well she actually knows her husband.

    Edgerton is able to brilliantly build suspense with the passing of each
    scene. The way this film is shot and put together will keep you on the
    edge of your seat for the entirety of its runtime; just as the
    characters became paranoid you become paranoid. And just when you think
    you know where the film is going BOOM, it goes the complete opposite
    direction.

    As incredible of a job he did directing and penning the script,
    Edgerton delivered on the performance side of things as well. With a
    character such as his, it’s really easy to come off as over-the-top.
    But, thankfully, he didn’t fall into that trap. In fact, he went above
    and beyond of what was expected; perfectly depicting a creepy, yet
    subdued guy who keeps you guessing the whole time. Honestly, it’s all
    in his eyes; you see him as this intrusive and invading character,
    however you can also sense a whole world of pain just by watching his
    eyes. He keeps you fully engaged, but if that was, somehow, not
    enough…you have Jason Bateman.

    Bateman has always been an actor who’s never fully disappeared into a
    role. When I see him in a movie, I see Jason Bateman; I don’t see the
    character. That couldn’t be further from the truth here; I saw a side
    of him I’ve never seen before. Rebecca Hall was great as well; she
    served as the keyhole through which we saw the film. In terms of not
    knowing the history between Edgerton and Bateman’s characters, the
    audience and her were on the same page.

    Is Edgerton on the same path of a guy like actor-turned-director Ben
    Affleck? It’s too soon to know for sure, all I know is THE GIFT is a
    great start.

  • d_stack04September 18, 2015Reply

    A smart, tense thriller beautifully executed by Edgerton

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Brad VassarSeptember 21, 2015Reply

    How bullying can permanently affect the lives of both the bully and the victim.

    ”The Gift” is ultimately an underrated movie. The film captured my
    attention from the opening scene and managed to keep it until the final
    credit. I was literally on the edge of my seat through the entire
    experience. The story is exhilarating and the acting was phenomenal.
    Everything about the film is terrific. It is a mystery thriller that
    will take you by surprise every opportunity it gets. It makes you
    question who the real ”bad guy” is and who you should feel bad for. The
    person who used to get bullied and is getting his payback or the bully
    who is attempting to turn over a new leaf?

    The movie is about the victim, Gordo, of a high school bully who is
    reconnecting with his tormentor, Simon, in their adulthood. At first
    Simon doesn’t recall mistreating Gordo in school but Simon and his
    wife, politely, invite Gordo over for dinner where they realize that he
    is socially awkward, like he was as a teenager. He never really
    changed. But soon after that night Gordo made himself a constant in
    their lives by coming to their house unexpectedly, calling the two of
    them regularly, and bringing them ”gifts”. Once Simon finally mentions
    to Gordo that he doesn’t want to have a relationship with him, things
    take a turn for the worst. Gordo is now seen as a permanent threat.
    Gordo’s angle in this story is to get payback on Simon for something he
    did to Gordo in the past that completely changed his life, and it leads
    to an epic conclusion.

    The film stars Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton, and Rebecca Hall. All
    three of these actors put forth an amazing performance. Joel Edgerton
    wrote and directed this movie throughout playing the role of Gordo. He
    successfully made me creeped out by Gordo while sympathizing for him at
    the same time. You actually feel sorry for the guy who is supposedly
    harassing this ”innocent” family. Jason Bateman did an excellent job
    portraying Simon. Bateman is a comedic actor who usually plays the same
    guy in all of his movies but he came out of his shell for ”The Gift”. I
    honestly believed that Jason Bateman was Simon. His performance
    actually made me love and hate the character. The film allowed him to
    show how talented he can be. Rebecca Hall’s character is sort of the
    centerpiece to the story. She play’s Simons wife and she’s on his side,
    however, she doesn’t think Gordo is all that bad. She is conflicted to
    whose side she should lean towards. Her character ties the whole movie
    together. Edgerton did a tremendous job at creating remarkable
    character development between the three of them.

    The cinematography in this film is preeminent. It is very slow- paced
    but maintains intensity. Joel Edgerton managed to film this movie in a
    way that slowly escalates from scene to scene. It gets creepier and
    creepier and the eerie way the scenes are shot leaves your heart
    pounding. The way the camera gently goes around a corner of the house
    or how the lights dim to create tension is sensational. The soundtrack
    softens during intimidating dialogue and it heightens at fitting
    occasions. The reason Edgerton directed, wrote, and acted in this movie
    is because he had a specific vision for the outcome and he pulled
    through.

    All in all, the movie was outstanding, beyond doubt, and I cannot wait
    to see it again. If I was asked to give a synopsis of the film I
    wouldn’t be able to simply because the trailer is so much different
    than what the movie is actually about. ”The Gift” is about much more
    than a stalker causing mayhem in a couple’s lives, it’s truly about how
    the past can catch up with you and how one thing you do or say can
    greatly impact another person’s life deeply. It provides so many morals
    and values and it genuinely teaches a lesson about bullying and how it
    can affect others. Due to the surprisingly good acting, filming, and
    story arc, I give this movie a nine out of ten.

  • klusebaSeptember 21, 2015Reply

    Twisted mixture of a drama, psycho thriller and horror movie

    ”The Gift” is one of the very best movies in a so far rather
    disappointing cinematic year 2015. The low-budget production lives from
    its strong acting and twisted plot that comes around with creative
    ideas and unpredictable surprises from start to finish. The dialogues,
    effects and locations are realistic and make this a very authentic,
    credible and realistic movie. Don’t let the rather generic trailer and
    the seemingly ordinary synopsis fool you.

    The movie kicks off like a rather usual psycho thriller. A young and
    successful couple portrayed by gifted actors Rebecca Hall and Jason
    Bateman just moved back to California and organizes its new life. The
    fragile Robyn and the self-confident Simon have just purchased a
    gorgeous new home, Simon has found a promising job where he might get
    promoted soon and Robyn starts working on a few new things at home. One
    afternoon, the couple meets the socially awkward Gordo, played by the
    unpredictable Joel Edgerton who really steals the show, who is an old
    classmate of Simon. He seems to be very kind to the couple but Simon
    refuses to develop a friendly relationship to him. Gordo though gently
    insists and starts offering expensive gifts to the couple. Robyn has a
    heart for the charming outsider and convinces her husband to invite him
    for dinner but things don’t stop there. Soon, Gordo starts taking a lot
    of space in their lives, stalks the insecure Robyn and offers more and
    more expensive gifts to her and Simon. At this point, the audience
    starts to realize how fragile the relationship between Robyn and Simon
    really is. They are constantly debating and rarely agreeing with each
    other. Simon feels forced to take a radical decision and tells Gordo to
    leave them alone for good.

    That’s where the movie starts to become a gripping horror movie. Gordo
    seemingly continues to stalk the couple and weird things start
    happening to them. Their fishes die, their dog disappears and Robyn
    feels constantly observed when she is home alone. At one moment, she
    even seems to have a nervous breakdown and starts taking strong
    medication. The relationship between Robyn and Simon decreases as she
    seems to be too weak to turn the page and Simon too egocentric to
    really care about his wife’s concerns.

    At that moment, the movie takes another turn. The couple’s dog comes
    back and is alive and kicking. Robyn realizes that she is pregnant and
    Simon soon gets promoted. Everything seems too perfect to be true and
    as a matter of fact, the movie soon turns into a twisted drama as the
    past comes back to haunt both Robyn and Simon. The audience soon
    discovers more and more about the mysterious past of Gordo, Robyn and
    Simon and after a while the thin line between potential culprits and
    victims seems to disappear.

    Even though my short summary might seem detailed to you, it only gives
    away some minor details about one of the best plots in the psycho
    thriller genre of the past five years. The movie doesn’t stop to come
    around with new surprises and a more and more convincing acting. Each
    time the movie seems to take a break, the menacing atmosphere comes
    back with a sudden bang and plays with the anticipation, emotions and
    perceptions of the audience. You can’t let go off the film and even the
    unusual and controversial ending will stay on your mind for a quite
    long time. If you like this highly recommendable movie of the year
    candidate, make sure to check out the clever French film noir gem ”The
    Serpent” by Eric Barbier that is quite similar to this film but
    different enough to be worth to be discovered.

  • KristianSeptember 22, 2015Reply

    An Underrated Mystery Thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • keithlovesmoviesSeptember 23, 2015Reply

    The Gift Review

    When married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) run
    into Gordo (Joel Edgerton), a former schoolmate of Simon’s, their
    seemingly perfect lives take an unexpected turn for the worst. Simon
    initially claims to have not recognized Gordo but when he and his wife
    start to receive mysterious gifts and uninvited visits, a disturbing
    secret surfaces. As Robyn begins to learn the past history between
    Simon and Gordo, shew begins to question whether or not she ever really
    knew her husband at all.

    I will admit that I went into this film expecting it to be cheesy and
    predictable but I was pleasantly surprised when I found that it wasn’t
    either of those. What may seem like a simple plot at first is done in
    an interesting and original way with many red herrings, plot twists,
    and shifting perspectives to keep us viewers engaged. The script
    written by Edgerton is well done in that it strays from the predictable
    and his characters drive the plot forward. Suspense is generated from
    the moral ambiguity of the characters as you never really know what
    their intentions are. The film. also directed by Edgerton, is
    beautifully shot in that the camera cuts in and out at the right time
    during the scary/suspenseful parts which adds to the experience. What
    also added to that experience was the soundtrack which always seemed to
    ratchet up and down at the right time letting you know when something
    was about to happen. Its amazing how it was able to achieve this
    without any blood or brutal violence. This was appreciated as I have
    seen a lot of those types of movies without ever eliciting too much of
    a reaction from me but there were a few moments when this one got to me
    which I enjoyed. I personally prefer psychological scares more than the
    more gruesome ones. The story can get a little slow at times but I
    didn’t mind because of the performances of the three leads. I was
    surprised by Jason Bateman’s Simon. Being used to his numerous comedic
    performances, I didn’t think that he could do it. He was able to go
    from a normal man with a dry sense of humor to a sly, conniving bully
    on a dime. Rebecca Hall was great as Robyn, a damaged, vulnerable
    housewife simply looking for peace of mind. However Edgerton’s Gordo is
    the highlight of this film. In his performance, he goes from nice and
    kind to creepy and unstable so effortlessly using mostly facial
    expressions. This film is a slow journey but the scenery is not like
    most and unlike a lot of thrillers, it doesn’t play all of its cards
    too early and keeps the suspense all the way until the end which I will
    not spoil.

    Score: 9/10 keithlovesmovies.com

  • Maz Murdoch (asda-man)September 26, 2015Reply

    GOod loRDO! A terrific thriller

    I think The Gift managed to slip under everyone’s radar. There hasn’t
    been a really great ad campaign so you’d only know about it if you were
    quite the film fan, or had been impressed by the cheap trailers which
    make it look like your average scraping-the-barrel-type thriller. I
    actually went into The Gift completely blind. I didn’t watch any
    trailers, skimmed a couple of reviews and didn’t even really know what
    the story was about. It was a spontaneous trip to my local cinema I
    made on the day and I was very glad that I made it.

    I think the less you know about The Gift, the better! In fact, I’ve
    just watched the theatrical trailer for it now and it gives way too
    much away. It also makes it look like a run-of-the-mill horror film,
    which it really isn’t. The Gift is a Hitchcockian thriller of the
    classiest kind. It starts out conventionally enough with a young couple
    moving into a new house blah blah blah, but the our heroes bump into a
    mysterious man called Gordo, an old school friend of Jason Bateman.
    This first encounter fills the film with mystery and intrigue which
    keeps it utterly gripping.

    It’s very difficult to talk about The Gift without giving the plot away
    and I don’t want to ruin it for anybody. Suffice to say that Joel
    Edgerton has revealed himself to be quite the talent. His screen
    writing skills are extremely impressive. Instead of throwing in clichés
    and outlandish plot twists, he’s built the film on a story unfolding
    naturally with realistic characters. In fact, it’s the characters which
    really made the film for me. They’re developed so beautifully and
    logically whilst still remaining grounded. By the end of the film it
    feels like Simon and Gordo are real people.

    The fantastic acting also contributes to the feeling of realism. At
    times, Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall felt like a real couple having
    real arguments and doing real couply things! It’s a shame that Rebecca
    Hall isn’t used more in the world of films. I’ve only really seen her
    in The Prestige and she was equally great in that, plus she’s not too
    harsh on the eyes either. Joel Edgerton steals the show as Gordo
    though. He’s creepy, funny, mysterious and yet strangely likable. I
    suppose it depends on your type of character, but I also sympathised
    with Gordo like Rebecca Hall did.

    Joel Edgerton also proves himself to be a dab hand behind the camera
    too. It’s difficult to believe that this is his feature length debut
    because it’s directed in such a confident and classy manner. He
    certainly knows how to craft an effective jump scare! There are two
    moments which absolutely made me jump out of my skin! I was worried for
    the couple of grannies I sat next to; I think their nerves were
    completely shot by the end of it all. I found there to be tension
    throughout the film which made it a riveting thing to watch from start
    to finish.

    I also loved how focused the film was, especially at the beginning.
    Every scene pushes the plot forward, but in a natural way and not a
    forced one. Simon, Robyn and Gordo become our sole focus and we feel
    immersed in their lives. As the film goes on it manages to dig deeper
    and deeper into the characters which results in an astonishing finale
    which had my heart pounding. It could’ve easily slipped into a fun, yet
    conventional thriller finale in the vein of Cape Fear or Single White
    Female, but Joel decides to hit the audience harder by going taking a
    different route which completely pays off.

    The Gift came as a total surprise to me. I was expecting it to be good
    from all the positive ratings from critics, but it turned out to be
    great. It’s an enthralling ride which manages to be intense and
    thrilling without sacrificing superb character development and
    subverting audiences’ knowledge of the genre. It’s a shame it hasn’t
    become a bigger hit, because it really does deserve to be one. It’s
    everything you could want in a thriller and I shall anticipate the next
    film Joel churns out.

  • oagill1September 27, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton in town with style

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • jz3532September 28, 2015Reply

    The Gift Review

    The only reason I went to see The Gift in theaters was because Straight
    Outta Compton was sold out. I was expecting nothing more than a cheesy,
    stereotypical thriller staring a comedic actor who wants to be taken
    more seriously, but what I got, was something completely different.

    The movie follows a married couple who unexpectedly encounter Gordo, an
    acquaintance from Simon’s past. Little do they know that their perfect
    lives will be thrown into a terrifying tailspin. What I enjoyed most
    about this film was the way that it was able to slowly reveal
    information that made the audience quickly change their opinion on each
    character. It was able to blur the lines between good and bad. I could
    easily see this movie being directed by someone like David Fincher, a
    man who masters drama through information. I was surprised to see that
    Joel Edgerton wrote and directed the film as well as staring in it, and
    this was a great directorial debut. Another great thing about this
    movie were the performances. I have been a fan of Jason Bateman ever
    since Arrested Development, but I never knew he was such a talented
    dramatic actor. Each character in the film has their moment to shine,
    and all of the actors do a very good job. The cinematography was done
    very well. The movie used slow moving cameras to give off an eerie
    thrilling vibe and it worked very well.

    While there were a few jump scares in the movie, it didn’t rely on them
    to frighten the audience. Towards the end of the movie especially I was
    on the edge of my seat. I love movies with good endings, and this had a
    great one. Me and my friend were theorizing long after the credits had
    rolled, and I can see the many different opinions that people can have
    about the movie. It is a film that you need to sit back and actually
    think about for you to fully appreciate it, and that is a rarity in
    modern thriller movies.

    I have never been so pleasantly surprised with a film since The Lego
    Movie, and I would recommend this film to almost anyone. If you enjoy
    David Fincher or Alfred Hitchcock, you will love this movie, and I will
    be looking forward to Joel Edgerton’s next film.

    (This review was originally written on Movie Forums Aug. 16th 2015)

  • jamamaesOctober 7, 2015Reply

    Shocking reality, always think before you act

    After finally getting the chance to watch this film, I thoroughly
    enjoyed it. It is not just shocking when watching it with how the story
    unfolds. It is shocking how relevant to reality it can be with the
    great message of thinking back to people you have wronged and what to
    do in the future. I really enjoyed this film and its message.

    A film that makes you think more about your own life and bridges that
    gap in this psychological way are great films. Of course it has to be
    done right which I believe Joel Edgerton in directing writing and
    staring in did very well. Would look forward to his next film(s) after
    this.

    The cast performed very well with great acting from Jason Bateman
    moving away from comedy, Joel Edgerton who you both felt sorry for and
    hated at different intervals of the movie.

    Nothing too special with cinematography but nothing looked out of place
    and the setting made the film feel that much bit like reality. However
    I did feel at certain points the back story of Joel Edgerton’s
    character could of been looked at in a bit more detail as his past was
    the key point to the movie. So this could have been flushed out a bit
    more to make the ending that much more impacting.

    But other than this I very much enjoyed the movie and would recommend
    anyone to watch it if you are bored of the same formulaic movie and
    want a more psychological mystery that makes you think more in- depth.

    8/10

  • ArgemalucoOctober 8, 2015Reply

    The Gift

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • pedrokolariOctober 9, 2015Reply

    Quite good but strange nobody linked it to a French movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ericrnolanOctober 9, 2015Reply

    I guess the formula for ”The Gift” (2015) is pretty simple — hand a superb script to three superb actors.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • shivamoonchilde-194-236075October 9, 2015Reply

    Felt like a superior TV movie

    I was dying to see this after reading reviews. It was OK but I felt a
    little cheated, as it feels like a decent TV movie. The acting is OK
    but none of the characters are likable, so it’s difficult to get
    involved enough to care what happens to any of them.

    Unfortunately, I saw the ‘twist’ coming so it wasn’t at all as
    suspenseful as I’d hoped. Maybe I’m good at picking up on clues or
    maybe other reviewers don’t pay attention, hence their surprise. Even
    the ultimate victim is too two dimensional to pity and the ‘shock’
    twist wasn’t as shocking as it could have been.

    I don’t understand the 7.5 rating, I’d give it 5.8 max and this is my
    favourite genre. It’s worth watching if you have nothing better to do
    but I wouldn’t go out of my way, as it’s hardly the masterful thriller
    suggested by some of the other reviews.

  • blackBee2.0 verOctober 9, 2015Reply

    A suiting title, since it was a delightful surprise

    Wow, it’s been a long time. I was taken off guard and jumped. You know
    when those types in horror movies where there is silence and you know,
    100 percent, that something’s going out of the corner to surprise you?
    Well, only in rare cases do i get surprised since when you are
    expecting it, then it’d be a challenge for horror writers/directors,
    but this one sure got me. It was very effective because I didn’t expect
    it, and there was a subtlety in it. You thought there is nothing, just
    some story with scenarios a league away from horror scenes, but you’d
    kind of get the sense that it’s going that way.

    Not only is it surprises you to the point you’d jump out of your
    skin/sit, as in my case, this movie has some life lesson in it. I mean,
    mean people get what they deserve, one way or another, they’d get it.
    And if you do learn things as you grow up, then it is undeserving for
    you to receive retribution, unless, you don’t and you’re just the same
    prick you always were, but only with a grown up body, minus the naivete
    of a kid.

    One thing I like about it among many things is that from the start, to
    finish, you’d change were to root for, and in the end, it’d be a debate
    with your friends, families or whoever watched it. Is this deserving to
    what happen to him in the end, Is what he did the right thing? And I
    can see it. Many would have a varying opinion in the end.

    Kudos to the creators, and actors and everyone that created this good
    thriller. Never thought I’d still have this effect on a movie of this
    kind. As a last note, this one got the investigating type and as clues
    leads to some more, things became to unravel, curtains began to raise
    to show the ugly, naked truth.

    An eye for an eye, and in today’s society, would you consider this kind
    of redemption if you were in a position this one’s unfortunate
    circumstances?

  • room102 ([email protected])October 9, 2015Reply

    Good job by Joel Edgerton, but still lacking

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Sharonda LynnetteOctober 10, 2015Reply

    Similar to Old Boy just not as good.

    All throughout the movie I felt like I was watching a film that tried
    very hard to be like Old Boy. Like Old Boy, it’s a story about the past
    coming back to haunt the main character. It has secrets that come to
    light throughout the story line. But unlike Old Boy, The Gift leaves
    you feeling disappointed in the end.

    The only reason I didn’t walk away from the film is because I was
    patiently waiting for the mind blowing secret to be revealed.
    Unfortunately that secret never came. Although there are secrets that
    come to light in the film, none of them are mind blowing or even
    shocking. The ending was also boring and if you’ve ever seen a movie
    before you’ll see it coming from a mile away. I wouldn’t recommend this
    movie to anyone and have no idea how it got 7.5/10 stars.

  • abraxis0October 10, 2015Reply

    Ultimately it’s crap…don’t believe the hype

    he’s an up-and-coming dude just starting to make his wealth, she’s a
    pretty hot lady and sticks by his side. Everything is going really
    really well until a face from his past reappears. And that face has had
    it pretty rough. But why? And does he want revenge?

    That’s it. That’s the entire set up for the entire plot of this movie.
    It never gets any deeper than that. Once you figure out the weirdo
    wants revenge, and this is not a spoiler because it’s super obvious
    from the beginning, nothing much really interesting happens after that.
    It’s extremely predictable although I’m not going to give away the
    details why. Trust me when I tell you if you were thinking of
    downloading a porno while looking at this film then go for the porno.
    The ending will be just a surprising and shocking provided you’ve never
    seen a porno. The ending to any porno is more satisfying than the
    ending of this film… Or its beginning and middle for that matter.
    It’s crap.

  • CoolKid23October 11, 2015Reply

    Could not find anything wrong with it.

    I am 29 years old and it has been a long time since I have seen a
    really good movie or at least I should say this kind of movie that does
    not turn out cheesy and how you expect it to. This looked like a
    Lifetime straight to TV movie when I saw the trailer and I won’t lie
    that is what attracted me because good thrillers do come along but you
    gotta wait for them sometimes. What I liked most about this movie is
    that it portrayed it’self as a low budget small studio film but while
    your are watching it you can clearly see it’s not a crappy low budget
    film at all even though you may not see many fireworks. The director
    does a good of trying to get inside your head for the entire movie to
    the point where you just have to piece everything you watched together
    before you can determine of the film you are watching is even
    interesting. It seems the director easily keeps your focus with movie
    by making your brain piece clues together to figure out what, where and
    why things are happening. Great acting and great directing made this a
    10 out of 10 for me. I am not going to spoil anything because I think
    you will enjoy this movie and not only will you enjoy but it you will
    be surprised at how much better this movie is than you thought it would
    be.

  • vampiriOctober 11, 2015Reply

    Not your ordinary psycho stalker movie

    In my opinion psycho/stalker movies are as hard to make
    believable/fresh as, say, haunted house movies. Why? Because how much
    can you divert from the genre without making the movie a whole other
    matter?

    Plot: mid-thirties couple moves to the suburbs to make a fresh start.
    To their surprise someone from the past turns up to shake the
    foundations.

    The Gift, to me, feels, not totally of course, somewhat fresh. How so?
    Stalker movies have: 1. the stalker 2. a couple/bunch of friends to be
    stalked and usually killed off 3. usually a lame revenge motive 4.
    often over the top psycho behavior (boiling rabbit a.k.a Fatal
    Attraction).

    The Gift have points 1 and 2, but not so much 3 and 4 (thank God) which
    makes it ”somewhat fresh”.

    The revenge motive is kept suspenseful and intricate as is the revenge
    plan. Since this genre is quite narrow when it comes to narrative,
    genre ”ingredients” and number of carachters it is hard to write about
    the story and its development and carachter development without
    revealing too much, I limit myself by saying it is thick and
    interesting and it makes you wonder how it will end. Well, maybe not as
    much ”how” as compared to the journey to the end.

    However, what is the most rewarding and surprising is the acting of
    Joel Edgerton (both writer and director of this movie) which blew me
    away. Rarely do I see such transformation/up grade of acting
    skills/portrayal to the better, at least to this extent. Edgerton is
    superb. I have always liked him, but for a long while he has been stuck
    portraying low key carachters with not so much to say. Which in turn
    might explain the choice to both direct and write. He manages to convey
    vulnerability, determination, psychotic behavior and ingenuity with
    total believability and subtleness.

    Although not a big fan of Jason Bateman’s, I still have to recognize
    his effort. His portrayal of a carachter willing to keep his life as it
    is is uncanny.

    The weak points of the movie is the genre itself which is hard to make
    surprising and Rebecca Hall whose carachter is common and
    uninteresting. On the other hand, the chemistry in this genre lies in
    the connection between the lead character/-s and the villain since the
    plot revolves around the them.

    If a movie could solely be reviewed based on one actor’s performance I
    would give The Gift 10/10, but since that is totally nonsense and due
    to the limitations of the genre itself, I give it 7/10. If you enjoy
    the genre in general and films such as Fatal Atttraction and Disclosure
    you will enjoy this one.

  • Paul EvansOctober 12, 2015Reply

    Simon says watch this movie.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • MichelleOctober 12, 2015Reply

    Great start…

    This movie could have been so much more, it started with intrigue and
    suspense but about half way through it lost my attention. Joel Edgerton
    and Jason Bateman are great actors, and prove once again that they can
    play diverse characters. However i don’t think they should have cast
    Rebecca Hall, not only did i find her plain to look at but she just
    came across as the typical suffering wife, she hardly smiles throughout
    the film. Personally a much prettier actress should have been cast,
    like Kate Beckinsale or Jennifer Anniston to help carry the film.
    Overall, not a bad film.. i think Hollywood is starting to run out of
    ideas as its been a long time since i have really enjoyed a good film.

  • agenericpersonOctober 12, 2015Reply

    Intriguing thriller marred by lackluster twists

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Vahid AslaniOctober 13, 2015Reply

    what the F?

    I did rate 7 for this movie, but seriously, That was sick! Who the hell
    was that sick-f**** ”Gordo” character?! What was the point of the whole
    story? Who should take note? Since children are not among the viewers,
    so what? should we just track down every single one of childhood
    friends who were weak… and just give an apology speech? That will
    make us the ”wierdo”

    and please do not read the rest I’m just duplicating the text because
    of ”minimum length limitation”

    I did rate 7 for this movie, but seriously, That was sick! Who the hell
    was that sick-f**** ”Gordo” character?! What was the point of the whole
    story? Who should take note? Since children are not among the viewers,
    so what? should we just track down every single one of childhood
    friends who were weak… and just give an apology speech? That will
    make us the ”wierdo”

  • Salah Eddine B.ROctober 13, 2015Reply

    great film

    generally you can most of the time predict what the movie is about
    after watching the trailer,

    so far it’s not the case at all for thisfilm, what ever you think it is
    may be wrong, that is a good thing about The Gift.

    but there is also amoral behind the story, and a good one.

    the casting, acting, and ‘mise en scene’ were great, noting to said
    about that, I also liked the suspense from the beginning until the last
    minute, during this you don’t stop asking your self, what all this
    about?

    finally you spend great time,,,

    good watching

  • Fred SicklyOctober 15, 2015Reply

    You Can’t Unring a Bell

    I’m not usually a big Joel Edgerton fan, but this was really amazing.
    He wrote, directed, produced, and starred in it and it is truly an
    accomplishment. He managed to craft a super-dense script that divides
    the narrative between the three characters in a way that allows the
    audience to really see each character’s perspective on the situation.
    On a second viewing, the textures really start to pop out, down even to
    the characters names and a few possible Michael Bluth references. Just
    when you’re sure this movie is going to cross a line, it veers in
    another direction, maintaining the tension and keeping you guessing.
    Edgerton’s script didn’t do all the work. His acting in this is spot
    on, subtle enough that even on the second watch, my opinion of Gordo,
    Edgerton’s character, was pretty torn, all the way to the last frame.
    It’s also excellent to see the likable-to-a-fault Jason Bateman in such
    a complex role as Simon, the man of the house. His overall image and
    cadence, and his subtle, animated expressions are enough to get us
    behind Simon. The lovely Rebecca Hall delivers another strong, pensive,
    compassionate, vulnerable performance. (Probably her best since ”The
    Prestige.”) She, as always, gives us a multi-faceted character with a
    full spectrum of emotions. The three actors spend the entire run-time
    stealing the show from each other, making you wonder who exactly the
    ”main” character is. On top of being an engaging ”thriller/drama,” this
    movie is packed with little lessons and messages, on many levels,
    having to do with greed, envy, malice, love, regret, remorse,
    materialism, and our always false sense of security. It acts as a
    cautionary tale, saying loud and clear that the statute of limitations
    on our transgressions is only in our minds, and sometimes, it really is
    just plain too late to make things right. The subject of bullying is
    something that has probably affected everyone in the modern, western
    world, and Edgerton’s treatment of it in this film is truly deep. He
    has not only managed to craft a many-layered, entertaining story that
    is almost a parable that would probably work well in any medium, he has
    given us a meditation on the way we treat those around us. Not unlike
    Roth’s recent ”Knock Knock,” ”The Gift” inserts these themes into a
    fictional, hypothetical, sort of closed setting, and simply lets them
    play out in a surprisingly logical and sincere way. And the shots also
    take what could have just been straightforward, simple coverage of the
    scenes, and gives it a lot of depth, dictating the mood and giving us a
    good sense of the settings. Edgerton and company really made it all
    look easy. This was a great, suspenseful, tasteful, poignant film.

  • ggmcheartagramOctober 16, 2015Reply

    Be Careful Who You Push Too Far!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • mattbowskiOctober 16, 2015Reply

    The Gift that keeps giving? Not quite

    I’ll start by saying I really like the 3 main actors in the movie and
    think they give off good performances. This is a very different role
    for Bateman and one that I think he does well to play quite
    convincingly. His wife is brilliant and Joel Edgerton as Gordo the
    Weirdo is excellent. The slight issue with this movie is the premise is
    one very similar to that of many films and this movie doesn’t really
    tread that far into new territory. Also while the story and acting is
    good I don’t think the characters are built well enough for us to care
    that deeply about the outcome. The supposed bad guy isn’t bad enough
    and the good guys aren’t really good enough. There are some decent
    twists and turns but nothing jaw dropping. I did enjoy the film but as
    you can tell from my review I think it could have been so much more
    with a few changes to the script and a bit more suspense. However I do
    recommend you give it a try for yourself as the acting is great and it
    is still above average for a suspenseful thriller.

  • Troy PutlandOctober 16, 2015Reply

    Edgerton the writer, actor and director.

    Joel Edgerton directs, writes and stars in The Gift, and a gift is
    exactly what he’s given us. Edgerton is ‘Gordo’, a creepy, awkward
    fellow who becomes infatuated with Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall),
    leaving gifts at their doorstep and turning up to their house
    unannounced. Simon he knew at school, and wants Gordo out of their
    lives, whilst his wife, although unnerved by him, thinks he’s just
    being nice. Little do we know that Simon has a secret. The Gift is more
    than just an epic game of cat and mouse. This is a thriller with twists
    and turns like never seen before. Simon and Robyn’s worlds are only
    turned upside down when Gordo’s told to back off. Edgerton’s
    directorial debut is astounding and truly gripping, a slow burner that
    rises and then explodes at the end.

  • Chaotic NeutralOctober 17, 2015Reply

    The Gift Review

    ”You think you’re done with the past, but the past is not done with
    you.”

    SPOILER FREE ZONE

    The Gift is a psychological thriller that makes you think the moment
    you step out of the cinema. Its about a married couple who happen to
    meet the husbands high school ‘friend’. Things begin to get out of hand
    as he starts to get a little stalker like, but the story isn’t so
    simple. The Gift stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton
    and is written and directed by Edgerton. This is his directorial debut.

    Let me start of by talking about the acting. Rebecca Hall gives a
    strong performance as the female lead but she wasn’t one of the main
    two characters and rightfully so. As good as she was, Bateman and
    Edgerton are brilliant. Bateman doesn’t get enough credit for his
    acting ability. Sure he pretty much does the same role in comedies, but
    the odd times he undertakes a serious one, the guy shows what he is
    capable of. His character had a lot of depth and he presented it to
    great effect in this movie. Now that being said, he isn’t the stand out
    performance in this. Joel Edgerton is amazing. He is one of the rising
    stars of Hollywood and he deserves to be because of the amount of
    talent he has. He loses himself in playing Gordo. His directing style
    needs a little work but for a first movie, he looks like one to look
    out for. The Gift is made by the acting talent in it, but the story
    pushes it further up the score pole.

    The pacing of the movie is slow. If you go into it expecting fast
    paced, spine tingling thriller, you will be disappointed. But if you go
    into it with an open mind, it will entertain. Over everything movies
    have to have a good story to keep butts in seats. The Gift slowly
    builds the tension and doesn’t allow the audience to put a pin on where
    the story is going. It makes you question what side you’re actually on.
    And that’s the sign of a good psychological thriller which this is.

    There are parts of the movie which could have been thought out a little
    better but all being said its worth watching. Plus Halloween is coming
    up.

    SCORE: 7.5/10

    SPOILERS GALORE

    Bateman is brilliant at playing someone you love and playing someone
    you want to punch in the face. He can switch roles quickly and works
    well here. He starts the movie being a normal guy but by the end of it
    you really hate him but feel sorry for him a little too. It really
    makes you think about if you’ve done anything wrong to someone and if
    its going to bite you in the ass.

    Not enough praise can be given to Joel Edgerton. His first stand out
    role for me was Warrior. He showed a lot of promise in that, but since
    then has shone brightly in every role. I look forward to his movies
    now.

    SCORE: 7.5/10

    I’m just going to give a few people I haven’t heard from in a while a
    call.

    https://chaoticneutralreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/the-gift-
    review/

  • keelygirl2October 18, 2015Reply

    I loved it…a little Hitchcock meets ”She-Devil”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • KineticSeoulOctober 18, 2015Reply

    Pretty good thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • FlashCallahanOctober 18, 2015Reply

    Nice fish……..

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • valleyjohnOctober 20, 2015Reply

    Where do your loyalties lie?

    The Gift is an intelligent physiological thriller that starts out in
    the vein of films like Arlington Road or Single White Female and then
    takes an unexpected turn that makes the viewer really question their
    loyalties. Joel Edgerton is the writer & director and he also plays
    Gordo in this , the so called bad guy and he does really good job.
    Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall are good too as the couple who move into
    a new house in California only to find an old friend hanging around
    more than they would like. I enjoyed this because it has you guessing
    the characters motives throughout and it had a real edge of the seat
    feel about it .

  • ConsistentlyFalconerOctober 21, 2015Reply

    Tense thriller that keeps you guessing

    I wanted to see this at the cinema but Mrs F vetoed it on the grounds
    that all the marketing – and the fact it was a Blumhouse production –
    indicated that it was a horror film. No amount of protesting could
    persuade her otherwise.

    In actual fact, despite appearances, this is more of a thriller in the
    vein of Fatal Attraction. And my word it’s tense…

    I’ve always liked Rebecca Hall… but while I’m fond of Jason Bateman I
    wasn’t sure of his ability to play a ”straight” role like this. Suffice
    to say, my fears were misplaced.

    Meanwhile, Joel Edgerton is as creepy as you could wish for, without
    hamming it up too much, and there’s a brief cameo from Allison Tolman
    (her breakthrough performance in the ”Fargo” TV series is superb).

    Verdict: a tense thriller that keeps you guessing

    yetanotherfilmreviewblog.tumblr.com

  • jackmeatOctober 23, 2015Reply

    Not sure wh this was marketed so poorly

    My quick rating – 6,6/10. I recall the trailers for this movie and
    thought it would be another candy cutter melodrama. That was their
    fault, not mine. This was a well rounded psychological thriller that
    didn’t overwhelm nor did it bore the viewer. The pacing was just right
    to hold your attention and have you wonder what turn was next. Joel
    Edgerton crafts a good tale for being his first film and certainly
    won’t be his last. Between his directing and also Jason Bateman turning
    in a great performance as the lead, this movie shines. It may be
    another revenge type story but the ending leaves it in a way that isn’t
    so cut and dry (don’t you wish sometimes I would just give spoilers?)
    Anyway, to sum it up, an overall very good film that aside from some
    stupid character decisions and reactions that distracted, a solid flick
    worth a look.

  • dromascaOctober 24, 2015Reply

    weirdo!

    Joel Edgerton is not a completely anonymous actor, but not a big star
    either. We know his face from a few supporting roles in a number of
    movies, but none of them really made it to the Academy Awards. This
    makes even more remarkable the fact that with The Gift he is completely
    in control. The resulting movie is packaged as a psychological thriller
    set in that part of California populated with apparently happy couples
    or families enjoying the good life ensured by their success of their
    corporate careers. Yet, not everybody succeeded as well, and happy
    facades can hide unhappy relations and dark secrets surfacing from the
    past.

    A game is played during all this film between the director-script
    author and the viewers. It starts like a yuppies-go-to-California film,
    and a seemingly incidental encounter between the successful Simon
    (played by Jason Bateman) and a former school colleague called Gordo
    (Edgerton) who does not seem to have done that well. A feeling of
    un-easiness starts to install in a very subtle manner. It’s not only
    what happens on screen (although the visits and the small gifts and
    favors made to Simon and to his attractive but fragile wife Robyn
    (Rebecca Hall) start to look more and more like stalking, but also the
    simple dialogs of the couples seem to indicate that not all is pink and
    bright in paradise. As the story continues we start to discover more
    details about the past, the angle and judgment on the characters
    changes, and the feeling of uneasiness increases. To put it in one of
    the words used by Simon to describe his ex-colleague – weirdo!

    Actors-directors are said not to be too successful in directing
    themselves,but Joel Edgerton is the exception. He is actually the best
    designed character in a triangle in which all three actors play crisply
    defined characters, which succeed to be true even as the perspective
    and the judgment of the viewers about them changes. Hitchcock is the
    obvious source of inspiration for the movies in this genre, and if
    Rebecca Hall was a blonde she would have made a perfect Hitchcockian
    character (Edgerton cannot even avoid filming not one but two shower
    scenes).

    There is not much violence on screen, certainly not on the scale of the
    2015 violence in movies, but the feeling of terror is present almost
    all the time, and its remarkable that it results from psychology rather
    than from effects. The ending is somehow disappointing in its making,
    but it includes enough dose of macabre and weirdness and it’s open
    enough to let us wonder what really happened. ‘The Gift’ is not easy or
    pleasant viewing, but it gives enough reasons of satisfaction to be
    worth spending the time with it.

  • djangozelf-12351October 24, 2015Reply

    Mysterie build up for a lame plot.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • thisseatofmarsOctober 25, 2015Reply

    A bit overlong, but saved by its story.

    ”The Gift” is actor Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut, and as his first
    feature it is a commendable one, but ”The Gift” could stand to lose
    about 20 minutes of runtime. At 1:48 minutes, ”The Gift” is a bit
    overlong, with two or three sections that don’t seem to go anywhere—
    but the rest of the movie (including the final act) has terrific
    momentum that helps balance everything out.

    Something about the movie– maybe its tone, or style, or suburban
    setting– makes me think of mystery thrillers from the early 2000s,
    like ”Murder by Numbers” or ”Along Came a Spider.” It’s a quiet movie
    featuring wealthy people speaking quietly, in fear of stirring up
    demons from their pasts or thoughts in their heads. Its stylistic and
    subdued, with slowly mounting tension with a payoff that doesn’t leave
    you feeling frustrated.

    In the end, I wound up liking this movie more than I thought I would,
    thanks to it’s twisted storyline and its three well-fleshed out
    characters. At first Edgerton’s and Bateman’s characters seem pretty
    thin, but keep watching, and you’ll see how thin waters run deep.

  • billcr12October 25, 2015Reply

    Good Thriller

    Writer-director Joel Edgerton casts himself as Gordy, a strange and
    mysterious guy who suddenly becomes an unwelcome friend of a happy and
    ambitious, upwardly mobile couple, Simon, played perfectly by Jason
    Bateman, and Rebecca Hall as his devoted but high strung wife. Gordy
    shows up repeatedly at the couples home with gifts and boring but
    unsettling conversations. It turns out that Gordy and Simon knew each
    other at the same school as kids. Something bad happened which changed
    Gordy’s life forever. Simon, however, moved on, and the last third of
    the film explains it all. A good Alfred Hitchcock type ending makes The
    Gift well worth watching.

  • Tony Heck ([email protected])October 26, 2015Reply

    One of the better movies of the year and one of the best suspense movies in the last few years. I highly recommend this.

    ”You’re done with the past, but the past is not done with you.” Simon
    (Bateman) and his wife have built up a perfect life together. They just
    have a great house and Simon is close to a huge promotion at work. One
    day Simon runs into Gordo (Edgerton) an old friend from high school and
    they exchange numbers. When Gordo begins showing up announced Simon and
    his wife become uneasy. When Gordo and Simon’s past begins to resurface
    his wife isn’t sure what or who to believe. Jason Bateman is one of my
    favorite actors. He has a perfect dry wit and is just very likable.
    That changes in this movie. He is the perfect choice for this because
    of your feelings toward him to start with makes this movie have the
    true impact it needs. This movie has shades of Fatal Attraction but to
    me this was a little more creepy. Nothing in this is over the top or
    unbelievable and it really keeps you guessing and on the edge of your
    seat the entire time. I could go on and on about this but I don’t want
    to ruin anything, this is a movie that should not be spoiled. Overall,
    one of the better movies of the year and one of the best suspense
    movies in the last few years. I really liked this and I highly
    recommend it. I easily give this an A.

  • shanshan298October 26, 2015Reply

    Weird

    This film was was and disturbingly scary and psychologically
    exhausting. Although this is a horror thriller,there’s no horror except
    that there is constant tension and atmosphere that at any moment
    something bad could happen to the characters. I came with great
    expectations when I saw the movie a high rating. But I think it’s a
    mediocre film. With the sickness end. With a message of revenge. The
    dialog’s completely empty, for an hour and a half nothing happens,
    there is no progress in development, the film’s rhythm is very slow. I
    wouldn’t pay for this film, I see it on television only if there was
    not something more interesting to watch.

  • palavitsinisOctober 26, 2015Reply

    Didn’t see that coming! Me like!

    Judging from the ”cover”, this movie seemed really standard. A
    mainstream thriller that had nothing special to offer. But its IMDb
    rating was too high for something like that so we ended up watching it.

    Through the first minutes of the movie, it seemed pretty
    straightforward. The couple moving to the new town, weird guy, etc. But
    even like that, the movie somehow kept me at the edge of my seat!

    And soon, when things got a bit more complicated, and the characters of
    the people as well as the secrets of the past started to unveil, it was
    amazing! I loved the ending, although I am one of these guys that need
    a bit more ”explicit” closure.

    Overall, great acting, nicely done and a real thriller! Thought that 7
    was too low, so I gave an eight but it’s actually a 7,5. Really liked
    Joel Edgerton whom I saw also in Black Mass. I did not expect Jason
    Bateman to be as good cause it’s more of a comedian for me, but he was
    pretty pretty good!

  • Melanie MartinssonOctober 27, 2015Reply

    well, that was awesome.

    What you can expect from this flick is awkwardness. Awkwardness of our
    lives spun into a thriller. Nice to see how they have incorporated
    awkward into the very cinematography. All acts are really good and the
    directing is really good. No spoilers: Nice to see how they made it
    into a sort-of revenge story gone horribly wrong as well.

    This is a well made piece that says a whole lot about the human
    condition, in all its sadness.

    Sidenote: interesting how all the 8/10 IMDb reviews are the most
    interesting flicks. You know its always about 1-10 but as soon as you
    have an 6-8, it is probably a damn good film.

  • RageypooOctober 28, 2015Reply

    The Gift is one of those you get that you want to return.

    The movie for the most part revolved around 3 people, Simon and his
    wife, and a guy named Gordo. The movie has a very interesting plot, but
    really fails to deliver. The relationship between Simon and his wife is
    a bit of a mystery, they seem estranged or at the very least, distant,
    later we discover the reason behind it and the movie focuses on the
    issue quite quickly and deliberately which is fine, but seemed
    unnecessary considering what the main plot is suppose to be.

    ***Spoiler Alert***

    Gordon bumps into Simon and tries to chum up to him and his wife. Simon
    doesn’t seem to remember who Gordon is but once he does, goes on a
    seemingly odd push to call Gordon a weirdo. Its not clear why he finds
    him so strange and so odd and does what he can to push him away,
    specially when he finds that Gordon seems interested in his wife. Its
    later revealed that Gordon was abused and bullied by Simon, and the
    story is basically Simon got everything and Gordon got nothing.
    Eventually through the movie, it seems there’s an intention for
    revenge, with very slow and subtle intrusions on Simon’s life. The wife
    seems to be overly defending of Gordon and when she discovers Simon has
    a history with Gordon, tries taking a moral high ground to have him
    reconcile with Gordon to the point where she wants to leave him after
    having a baby because she’s just so fed up with the lies Simon makes
    about his involvement with Gordon. As it turns out, Gordon’s obsession
    seems to be validated, and in Simon’s efforts to bully Gordon to stay
    away from him and his family, ends up motivating him to set up a plan
    to get back at Simon by hitting him where it hurts the most.

    Simon wanted a baby badly, and now he has one, but has no idea if it is
    his or not, after Gordon gives Simon a tape that plants a seed of doubt
    to whom the father really is. It would be an amazing story, except that
    we don’t know entirely the motivation for Gordon to do this. Sure he
    might have been bullied in school, but did it really push him so far as
    to possibly drug and rape Simon’s wife just to get back at him? A
    simple paternity test would reveal what happened anyways, but my
    problem with all of it is that none of this seems to be enough
    motivation to break apart Simon’s marriage, or really mess with Simon’s
    life more than wondering if he had sex with her. The whole thing seems
    weak, and aside from a few deliberate jump scares, the movie felt very
    unlikely and unconvincing. Had it been convincing, this would have been
    an awesome movie, the very idea that someone gets their due justice
    from a bully is a great idea, but rather than gaining a moral victory
    it just seemed he became a sick twisted person and his revenge pretty
    unjust. It left me a bit disappointed. Great acting from Jason Bateman,
    Joel Edgerton felt like he fit the part well, but the part played by
    Rebecca Hall didn’t seem like a good one for her, a drug abuser who’s
    husband tried helping her overcome by relocating her to an amazing home
    in California with lots of friends, yet couldn’t forgive him for having
    a past with a guy from simple bullying? Her drug addiction and as the
    story hints at, loss of their first child possibly due to a miscarriage
    or drug overdose or just using the drugs in general is forgivable, but
    Simon being a bully isn’t??? I don’t buy it.

    Overall I think the story had amazing potential, but I think the
    morally ”justified” martyr wife was absurd, and I think the bully
    revenge could have been written a bit differently, maybe something more
    than a childhood bully revenge to stalking-harassing-possibly drugging
    and raping his wife is too extreme to believe, or even want to believe.

  • samgreer-694-680740October 29, 2015Reply

    Here’s why this contains ”spoilers”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • constance22October 29, 2015Reply

    very scary and very well done

    I was waiting for this movie for months. Worth waiting for. Who knew
    Joel Edgerton was not only a good actor, but a good writer and
    director. I found each of the main characters to be interesting and
    believable. Especially liked Robyn and felt the movie was built around
    her and her kindness and innocence and vulnerability. Simon was a
    surprise and Gordo was both pathetic and inscrutable. Very fine film.

    I am a huge fan of Jason Bateman and felt he acted a very ”American
    Psycho”-like character, so perfectly living his privileged life. I
    loved Rebecca Hall, whom I have never seen before, and felt she was the
    most lovely and together character. Joel Edgerton is someone I only
    recognized from ”The Great Gatsby” and yet I had to look him up on IMDb
    because I did not recognize him at all. A real chameleon and so
    talented.

    Worth waiting for.

  • sally catoOctober 30, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton triangulates with a masterpiece.

    No spoilers here! The screenplay, the direction, and one of the lead
    roles— all by Joel Edgerton. This is one of the most important, and
    brilliant films I have seen on an all too accepted, yet unacceptable
    scenario. This film should be used as a teaching aid wherever
    psychology and psychiatry are studied, as well as in every major film
    school. Entertaining, thrilling and enlightening. The acting
    performances and character depictions are stunning, the detail of which
    is staggering. The writing is flawless, and the direction, impeccable.
    I would definitely say Mr. Edgerton wanted deeply to tell us something—
    And he has— in abundance. I hope you all thoroughly enjoy The Gift.
    Can’t wait for his next work.

  • robertka1October 31, 2015Reply

    Very frustrating and aggravating movie ***Spoilers***

    I do not know if I hated Bateman in this movie because I much prefer
    him in a comedic role or simply because of his role in this production.

    First of all, after 2 or 3 evenings together with food and wine, most
    people more or less know some things about their guests. You would
    think that Jason, deeply involved in security, would have developed
    some sense of security for himself and his family; but No. Were they
    all drinking so much and enjoying each other’s company that nothing
    about themselves was discussed? I find that extremely strange.
    Normally, when you meet someone from your past, obviously one of the
    first questions is normally something like ”What have you been doing”
    or such. Here, Gordo said that he had a short stint with the Armed
    Forces and that’s it. They have not seen each other for 20 years and
    obviously, he couldn’t have been with the Armed Forces that long so the
    next question would have been about the rest of the time. Think about
    it a little: spend 2 or 3 evenings together with your wife and a friend
    you have not seen in 20 years. The vast, vast majority of people
    meeting people with whom they were in school MUST REMEMBER SOMETHING
    from that time. Were they all that shallow that no one speaks of the
    past??

    Secondly, Robyn invites Gordo in their house the first time. That is
    normal courtesy. But then, he comes again and again. She’s alone and
    nervous; yet, she lets him in!! Where do you see people inviting those
    that make them nervous and edgy into their house when they are alone?
    Is she that much of a bobo head that she cannot come up with an excuse
    to close the door?

    Thirdly, when they are invited to Gordo’s ”house”, they behave like
    children: Simon’s obscene gestures and their going through drawers even
    though Gordo could see them from outside and he said he was being
    absent ”for a couple of minutes”!!

    Fourthly, how can Gordo kidnap their dog? People moving to a new place
    don’t let their dog run loose because he is not yet familiar with the
    area and can easily get lost.

    My wife and I walked out swearing before the end of the performance.
    Some people here gave this thing a 6 or a 7 rating: what were they
    smoking?

  • 851222October 31, 2015Reply

    Great suspenseful drama

    Greetings from Lithuania.

    ”The Gift” (2015) is a very good drama / thriller. It is a fresh take
    on a seemingly formulaic story, and i loved how everything played out,
    or maybe it didn’t? Jason Bateman gives arguably the best performance
    of his career so far. Others were super solid. Directing by first timer
    Joel Edgerton was superbly solid. Movie is wonderfully paced, at
    running time 1h 42 min it never drags and is involving from start till
    finish. It is not horror flick nor does it wan’t you to be scary, all
    it asks is to pay attention, and at the end it rewards you by giving
    hints, but not the answers. Some maybe a bit disappointed by the
    ending.

    Overall, ”The Gift” is a true little gem of a movie. It takes seemingly
    old story and gives it a welcome twist. It all works out splendidly and
    by not giving the straight answers at the end Joel Edgerton leaves and
    open interpretation ending. This is a very good movie.

  • Dhiman SarbajnaNovember 1, 2015Reply

    The Movie will leave you in awe.

    From around fifteen minutes into ‘The Gift’, you begin to understand
    that it is not another thriller. The principle characters are way too
    less, the setting is confines to one house characterized by only too
    many glass doors and Joel Edgerton never appears too creepy as to scare
    you out. Then for a brief moment, you might wonder ”Is this movie going
    to be as good as I expect it to be?” And this is where The Gift
    succeeds. In overwhelming your expectations, by doing everything a cult
    thriller does. Taking a non complicated story and converting it into a
    gripping suspenseful plot. Joel Edgerton successfully masters the craft
    of creating a thriller. ”The Gift” is also backed by tremendous
    performances by Joel, Jason Bateman and Rebecca hall; with special
    mention going to Rebecca. I really loved her. I won’t dive into any
    aspect of the story as it would spoil the purpose of the movie. You
    need to watch it quietly, alone with a clean slated mind. You will
    definitely be awed in its brilliance. I personally feel ”The Gift” is
    one of the best thriller movies in the recent times and has all
    potential to become a cult classic in the near future. So if you love
    good, surprising, meaningful, sly, well crafted thrillers and you
    haven’t seen ”The Gift”, I suggest you do it. NOW.

  • santiagocosmeNovember 1, 2015Reply

    Entertaining but a little predictable.

    Not that I want to start from the end, but in this sort of movies you
    know that the escalating drama will culminate with a crazy revenge
    scene at the end. While it’s impossible to know what it will be like,
    you still know that there will be one. And that’s exactly the problem
    with this movie. You just go through it feeling like a mind reader who
    is able to guess may of the scenes before they happen: the guy will
    turn up here, and he does; the dog is going to disappear and he does.;
    the husband has a secret and he does. There were just too many things
    that were easy to guess to feel blown away with this movie.

    Surprisingly enough, I have to admit that I had a decent time watching
    it, and do you know why? Well, simply because this product will always
    work.

  • just_in_caseNovember 1, 2015Reply

    For better or worse not what the trailers sell you

    It’s unfortunate, but still correct that the trailers aren’t giving you
    the whole story. This is probably going to start a trend of ”well Joel
    Edgerton worked on it so it must be good.”. I know after seeing I’m
    gonna be on that mindset. To be honest when you watch the trailers its
    looks awful. Just some generic stalker movie with nothing setting it
    apart. I’ll update this when I think of one but there’s several true
    horror Stalker films that have a little extra to get you through it. In
    the trailers at least this one didn’t. Then I read that Joel Edgerton
    wrote it. Admittedly after seeing ”Warrior” to me anything Joel is
    involved in deserved an open mind now. Also if you watch closely to one
    specific trailer it lets on that this isn’t as clean cut Good vs Evil
    as you might think.

    Without spoiling anything the best way to describe this film is to say,
    weirdly, you are getting to see performance of Jason Batemans career.
    This is the deepest most multi- colored role he will likely ever play
    and god he does it so well I found myself cringing at some of his
    character turns. There’s nothing stilted here. It’s a kaleidoscope of
    character progression from Bateman and the two other leads are kind of
    like a foil. Trust me you can read other stuff I post on here I do not
    wax poetic and get all metaphoric. This is the only way to describe
    what happens.

    So why did this film not get a 10/10? I think it’s mostly Rebecca
    Hall’s character whom is at fault. Her acting is great and Jesus do
    they make her pretty in this. They film her in such way that she
    absorbs every scene she’s in. The problem is the character has some
    cracks in it that compared to everything else in the film, leaves you
    feeling like they cut back on her arc a bit. Its kind of like a 500
    piece puzzle missing just a few pieces. Its pretty but its difficult
    not to keeps staring at the holes.

    Great film, do not miss out 8/10

  • luki-cool2000November 1, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut is astonishing.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lasttimeisawNovember 4, 2015Reply

    I guess, future projects are in the offing for this promising new director

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • daniel-389-59760November 4, 2015Reply

    Great film for subjective viewers!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Curious MolarNovember 4, 2015Reply

    It is a cheap film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Radomir IvanovNovember 6, 2015Reply

    Intelligent Thriller

    A very interesting and intelligent thriller that is well-paced and
    doesn’t bores you for a moment. The plot is quite clever and it is
    presented in a way that holds up the attention throughout the whole
    film.

    The characters are well-structured and the main actors give very good
    performances. The good directing allows them to show their skills and
    as a result the emotions the main characters go through are easily seen
    and felt by the viewer.

    ”The Gift” is emotional, intense and certainly a pleasant surprise that
    leaves very good impressions.

  • jtindahouseNovember 6, 2015Reply

    Solid debut by Edgerton

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • San TNovember 6, 2015Reply

    Never let bygones be bygones, says ”The Gift”

    ”The Gift”, can be considered as a new perspective by which thrillers
    are portrayed. Joel Edgerton, though he has acted in some big budget
    films and been directed by Ridley Scott, does not strike as a great
    actor but as as Writer/Director one should definitely agree that he has
    done a GREAT job in this film. All credit for this film goes to this
    one person only.

    On the acting front, Jason who seems to be choosing more dramatic roles
    recently has done a very neat job in portraying his role as ”seems like
    a good guy”. Rebecca Hall has done a better job compared to Jason in
    this film as she has more vital points in the movie. Joel has outdone
    himself with simplicity, simple yet powerful acting on his part.

    Joel did take everyone by storm in this film by showcasing his fine
    practice of directing. Every scenes in this movie makes us think that
    this is just another thriller but defies everything at the end. The way
    the characters are portrayed has to be definitely appreciated as the
    depth of the characters gets unfold as the film goes by which makes it
    more interesting and highly gripping. The second half deserves more
    appreciation than the first half because Joel is busy making people
    believe that it’s just another usual thriller but ‘Simon says’ ”No”.
    The intensity of Joel’s characters in this film is still a mystery, he
    has played it so well that you couldn’t believe the climax.

    Bottomline is that this film will give you the chills and will leave
    you hanging making the viewers asking for more.

  • mariapappa08November 7, 2015Reply

    Overrated and a little boring

    I will start by saying that overall I liked this film.This is not a bad
    film but it is not a very good film either. It is also not a thriller.
    I am not much of a thriller person but this film surely has nothing to
    scare you, give you the creeps or make you feel anxious about. The
    ending of the film is not good either. It does not give you the closure
    you are looking for. For me the whole movie has a lot of wholes and
    raises a lot of unanswered questions. such as where and how did Gordon
    find the married couple at the store ..Was it accidental or
    premeditated.. A s far as the acting it is good but for me at times
    flat.. Furthermore I found the movie a little slow and too long in
    duration. It could have been 10-15 minutes shorter.. I n conclusion
    surely this film could have been better but for me is 5/10 and I really
    find the praising critics that I read in here a lot overrated.

  • MarcoLaraNovember 7, 2015Reply

    The gift…that keeps on giving

    What can I say…I loved this movie but it gets a bit long at times.
    Other than that, superb film…

    …and what is not to like? This is a thriller as thrillers should be.
    You think you know what’s going on, then you don’t. Then again you
    think you do, then you don’t. And by the time you think everything is
    said and done, there are still more surprises to come.

    I cannot recommend this movie enough, saved for the fact that it seems
    slow at times. Then again, we are not watching an action show.

    I personally loved the twists even though they should be expected…if
    you were paying attention.

    Watch this movie. You will love it.

  • Bill SimsNovember 7, 2015Reply

    Five Word Review: Intelligent, Uncomfortable Thrills; True Tension

    The Gift is the directorial debut of actor Joel Edgerton (Warrior,
    2011) and stars Edgerton as Gordo, a mysterious man who disturbs the
    life of happily married couple Jason Bateman (Juno) and Rebecca Hall
    (The Prestige).

    The true psychological thriller is hard to get right. I’d heard The
    Gift was good before going in to it but didn’t want to get my hopes up
    too much (congratulations Hollywood on making me so cynical). Basically
    what succeeds in making The Gift so good is doing what all films of its
    genre should do – making the viewer feel as uncomfortable and tense as
    the victims in the film. And thanks to Edgerton’s directing, the script
    by Edgerton and Edgerton’s performance, coupled with the general effort
    of Joel Edgerton, one does feel very creeped out. His character’s
    intense eyes, persistent spirit and creepy persona, along with the
    cinematography from the ”watcher’s” perspective looking in through
    windows, makes for a scary and twisty film full of mystery and
    surprises.

    What sets The Gift apart from other tense films with uncomfortable
    atmospheres is its intelligence. The sharp complexity of the script,
    and the all-round fantastic performances (notably from Bateman, who I’d
    never pegged as having such good dramatic acting skills, but also from
    the understated Hall) make for the three primary characters to all at
    different times take on the mantle of protagonist and antagonist. From
    the initial meetings between Gordo and the newly-moved-in couple to the
    unexpectedly good ending, far more depth is revealed about each
    character than expected, so that any and all of them could be the hero
    or villain, depending on perspective. It’s intelligent enough to
    require a re-watch, if only to pick out all the minute details; the
    dialogue all has meaning to it, or is significant later in the story,
    as the full extent of the plan, and of the relationships, is revealed.

    I really don’t want to give too much away, as you’d do better to go and
    watch The Gift now without knowing too much about it. I can’t much
    fault it. Many will target the ending for leaving it too ambiguous, but
    leaving the audience wanting more is something more films need to start
    doing. It does perhaps drag in places, and a few scenes don’t reach
    their full potential of scariness, but is for the most part
    consistently entertaining and frequently edge-of-your-seat stuff which
    will not fail to thrill, shock, and frighten you. A great debut for
    Edgerton. For sure you’ll never buy a house with so much glass. 90/100

  • d_spychNovember 7, 2015Reply

    A powerful movie 7.9

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Johan DondokambeyNovember 7, 2015Reply

    A good ride yet it gets predictable very early on

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • SURAJNovember 8, 2015Reply

    One of the Finest Debut

    It is a little late talking about this film, since it released more
    than 2 months back, but the film is worth talking about any time. This,
    a directorial debut for Joel Edgerton (actor, Zero Dark Thirty), is a
    fantastically written and implemented psychological thriller along the
    lines of Old Boy(2003) and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle(1992). Joel
    has shown tremendous maturity as a director with his first film itself,
    and he executes every element close to perfection. The film is a dark
    play of psychologies of the battles between the bully and the bullied.
    Unlike Old Boy though, he doesn’t add layers of emotions or melodrama
    but pure thrills which again works for the way he directs. The music
    definitely lacks a bit of a punch but the raw acting, dark suspenseful
    cinematography and a lonely themed production design is terrific. He’s
    surpassed many acclaimed directors in bringing it all together with so
    much sync. Don’t hate me for this but I think comparing debut films,
    this is better directed than Reservoir Dogs, 400 Blows, Gone Baby Gone
    or even Citizen Kane (I’m only talking about direction here, not about
    the story arch or its influence in pop culture).

  • Rob BinningtonNovember 10, 2015Reply

    OK film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Sandy ShabbaNovember 11, 2015Reply

    Good but not without flaws

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • inessbelkahlaNovember 11, 2015Reply

    A Gift, with no surprises.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • nama chakravortyNovember 13, 2015Reply

    Excellent!

    Joel Edgerton makes a smashing directorial debut with ‘The Gift’. This
    is an Excellent Film that terrifies as well as engrosses you. Its
    razor-sharp entertainment!

    ‘The Gift’ Synopsis: A young married couple’s lives are thrown into a
    harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past brings
    mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20
    years.

    ‘The Gift’ is about the demons within us & how they conquer our lives,
    only to eventuality wreck us all. Its a powerful, disturbing story
    about mistakes & how anger leads to eternal revenge. And its all told,
    accurately

    Edgerton’s Screenplay is top-notch. It just grasps you from the
    beginning & refuses to let go. The shocking finale, I must say, is very
    well-done! Edgerton’s Direction is claustrophobic, yet effective. There
    is a sense of paranoia throughout the film & that’s where Edgerton
    succeeds in making the proceedings, engrossing. Cinematography &
    Editing are good. Art & Costume Design are fair.

    Performance-Wise: Edgerton scores on the acting front as well. He
    enacts the hard to like character, with the correct balance of being
    creepy & affecting. Jason Bateman is extraordinary. He takes to this
    part, like a fish takes to water. Bateman’s range as a performer is
    only growing! Rebecca Hall is in tremendous form, as well. This is her
    most believable performance to date.

    On the whole, ‘The Gift’ leaves a strong impact. Strongly Recommended!

  • IcedooitleNovember 14, 2015Reply

    Yuppie Comeuppance

    When it comes to a freshman effort, the immediate inclination is to
    grade on a curve. However, not all freshmen are granted the same
    resources as first-time director Joel Edgerton. The Gift has an
    unremarkable premise with a capable cast. The done-to-death conflict of
    the past coming back to haunt the protagonist usually has a hook that
    is either satisfying and new, or forgettably played. Somehow Edgerton’s
    screenplay is both. It is admirable to have a passion project that is
    based in a writer’s well rounded interest. It appears that Edgerton has
    done his homework for this film, but it does come across as derivative.

    Simon and Robyn (Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall) are buying the house of
    their dreams in a new town. Within a week of their arrival, a nobody
    from Simon’s youth stages a happenstance encounter. Gordo (Joel
    Edgerton) is the socially awkward ”nice guy” that you would rather not
    have glomming onto your new life with unrealistic expectations of
    requited friendship. Day after day, he visits the couple’s house
    bearing thoughtful, but tedious gifts, only when Robyn is alone. Simon
    confesses he barely remembers the man, and that Gordo’s interests are
    more inclined to Robyn than nostalgia. Hall plays Robyn as the sweetly
    naïve wife who would deal with unwelcome guests for the rest of her
    life, just to avoid being rude.

    As is expected from the premise, Gordo is not all he seems to be, and
    the couple themselves hold the audience at arm’s length for over half
    the film. If you saw the pre-view, you know more about the plot than I
    did at the 1 hour mark. This is the pacing sensitive nature of
    psychological thrillers. The unfolding is as formulaic as the tense
    fragility between the couple in their abode. It’s a not-too-subtle nod
    to the situation that Gordo brings a gift of window cleaner one day.
    This couple, under the scrutiny of their visitor (and us), does in fact
    live in a glass house; a home that would be welcome in almost any
    yuppie comeuppance story.

    At its core this is a mystery, which precludes a description of most of
    the mile markers in the plot. It keeps you guessing so often that it’s
    easy to overlook that how unsatisfying the answers are. This method of
    disclosing information does have an eerie way of making the viewer
    complacent until the right moment. These moments are too few but
    commendable from a story that doesn’t fall back on shock value.
    Overall, that is what this film has to offer that is new to its genre.
    There are almost no misleading, unnatural character developments. Too
    often in thrillers the deceit is played like the characters know the
    audience is watching. These characters save their mind-games for each
    other. I was glad to be left out of the loop.

  • dcarsonhagyNovember 14, 2015Reply

    Return To Sender

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Ketan GuptaNovember 15, 2015Reply

    Electrifying !!!

    Much was said about the movie at its premier and I got the chance to
    watch it last week. To my surprise, I simply adored the film.

    The gift tells the story of a young couple who moves into a new house.
    However, their life goes haywire when an acquaintance of the husband
    comes back after a long gap of 20 years.

    Actor Joel Edgerton steps into the role of director and as first time,
    he impresses with his profile. The actor has done some good films
    including The Warrior and this year’s The Black Mass with Johnny Depp
    but wearing the director’s cap was moving out of his comfort and give
    us a wonderful picture. I will not go into the details since there are
    few twist and turns. The screenplay is tight keeping you engaged with
    crisp editing. Cinematography and art direction is nice. Dialogues are
    punching. It is again Joel Edgerton and Rebecca Hall who gives a
    mindblowing performance. Jason Bateman provides adequate support.

    Overall, a definite watch with enthralling story. Excellent 3/5

  • command-00188November 15, 2015Reply

    The movie is a masterpiece, artful and mysterious.

    This movie was one of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen, it featured
    great suspense and clues. Joel Edgerton created a masterpiece in this
    movie I look forward to see more movies by him.

    His style of directing is amazing, and keeps you on the edge of your
    seat. The writing was flawless and the twists mind blowing. One of the
    things that sets it apart, is the way it plays out. Most movies these
    days rely on violence and gore.

    This movie is not like them. The Gift plays on tricks of the mind. I
    recommend for lover of suspenseful thrillers like Alfred Hitchcock.

    The movie is not for everyone, like most movies in its genre. It is
    deep and strong, it makes you think about it after you are done
    watching it.

    I like the way Edgerton cut it and kept you thinking. It is a tad bit
    slow, but not dry, the story develops well. The acting was good on all
    fronts, I could not find any slip ups. The music was amazing and fit
    the movie wonderfully.

  • Skiis4LifeNovember 16, 2015Reply

    This is not a first date or even a second date movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • quincytheodoreNovember 17, 2015Reply

    A creepier way to reconnect than Facebook stalking

    Things may get awkward when meeting people from one’s past, especially
    if they are overly friendly or socially clumsy. The Gift presents this
    potentially familiar condition and enhanced it with stalker thriller
    that’s also grounded in realism, bringing a deeper psychological aspect
    into a commentary of the characters aside from just utilizing typical
    ”odd man chasing nice protagonist” formula.

    Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a couple who
    recently relocated back into the husband’s home city. Everything seems
    like your ordinary suburban dream, perfect to start a new family, that
    is until they are reunited with Simon’s old friend Gordo (Joel
    Edgerton). It soon escalates from simple awkward exchanges into
    legitimate threats as meeting this odd fellow opens up old buried
    secrets.

    The Gift keeps its entire plot balanced, the pace never feels too
    tiresome or rushed, which is quite an impressive execution in both
    drama and mystery. It sometimes ventures into horror territory with
    intriguing camera works, the type which plays with audience whether
    something is lurking nearby. Furthermore, it sets up the sequences and
    might just surprise with a couple of timely scares, yet these never
    feel cheap or forced, it merely empathizes the characters’ state of
    mind or the urgency they may feel.

    This movie revolves around drama more than horror or mystery. Jason
    Bateman works wonder as he displays calm personality from outside which
    may harbor secret or impulsive reaction as the movie progresses. It’s a
    departure from his usual romance or comedy gig, and a definite success
    at that. Joel Edgerton as Gordo is plain bizarre, although it’s not
    seldom that he enigmatically captivates with the shy act that viewer
    might just sympathize with him. I nearly didn’t recognize this Ramses
    from Exodus.

    The Gift never becomes too outlandish or gritty, it delivers its story
    with incredible calmness even though the subject is confidentially
    harrowing. Along with sophisticated execution and brilliant acting
    performance, this is one of the best thrillers of the year.

  • ironhorse_ivNovember 18, 2015Reply

    I like this gift. What a wonderful suspenseful thriller!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Lucas VersantvoortNovember 18, 2015Reply

    Impressive debut from Edgerton who relies more on slow build-ups than jumpscares

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • HorrorliefhebberNovember 18, 2015Reply

    The Gift

    -The Gift is a 2015 American psychological thriller film written,
    produced, and directed by Joel Edgerton, making his directorial debut.
    The film stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as a couple intimidated
    by a figure from their past (Edgerton). It was released in the United
    States on August 7, 2015 by STX Entertainment. -It received critical
    acclaim, praising the direction, screenplay, the performances, and the
    darker tone to the film. It was also box office success, grossing over
    $59 million against the total of $5 million.

    –Critical response:

    -This film received largely positive reviews, praising the
    performances, darker tone, Edgerton’s direction, and screenplay. On
    review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of
    93%, based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site’s
    critical consensus reads, ”The Gift is wickedly smart and playfully
    subversive, challenging the audience’s expectations while leaving them
    leaning on the edges of their seats.” Metacritic gives the film a score
    of 77 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating ”generally favorable
    reviews”. On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of
    ”B” on an A+ to F scale. -Time Out’s Daisy Bowie-Sell praised The Gift
    as ”darkly unnerving”, commending its ending and comparing it
    positively to a similar film, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. In a
    review for Indiewire, Katie Walsh lamented the film’s use of common
    thriller clichés and restraint towards the climax, but lauded Joel
    Edgerton’s direction, concluding: ”His deft, controlled maneuvering of
    plot, character, style, and tone is damn near perfect for his feature
    debut—even if it is in service of a very standard genre piece.”
    Conversely, Norman Wilner of Now criticized Edgerton’s directorial
    debut as full of ”mistakes and bad calls”, ultimately giving The Gift a
    2/5 rating.

  • Kevin Lea DaviesNovember 19, 2015Reply

    Outstanding!

    There are a lot of people who may be put off by the slow pace of this
    film, but let me tell you, it’s worth it!

    Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut is one of the best this year has to
    offer. I really found myself lost not in the plot of the film (similar
    stories have been done), but I was completely taken in by the
    transitions in characters, and how we perceive people in a superficial
    manner.

    ”The Gift” has a very simple plot, but it does itself a huge favor by
    not trying to assume to much. Two high school acquaintances run into
    each other years after, and each have their separate lives. One
    successful, one perhaps not. The relevance of this chance meeting
    changes both of their lives in such profound ways, that by the end of
    the movie, my empathy had completely changed. It’s simple story cuts
    out the shock violence, ridiculous plots, and confusing story lines,
    all for the better.

    The real gift of this film is watching Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton
    transition from beginning to the end. Both roles in this film are some
    of my favorite dramatic pieces I’ve seen. Bateman plays a loving
    husband, devoted career man, smart and witty all at the same time. It’s
    easy to with a man who cares so much for his wife. Joel Edgerton on the
    other-hand we see as a mysterious loner, who perhaps is too awkward and
    too overbearing in a friendship that doesn’t exist to begin with. As
    the film progresses, you feel a subtle shift in your empathy with each
    individual. Anyone who has ever been bullied, or perhaps have been a
    bully, begins immediately to shift perspectives with both characters.
    Rebecca Hall is a great lead as Bateman’s wife, and she succeeds very
    well at showing her shifting allegiances between the two men.

    The emotions and ideas behind this film are simple ones indeed. But in
    an age where most directors try to pull you in with hyper-violence and
    inane plot twists, it’s great when there are those directors who are
    learning to master the difference between mystery and intrigue.

    This is an excellent story.

    7/10

  • Sergeant_TibbsNovember 20, 2015Reply

    Engaging and understated psychological thriller.

    Joel Edgerton seemed to have come out of nowhere when he made my
    brother cry with Warrior. He’s having a better decade than most, even
    if the film’s themselves aren’t up to scratch, though he has been
    around for nearly 20 years including a forgettable role in the
    forgettable Star Wars prequels. In his first chance at the helm both
    writing and directing a film, The Gift is a promising statement for a
    focused creator while The Rover left a couple hints that this would be
    the case. Naturally, Edgerton himself is the best part of The Gift,
    with his role as the maligned Gordo haunting the film with his
    unassuming yet disarming presence. Throughout the film we feel like a
    voyeur peering into Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall’s lives through his
    eyes.

    As a domestic horror, or rather, a psychological thriller, Edgerton
    makes wise choices in giving The Gift a very understated approach. It’s
    much more straightforward than I expected, while the music occasionally
    indulges in boiling our senses, it’s otherwise held back and effective
    in its detail and slow unveiling of backstory. While it suffers to
    overcome solutions it doesn’t consider, it instead chooses a much
    smaller scale to inflict its damage. It does a good job of showing a
    past coming back to bite the present as well as the influence of a
    rumour, or in its vengeance’s case, persuasion. Bateman delivers one of
    the best dramatic performances he’s given yet but Hall steals the
    moments in her nuanced unease. This is solid engaging work that leaves
    its paranoia stinging but a couple questions unanswered.

    7/10

  • skullsandshamsNovember 20, 2015Reply

    Awful!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • K_ash10 ([email protected])November 20, 2015Reply

    A Thriller That’s Worth Your Time

    I unfortunately didn’t get to see this in theaters so I had to wait for
    the DVD. But that’s okay because it was worth the wait. This movie
    about a man who is basically stalking a married couple and invading
    their lives which causes conflict. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall did
    great in this film. And the standout was Joel Edgerton, who in fact
    wrote and directed the film. His performance as well as his writing and
    directing were fantastic. It’s a well paced, well made thriller that
    really will surprise you and keep you guessing. It’s not a very
    predictable film. Certain plot points leave wondering if mistakes from
    the past can really have a harsh effect on people. It doesn’t seem like
    something to think about while watching a movie but this film paints a
    good picture of why you shouldn’t bully people.

  • jtncsmistad-82689November 21, 2015Reply

    Oh, you shouldn’t have…really. Like, REALLY really!

    From thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com/

    The sins of the past return, demanding ruthless retribution in the dark
    thriller ”The Gift”. Multi-gifted Aussie Joel Edgerton writes, directs
    and stars as a sad sack loser who will not let go of the atrocities
    done unto him decades ago in high school. And the upwardly mobile yet
    troubled couple played by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall are set square
    in his vengeful crosshairs.

    Edgerton is masterful as he infuses virtually every single scene in his
    extraordinary film with urgent potency, while consistently propelling
    the story along at a vigorously unnerving pace. See if you agree that
    it puts one in the mind of another ominously harrowing flick with which
    you may be familiar, the 1987 domestic terror classic ”Fatal
    Attraction”. Granted, Edgerton’s character may not be as frantically
    psychotic as the whacked out woman scorned whom the great Glenn Close
    tormented us (and poor Michael Douglas) with in that one.

    But he is every bit as frightening.

    For more of my Movie Reviews categorized by Genre please visit:
    thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com/

  • OllieSuave-007November 22, 2015Reply

    Messes with your mind.

    This is a pretty intriguing thriller where a young married couple’s
    lives are interfered by an awkward high school acquaintance of the
    husband’s, who leaves gifts to the doorstop multiple times. After he is
    shunned by the couple, he gradually taunts the husband and unleashes a
    secret about him that threatens their marriage.

    The plot is pretty fast-paced from start to finish, as the film grabs
    your attention almost immediately – from the appearance of awkward
    Gordo (Joel Edgerton) to the mind games he plays with Simon (Jason
    Bateman), with Simon’s wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) caught in the middle
    of it all.

    The acting, though, was a little off as I thought some of the emotions
    were campy and the American accents by the Australian actors were
    forced. The acting also didn’t flow very well and the chemistry between
    the character leads were pretty artificial and the character
    development was weak.

    Overall, though, it’s not too bad of a thriller. It does get your mind
    think and does surprise you in several instances.

    Grade B-

  • gradyharpNovember 22, 2015Reply

    ‘See, you’re done with the past, but the past is not done with you.’

    Australian Joel Edgerton is an exceptionally talented man – he is
    highly regarded as an actor, a writer, and director – and he brings all
    three of those talents to the screen in this psychological thriller THE
    GIFT. The dialogue is exceptionally fine, the pacing is excellent and
    the manner in which the story unfolds holds many surprises as well as a
    number of fine lessons in interpersonal responses.

    Simon (Jason Bateman – so fine to see him step away from the line of
    brainless comedies in which he was type cast!), and Robyn (Rebecca
    Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned
    until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school
    sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn’t recognize
    Gordo (Joel Edgerton) at first, but after a series of uninvited
    encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret
    from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns
    the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she
    starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to
    us, and are past bygones ever really bygones?

    This is a smart, sophisticated film, beautifully photographed by Eduard
    Grau and with a musical score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans that
    maintains the suspense. The cast – the three leads as well as the
    supporting roles – is outstanding. This is a movie that is far better
    than the usual thriller. Highly Recommended.

  • SquigglyCrunchNovember 23, 2015Reply

    Creepy and Well-Written

    This movie was one that I was very excited to see, but unfortunately it
    was a little harder to find then I thought it would be so I didn’t
    watch it until now. I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint.

    I went into The Gift with almost no idea what it was about. I’d seen
    the ratings, the cover, the content advisory, and the word ‘stalker’ at
    some point. So I had little to no idea what I was getting into.

    The plot was very interesting. It’s relatively simple, but the
    characters really drive it forward.

    The characters are noticeably amazing from the beginning. The actors
    are great, and the characters act and feel like real people. From the
    get-go they’re all authentic and engaging. You want to hate some of
    them, but they’re so relatable that it’s difficult to do so. They’re
    easily the best part of the movie.

    The tone set by the movie is great, and so is the pacing. It never
    feels slow, and it seems to get darker throughout. It doesn’t follow
    the regular movie formula, which is a little surprising considering
    this is Joel Edgerton’s first full-length movie. That fact makes it all
    the more impressive that he actually pulled this off.

    Overall The Gift is nothing short of fantastic. The plot is great, the
    characters are superb, and the tone and pacing are very well done. In
    the end I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Gift to anyone. If the
    word ‘stalker’ interests you as a movie, then take a look. I really
    hope you won’t regret it.

  • bekka_j-65959November 24, 2015Reply

    Something to hold my attention for once.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • David ArnoldNovember 27, 2015Reply

    A Very Enjoyable Psychological Thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • picturebiggerNovember 28, 2015Reply

    Gifted actors – The Gift that keeps on giving

    Good to see Jason Bateman showing his versatility as an actor. Of
    course he does funny roles brilliantly and never fails to make me
    laugh, but he does serious roles really well too. It must be hard for
    most actors to pull off a serious role when they are mainly
    known/typecast for comedy. Interestingly I find Bateman does this
    convincingly by not really changing much about how he comes across on
    screen, but more by removing the comic element of his usual high
    standard performance. I don’t find it hard to take him seriously
    because it feels like its still him, but in a bad situation -if that
    makes any sense? Perhaps he would say that’s a load of old tosh but
    either way how I interpret how he goes about his performance is
    irrelevant as long as the end result is good – which I assure you it
    won’t disappoint. Having now seen this and Disconnect I want to see
    more of him in roles like this as he is very believable and that’s the
    part that sets big actors like him aside from the rest. But The Gift
    doesn’t just offer us Bateman it also gives us Rebecca Hall who is
    definitely making her mark recently. I have seen her in Transcendence
    and Closed Circuit and I find her fascinating to watch, she’s different
    from many a female lead and I think and hope we will be seeing a lot
    more of her in the future. Joel Edgerton of course handled his part
    with ease, he was creepy and sinister but just enough to be disturbing
    without making the mistake of overplaying the part. Mind you having
    been in massive productions like the Great Gatsby with DiCaprio this is
    all probably just a walk in the park for him. You may ask who am I to
    be giving reviews on actors like these? Well I am merely a film buff
    who has seen literally hundreds of films and when a good one comes
    along with a great cast and an ending you literally couldn’t predict, I
    think it is only fair and right to give it the praise it deserves.

  • pc95November 28, 2015Reply

    A Solid Thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Ruben MooijmanNovember 29, 2015Reply

    Entertaining movie with lots of suspense

    ‘The Gift’ is a psychological thriller in the true sense of the word.
    It’s all about psychology: at the end of the film, the lead characters
    are completely different persons from who they seemed to be at the
    beginning. The hero becomes the villain, and vice versa.

    Not many directors can pull this off in a believable way, but Joel
    Edgerton does it perfectly. Every development is logical and the
    screenplay is constructed in an extremely clever way. It centres on
    Robyn, a housewife who slowly discovers that her husband not only hides
    episodes from his past from her, but also is a very different sort of
    person from the one she thought he was. The truth is slowly uncovered
    because a person from the past turns up on their doorstep, and makes
    Robyn question her husband’s statements.

    There are no unnecessary sidelines, so the story stays focused and the
    viewer is constantly challenged to reassess his view on what he sees
    happening. Even at the very end, there is a nice twist to make the
    viewer keep on questioning if what he thinks happened, really happened.
    This is a very entertaining movie with lots of suspense.

  • charlesbeuttNovember 30, 2015Reply

    Left Wing Propaganda

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bkoganbingDecember 1, 2015Reply

    Blast from the past

    Yuppie couple Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall see to have a nice lock on
    the American dream. He’s just gotten a promotion at work and she
    becomes pregnant with their first. One fine day Joel Edgerton a friend
    from high school greets them at the local supermarket. At first Bateman
    doesn’t quite recall him, but it becomes clear and it’s not with any
    fondness he remembers Edgerton. But soon enough he starts insinuating
    himself into their lives.

    If you think you know where this one is going let me assure you that
    you don’t. It turns out that Hall really does not know the guy she
    married. Bateman did Edgerton some real dirt back in high school and
    it’s not been forgotten. What it was I can’t lest I spoil the viewing.
    But it was nasty.

    In fact back from my long ago high school days I knew someone who had
    that happen to him. I also knew bullies like Bateman who did things
    like what he did.

    The Gift is a good film and will hit home for a lot of people.

  • hepodcastDecember 4, 2015Reply

    Not quite horror, but very strong

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • CinemaClownDecember 7, 2015Reply

    Joel Edgerton’s Directional Career Commences On A Promising Note.

    Joel Edgerton’s filmmaking career commences on an impressive note for
    The Gift is a finely balanced, smartly scripted & wonderfully executed
    thriller that makes splendid use of all its elements to deliver a
    consistently tense & captivating movie that scores high marks in most
    departments and is a welcome addition to its genre.

    The story of The Gift follows a young married couple who have relocated
    to a new town for a fresh beginning & to start a new family. But a
    chance encounter with an old acquaintance sets in motion a chain of
    events that ultimately turns their life upside down as this old friend
    not only showers them with numerous gifts but also an unsettling secret
    from the past.

    Written & directed by Joel Edgerton, who also stars in the movie as a
    supporting character, The Gift is smoothly narrated from start to
    finish and allows the moments of uncertainty to shape up in an
    incredibly natural manner. The production design is impressive,
    camera-work is concise & fluid, its 108 minutes of runtime is expertly
    paced, and music has a very muted presence.

    Coming to the performances, the cast mainly comprises of Jason Bateman,
    Rebecca Hall & Joel Edgerton, and even though there isn’t any standout
    work from anyone, all of them do a good enough job with their given
    roles. Bateman & Hall play the married couple and share a good rapport
    with each other throughout the picture while Edgerton is just as
    committed in front of the camera as he’s behind it.

    On an overall scale, The Gift is a skilfully written & splendidly
    directed psychological thriller that’s much aware of its limitations,
    plays well to its strengths and for a debut feature, it’s a very
    sophisticated piece of work. Thoroughly developed in script form &
    effectively brought to life on the silver screen, The Gift is a
    wickedly twisted revenge flick that honestly turned out to be better
    than my initial expectations and is definitely worth a shot.

  • analovescoffeeDecember 13, 2015Reply

    A flat thriller building up to….NOTHING! A gift that you should probably just re-gift

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Reno RanganDecember 14, 2015Reply

    In a rage for revenge, the GIFTS can be our handy weapon.

    Firstly, it was well written by Joel Edgerton as well debuted as a
    director with it. That is only because of comparing with other over
    hyped crappy mystery-thrillers. Frankly, to me it was a decent flick
    that I enjoyed watching. Flaws, loopholes, whatever you call them, this
    film had so many due to lack of revelation of the earlier occurrence.
    While I tried to raise the questions on the issues I found, I also
    discovered possible answers for them. So either way it covers up as a
    little smartly, but in reality that does not make any sense at all.

    Kind of a revenge movie, but I can’t reveal more than that about the
    theme as it may spoil if you have not seen it yet. It was about a young
    married couple who moved back to their hometown after losing their
    unborn baby. They encounter one of their high school friends in a
    shopping mall and the relationship grows intensely on one end where the
    other side was indirectly denied. So what might happen when the grown
    up guys caught in a state like this is what brings the crux of the
    story.

    As usual Rebecca Hall was so hot, Jason Bateman in a convincing act and
    Joel Edgerton, who was in a key role exhibited his part decently.
    Pretty good title as well. In the beginning it looked so simple, but
    while story moving forward the meaning was intensely unveiled.

    The narration was kind of brilliant, because it won’t let you take a
    side when clash begin to happen. At a time not quite easy to predict
    the scenes. This mystery-thriller was too much dramaticed and presented
    at a slow pace. Especially avoids the serious violences, but still
    covers a few that obviously required to shape up the film. Like I said
    it was not a special movie, but worth to choose and for a few people it
    might be an awesome flick.

    6½/10

  • TheBarleyGuyDecember 18, 2015Reply

    There’s something nostalgic about this one.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • feevDecember 18, 2015Reply

    Nah…..

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Filip IkonomovDecember 20, 2015Reply

    Interesting movie but missed the sparkle

    When the first trailer came out I had big hopes for this title. Finally
    watched it and to be honest the feelings are mixed. Interesting story,
    big fan of thrillers and yes the message is clear and I guess a nice
    (satisfactory) one. I am driven by the same philosophy don’t do unto
    others what you don’t want others to do unto you, but something is
    missing to be more then just an interesting movie. As the movie went
    all of the possible scenarios started to fade and you can easily
    predict the ending (sort of) and it lacks the moment of eyes opening
    and jaw dropping.

    Don’t get me wrong it is a good movie but not quite what I hoped for.
    It missed the sparkle of a classy thriller scenario which will be
    remembered.

  • mozzzerDecember 24, 2015Reply

    One of the few films I’ve seen this year that had a great story line

    My friends and I have been saying for a few years now that there aren’t
    enough films around with descent story lines, in fact we’re beginning
    to think the entire film industry now relies on CGI to compensate for
    the lack of decent writers. Anyway, this film has exactly what we want,
    a great story, great acting and an unexpected but really satisfying
    ending. What we liked was that it took a while to work out who the real
    villain was and even then it twists a few times before you get it. It
    was pleasure to watch. Also, my wife can usually predict most plots and
    she’s also extremely critical of poor films but this one took her by
    surprise which is great because I always get the blame when I pick a
    rubbish one! Definitely one of my favourite films of 2015.

  • Saiph90December 26, 2015Reply

    Decent story

    OK story, acting good, on a night when we pick a film from Sky we want
    to be entertained, this is a relatively simple story but it does have a
    brooding claustrophobic atmosphere. There are plot holes but there is
    rarely a film which does not have plot holes, in fact without them most
    films would struggle. People do illogical things in films, otherwise
    when your friend says ”lets visit the deserted lunatic asylum on
    Halloween” you would say ”no I think I will sit here drinking beer and
    eating popcorn” while watching the X factor. The film is about
    accountability of previous actions and is well told and with decent
    acting, the reason the wife empathises with Gordo is they share the
    same social awkwardness.

  • leonblackwoodDecember 27, 2015Reply

    Full of suspense but the ending was disappointing! 5/10

    Review: I’m kind of in two minds about this film because I did get
    caught up with the whole thriller/suspense aspect of the movie but the
    outcome wasn’t that great. It takes a long time for anything to happen
    and when it starts to get interesting, the movie ends abruptly, leaving
    the audience to make up there own ending. The saying ”What goes around
    comes around” really is the main concept of this movie and I liked the
    fact that Simon’s true character started to come out towards the end
    but I was hoping for a massive showdown between Simon and Gordo.
    Anyway, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), play a loving
    couple who move back to Simon’s hometown and buy a new house together.
    Whilst shopping, they bump into Simon’s old school friend who starts to
    turn up at there house when Simon’s not in. He then invites the couple
    to there house for a meal and while Robyn is outside, Simon tells Gordo
    to stop sending them gifts and coming round when he’s not there. After
    a while, strange things start to happen around the house when Robyn is
    alone and she starts to get a bit paranoid and she’s keeps on thinking
    that someone is in the house with her. She then finds out that Simon
    has been investigating Gordo for some time and she takes it upon
    herself to do her own investigating about what happened in there
    childhood. After finding out some information from Simon’s old school
    buddy, she realises that she doesn’t really know Simon at all and that
    he was actually a school bully who caused Gordo severe problems during
    his childhood. Simon also uses his old bully tactics to get further in
    his job and when his wife and friends find out during a meal at there
    house, it causes a problem with there marriage, during Robyn’s
    pregnancy. After a while, Gordo finally gets his own back on Simon
    which destroys his perfect world with his wife and new born baby. On
    paper, the movie does have many elements which are perfect for a movie
    in this genre but after such a big build up throughout the film, the
    ending seemed rushed and not thoroughly thought through. The acting was
    great from the whole cast and I liked the whole ”perfect couple”
    element to this mysterious thriller. There are a couple of glitches
    with the script, like why didn’t Simon just have a DNA test at the
    hospital or why didn’t Gordo just go to the police to report the
    beating but that’s just my humble opinion. Anyway, it’s a watchable
    movie which does keep you on the edge of your seat but it takes some
    time to get going at the ending wasn’t that great. Watchable!

    Round-Up: This movie was written and directed by Joel Edgerton, 41, who
    also played Gordo in the film. He recently starred in Black Mass with
    Johnny Depp and the epic Exodus with Christian Bale so he’s played some
    major roles in some big budget movies. He also stars in the upcoming
    movie, Life which is about a photographer whose assigned to take
    pictures of James Dean and with another 3 movies in post production,
    I’m surprised that he had the time to write and direct this movie. I
    was shocked to see that he starred in Stars Wars: Attack of the Clones
    and Revenge of the Sith because I don’t really remember him in those
    movies. Anyway, he was great in Animal Kingdom and he put in some great
    performances in the Thing remake, Warrior, Zero, Dark Thirty and the
    Great Gatsby so this Australian born actor must be pleased with his
    career so far. I just hope that he doesn’t become one of those actors
    who disappear into thin air after a while.

    Budget: $5million Worldwide Gross: $59million

    I recommend this movie to people who are into their
    drama/mystery/thrillers starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel
    Edgerton and Wendell Pierce. 5/10

  • secretzfanDecember 28, 2015Reply

    This movie is a Gift

    You know those stories about she obsessions or the creepy guy who is
    stalks you all over the place wanting you dead. Haven’t you got sick of
    those cause I know I have, so when I heard about another movie about a
    guy stalking around like a creep wanting to terrorize his friend from
    the past I rolled my eyes at the thought. I mean seriously haven’t we
    had enough of this. We know how it ends. The obsessive dude loses. We
    have seen it again and again.

    But this movie changes the game completely. This movie is not just
    about some guy with a obsession or some knack for revenge. Rather this
    is a story of a kind hearted male who was wronged, and simply wants his
    due.

    You find yourself on his side and wanting to understand him more than
    anything else. This is undoubtedly Blumhouse’s best work, and they
    deserve all the praise in the world for this story.

    The acting is very well done as well. I won’t say it is at Oscar level,
    but still very good acting from all the cast involved.

    Jason Bateman and Joel Egerton defiantly carry this film on there
    backs. They draw you in and make you care so much about what is going
    on with each of them. Hell even when there saying very few words it
    carries so much weight with it you find yourself forgetting a lot, and
    instead just getting drawn in.

    Rebecca Hall is also great in this film giving probably the best
    performance in the movie. She made the whole thing feel so much more
    like a horror film even when she has no lines you can tell she is
    feeling a lot of pain and because of that the film really does work in
    a lot more ways than one.

    Overall this is a great film and will probably be in my top 5 favorite
    films of the year

  • igstevensonsDecember 29, 2015Reply

    Run of the mill psychological thriller

    Good script nicely directed and well acted but lacked the wow factor
    for me. It is all quite predictable apart from a minor twist at the end
    but for the most part we have seen it all before in other similar type
    movies. Lacked any real tension but if you like this type of movie then
    it is worth a watch but won’t live long in the memory. I liked Rebecca
    Hall in The Town but she just lacked a bit of glamour in this film
    often looking very plain and just like Joel Edgerton with his rather
    weird hair colour had a bad hair day in this one. The Resident with
    Hilary Swank is a much superior movie to this but nevertheless for an
    evenings entertainment you could do worse as the character development
    is interesting, the score was well put together and Edgerton shows some
    promise as a Director in this his debut.

  • Adam_West_as_BatdanDecember 30, 2015Reply

    If this movie was a gift, it would probably be a pair of nice socks.

    Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, without socks your feet get
    cold right?

    But it doesn’t exactly make you religious and start praising the lord
    almighty… Especially if you already have a bunch of socks in your
    drawer, which most of us do.

    So what I’m saying is that it’s a little bit of a run of the mill
    ‘stalker psychological drama thriller’ but it’s still a perfectly
    passable time-waster.

    Jason Bateman is mostly known for a comedic work where he usually plays
    a likable jokester, but here he’s neither likable or a jokester, his
    character is actually rather arrogant and a bit of a douche and that’s
    not spoiling anything because that’s the behaviour he shows from the
    very start of the movie. And he plays that role well, as does Rebecca
    Hall and Joel Edgerton in their respective roles.

    The movie is kind of slow, so if you’re expecting a thriller that will
    have you holding on to your seat you might want to look elsewhere, a
    couple of cheap jump-scares here and there but for the more part it
    takes it’s time to develop the story.

    So yeah, watchable but nothing amazing.

  • PimpinAinttEasyJanuary 1, 2016Reply

    Some of the most boring yuppie characters ever …..

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • tomsviewJanuary 3, 2016Reply

    Perfectly wrapped

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • marshallfgJanuary 3, 2016Reply

    Left Me Thoroughly Entertained – and That’s a Gift

    For the first time I’m happy that a movie trailer didn’t match the
    movie; that is, I watched the trailer expecting one thing, but this
    movie exceeded all of my expectations. One thing I liked is that it
    started building the suspense pretty quickly and kept up the momentum
    so that I was engrossed the whole time. Another thing I liked is that
    this movie had a serious creep factor, made all the creepier because of
    its subtlety. I loved how Edgerton played Gordo with understated
    menace. I also loved the way the plot shifted so effortlessly so that I
    was never entirely sure what was going on or whose perspective to
    trust. There were some ”what the heck?” moments for sure, but they were
    never contrived or convoluted. Finally, I liked that the movie had
    something to say but let its message play out in the drama which had
    far more emotional punch. Now, this is what a psychological thriller
    should look like.

  • charles-71224January 3, 2016Reply

    Over rated but not awful

    after reading all of the great reviews on here I thought I would give
    this a go. Initially I avoided this film as personally I find the
    trailer a little lack lustre.

    Although there are several suspenseful moments the overall feeling is
    slightly flat. It’s not quite a physiological thriller but not yet an
    action packed nail biter. The pace is slow, too slow and it’s one of
    those were you are waiting for the pick me up. I also thought some of
    the story turns were underdeveloped in the sense that there was more
    that could have been built upon. The female character although played
    well was a bit limp, I certainly wouldn’t be inviting strange men into
    the house when home alone and found the whole terrorised but
    sympathetic routine a bit aggravating.

    Overall it is not the worst film I have seen this year and has a few
    thrills but the slow pace and lack of any real excitement left me
    feeling unsatisfied. If your hovering, wait for the TV / sky play
    before paying to see.

  • CANpatbuck3664January 3, 2016Reply

    Very Tense Thriller, Definitely More Going On Then Meets The Eye

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • evanston_dadJanuary 3, 2016Reply

    Stalker Thriller Just Misses Being Really Good

    Joel Edgerton directed and stars in this stalker thriller, and the
    results, while uneven, show quite a bit of promise in Edgerton’s skills
    as a director.

    Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a newly-transplanted married couple
    who reconnect with an old high school classmate of Bateman’s
    (Edgerton). His appearance in this couple’s life brings to light some
    uncomfortable secrets about Bateman that make his wife, already on
    shaky ground with him and their marriage, question everything upon
    which she has so far laid the foundation of her life.

    The film suffers from a bit of identity crisis. It goes beyond the
    standard stalker formula to something more complicated and compelling.
    It’s never clear exactly how dangerous Edgerton’s character is, and
    there’s a tipping point in the movie after which Bateman — who can
    play cocky jerk like nobody’s business — becomes the film’s true
    villain, and the dynamic between him and Hall and their toxic marriage
    becomes much more interesting than the stalker plot line. But the film
    can’t quite commit to letting the stalker plot line go entirely, so it
    becomes a sort of diluted side plot that works toward a hard sell
    ending that doesn’t feel right for the kind of movie preceding it.

    I can’t help but think how much more interesting the movie would have
    been had Edgerton’s character never actually been a threat at all, and
    instead became a sort of physical manifestation of Bateman’s and Hall’s
    mutual dysfunction. But then of course it would have been a completely
    different movie.

    ”The Gift” is an almost perfect example of a solid B movie. There’s
    nothing outright bad about it or wrong with it, but it’s also missing
    those intangible qualities that would have made it really good.

    Grade: B

  • Movie_Muse_ReviewsJanuary 4, 2016Reply

    Edgerton’s gifts are apparent in simple, smart, genre-flipping thriller

    Just as quickly as he became a formidable actor, Joel Edgerton may well
    become a formidable filmmaker. ”The Gift,” his debut feature as a
    writer/director, has the look of a cliché stalker mystery/thriller, but
    then flips everything on its head.

    ”The Gifts” stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as Simon and Robyn, a
    young couple who move to Los Angeles for a new start. When they run
    into one of the husband’s old high school acquaintances, Gordo
    (Edgerton), his overly friendly welcome teeters on creepy, but a secret
    about the past sends everything into a tailspin.

    For the third of the film, our lens remains fixed on Gordo, the enigma
    who sounds off all our alarms. The mystery revolves around who he is
    and what his intentions are, with Robyn feeling sorry for Gordo and
    Simon feeling threatened, but as Robyn goes after the truth, suddenly
    it’s the past that becomes the mystery.

    Edgerton totally skewers the audience with both the ”threat” of
    conventional thriller tactics that genre fans love and also the greater
    mystery that reveals itself. With his audience captivated, he drives
    home a powerful message that lies at the heart of the film.

    Genre fans who enjoy being totally duped by a thriller with a trademark
    reveal or payoff might be a little disappointed, but someone not wholly
    counting on that experience will almost certainly be pleasantly
    surprised with how Edgerton subverts the genre and uses it as a vehicle
    to deliver a poignant message that might otherwise feel unoriginal.

    In the cast, Hall is as dependable as ever as a wife left to feel
    conflicted between this kind albeit unusual stranger and her
    forthright, unsympathetic husband. Bateman, usually cast as the
    everyman, is a really nice fit in ”The Gift” because of it. We haven’t
    been given the pleasure of doing anything other than rooting for
    Bateman in every film he’s been in and in this case it isn’t so simple.

    Strong original ideas with simple, gripping premises and don’t come
    along nearly as often as they should. For this gift, we must give
    Edgerton our absolute thanks.

  • philipmorrison-73118January 7, 2016Reply

    I don’t recommend this one

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • WoodBangers EntertainmentJanuary 7, 2016Reply

    nicely done

    The Gift is a nicely put together ”dark thriller”, really closely
    styled like the film Disconnect. The cast within The Gift done very
    well with their characters which helped to keep the eerie vibe going
    on. I liked the way the story moved, it keeps you always wondering,
    thinking you know what’s up, though all you think turns out to be
    different. The Gift is a fairly made film for it’s genre; and it is
    also a film in which I will have in my personal movie collection.

    If you like drama, thrillers; then this one could be right up your
    alley. Jason Bateman pulls off yet another eerie film which keeps you
    on the edge of your seat. Comparative films within the style I’d have
    to point out ”Edge of Darkness”, of course ”Disconnect”, and quite
    possibly ”Knock Knock”; just few others you may enjoy.

  • GalinaJanuary 8, 2016Reply

    ”See, you’re done with the past, but the past is not done with you.”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ([email protected])January 9, 2016Reply

    Stylish ‘thriller’ but unconvincing in many ways

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • thependragonscribeJanuary 11, 2016Reply

    Joel Edgerton’s psychological thriller brings the ultimate chills.

    Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut proves a promise for him in the
    future. For his first film, ”The Gift” recalls previous attempts of the
    suburban psychological thriller genre (like ”Prisoners” and ”Straw
    Dogs”). But with a hefty script by Edgerton, this gives it a unique
    take that not only stands out but seeps the skin deep. And in the
    center of this suburban haunter is a couple (Jason Bateman and Rebecca
    Hall) who relocated in Los Angeles and encountered a cordial stranger
    (a sordid Edgerton) who may cover a story as overwhelming as his sudden
    presence. But his story is to remain a mystery until you watch it
    because ”The Gift” is a chilling ride that truly plays with the
    psychological aspects to make every moment crawl under the skin. As
    every twist unfolds, the final outcome becomes satisfyingly
    devastating. And that is where the total brilliance of the story comes
    from. Props to Bateman for leaving his comedic chops for a while to
    play a successful man with a hidden past, being unraveled by Hall, as
    she becomes torn with the story unfolding. ”The Gift” is indeed a
    present that one must open.

  • christos-pitsoulisJanuary 11, 2016Reply

    Wait!! it reminds me of something..!

    i wont say much! Just watch Mientras duermes (2011)

    And i wonder mister screen writer.. Why bother copying a good movie’s
    basic idea, and finally ruin it when trying to sell it as your own
    prototype?! Mientras Duermes is based on the same idea with a different
    plot. But its superior not only in script but in acting and directing
    too! This movie doesn’t make correct use of the time until the story
    unrolls. It just gets tiring and really slow! slow is not bad if you
    can keep the viewers in agony or amaze them with good acting! Well you
    didn’t!

    Enough said!

    acting 5/10.

    directing 4/10.

    Plot 5/10.

    Overall 5/10.

  • Dave (davadog13)January 12, 2016Reply

    An original, Hitchcockian thriller in disguise

    When I hit the 20 minute point of this film, I was ready to turn it
    off. I paused it and went to take a shower. I started thinking about
    the unanswered questions the movie slipped into my brain. I decided to
    finish it just for that closure. Upon returning to, and ultimately
    finishing, the film, I came to the following conclusion: The Gift is an
    original, Hitchcockian thriller in disguise.

    Joel Edgerton (in both actor and director chairs) uses a number of
    thriller tropes to his advantage in the set-up of this film. The music
    guides the audience through typical movie moments of discomfort and we
    are subtly urged to conclusions without being given outright evidence.
    This is where I almost walked away, but the other thing Edgerton does
    really well is that he creates a little seed of doubt and question.
    This concept is also a theme discussed in the film in pivotal moments.
    I was incapable of walking away because of my need to know the whole
    story. I was even ready to suffer through what I assumed would be a
    sub-par plot just to attain that knowledge.

    I do feel there were a couple moments of lazy storytelling. Motherhood
    is introduced as something of importance to Rebecca Hall’s character
    early on. It’s introduced somewhat subtly at first, but then, almost as
    if yelling to the audience members who couldn’t catch the subtlety,
    there’s a short, maybe 45 second scene in which the idea is basically
    fed to the audience, subtlety removed. I think Edgerton could have
    trusted his audience a little more.

    However, this flaw is my only major gripe as I was captivated through
    most of the film. It also created a genre in my mind tentatively called
    ”horror films for people with social anxiety,” but that’s a different
    post entirely.

    This film certainly shows that Edgerton has filmmaker chops and it has
    earned an automatic ticket purchase for whatever he puts out next.

  • James De BelloJanuary 12, 2016Reply

    7.5/10

    A hell of ride. A rare thriller that defies many genre clichés and
    conventions. Even more than that, it is a masterful directorial debut
    that makes Joel Edgerton one of the most interesting new directors of
    the year and an artist for whom to look forward to in the future.

    The best aspect of the film which I simply can’t keep in me is how good
    is the performance Edgerton gives considering also he is directing
    himself. It is the single most important ingredient to making this film
    succeed and it played to perfection. The way in which he conveys creepy
    and unsettling in a subtle manner makes everything around him better,
    it adds a whole layer of tension and interest in the characters that
    could have really missed in lesser hands.

    Still, that’s not all the film has to offer. The directorial touches
    are smart and engaging, the characters development is original and
    surprising. Bottom line this is just a very, very good screenplay that
    can be dissected and studied for all the brilliance with which it is
    built. It seems like a perfect puzzle, with all the character beats
    into place, culminating in an edge-of-your-seat finale where I found
    myself screaming at the screen.

    Unfortunately, as much as I said in my introduction that the film
    manages to stray away from many clichés, it does fall into some tropes
    that have been used before. It is slightly derivative and because of
    that it doesn’t reach quite ”Gone Girl” level, by that I mean a
    thriller which is absolutely tense to the point of sickening for all of
    its duration. That may also be due to the fact that the thematic
    aspects the film is putting forward never emerge. Stuckmann said in his
    review that the film is about ”how one little, small thing one person
    says at the right moment can change everything”. I get where he is
    coming from, but I didn’t find the movie to treat that fascinating
    aspect as much as I wanted. It could have done with being an edge more
    nasty and could have brought an unparalleled anxiety with it.

    But I am really dragging here. This is a fantastic thriller, one of
    those movies which I wish there were more of. It is inspiring to see
    such a confident debut, of which I can’t wait to see more of.

  • Michael O'KeefeJanuary 13, 2016Reply

    Who is this stranger? Oh, yea…I remember.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • morrison-dylan-fanJanuary 17, 2016Reply

    The gift that keeps on giving.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • BrooklynGail13January 24, 2016Reply

    A Promising Look Into Psychological Impact

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • TxMikeJanuary 25, 2016Reply

    Your past has a way of eventually catching up with you, especially if there are skeletons.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Hana AlaaJanuary 31, 2016Reply

    The baby!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • tochukwu-83206February 6, 2016Reply

    Joel Edgerton stands out!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • jeeshan2000February 7, 2016Reply

    A Soft Thriller

    The gift is what you would call a soft thriller. It will not put fear
    in your mind, it will not make you bite your nails, it probably wont
    have you hooked either. It falls in the genre of movies where things
    climax or unfold towards the end. And once that happens you are not
    greatly moved or affected but you realize you ve just watched a pretty
    good movie.

    The movie has a slow, patient buildup, profiling a couple who have
    moved to a new town. It slowly builds their characters, and brings
    stories from their past. With every minute the story starts unfolding.

    Pretty good acting from the three main actors. Worth the watch on a
    slow boring weekend.

  • Dana HFebruary 11, 2016Reply

    Can bygones ever really be bygones?

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Richard AlabaFebruary 11, 2016Reply

    These days we’re not so frightened by ghosts and monsters, but we all fear false knowledge.

    These days we’re not so frightened by ghosts and monsters, but we all
    fear false knowledge: the possibility that the person we know and love
    is really someone very different. Like, what if your partner really was
    a cruel tormentor and bully at school? Enter psychological thrillers to
    taunt us with the big reveal that can pull the carpet from under our
    emotional lives. The Gift does this slowly and brilliantly.

    The storyline is simple. Take-no-prisoners corporate-type Simon and his
    anxious wife Robyn have just acquired some nice property in a nice Los
    Angeles neighbourhood and they bump into one of Simon’s old
    schoolmates, Gordo. That’s cordial enough, but Gordo keeps inviting
    himself into their lives, first with house-warming gifts then with
    dinners and so on. Simon never liked the ”weirdo” but Robyn is taken by
    his needy charms, and once the rift is set in motion, the tension
    continues to rise as Gordo keeps re-surfacing where Simon does not want
    him. The three-way acting is superbly taut, with Simon’s arrogance,
    Robyn’s fears and Gordo’s inexplicable presence linked as if by a
    high-tension wire that keeps shifting in the wind as we do not know who
    is the bad guy and who is the good. And Gordo’s offer to ”let bygones
    be bygones” keeps ringing in our ears.

    Effective psychological thrillers employ elementary principles of
    knowledge deprivation and disorientation, and this film gives no clear
    signal about who we can trust. The atmosphere of threat and uncertainty
    is accentuated by noir lighting, staccato camera-work, and close-up
    framing on widened eyes that spell fear. It keeps twisting and turning
    in unexpected directions, pulling the hidden story together and leading
    Robyn towards the big reveal. Like in all great thrillers we are not
    sure until the last few seconds and a finale that Hitchcock would have
    loved.

  • TdSmth5February 14, 2016Reply

    A remarkable thriller

    A well-to-do couple and their dog move from Chicago to LA due to his
    job. She’s a designer and they have trouble getting pregnant.

    At some home store he, Simon, runs into a high school classmate named
    Gordon, called Gordo. It takes a while for Simon to recognize Gordo. At
    the store Gordo learns their address. The next day he leaves a bottle
    of wine at the door step. He stops by often and the woman, Robyn, is
    particularly friendly towards him, even though he’s a bit overbearing.
    He tends to stop by during the day when Simon is at work, always
    bringing gifts. Things don’t seem quite right and the couple discuss it
    with their friends. One night he invites them over to his place, a
    mansion, but quickly leaves to resolve some work issue. They check out
    the place, find a closet full of women’s clothing, even though he
    claims to be single, plus a kid’s room. Simon takes advantage of the
    situation to mock Gordo and tells Robyn that he thinks Gordo’s
    intention is to ”nail” her. When Gordo returns, Simon decides to
    confront him about his visits and basically puts and end to the
    relationship.

    Meanwhile Simon is vying for a promotion at work and is competing with
    one other guy for it. Now the fish Gordo gave them appear dead, their
    dog goes missing. Gordo sends a letter apologizing and speaks of
    bygones being bygones, something that has Robyn confused. She asks
    Simon about it but he pretends there’s nothing to it. But Robyn
    continues to feel sorry about Gordo and asks Simon’s sister about him
    who reveals something quite terrible in Gordo’s past that Simon and
    another friend were involved in. Robyn tracks down the friend and
    learns the truth of the situation and about her husband. She demands he
    apologizes to Gordo so he finds him performing at some magic club,
    apologizes but Gordo isn’t very receptive, so Simon beats him up and
    lies to Robyn about it.

    At this point Robyn is pregnant, earlier in the movie she had a strange
    fainting episode. Simon gets the job. Robyn learns that Simon obtained
    a full background check of Gordo and his competitor for the job. There
    are some more strange episodes, the coupe sort of breaks up right after
    Robyn gives birth and Gordo shows that he has a couple of cards up his
    sleeve.

    The Gift is a great tense thriller that doesn’t settle for some easy
    arc or outcome. All the time you’re expecting Gordo to flip out and
    cause mayhem, but it never happens quite the way you would expect it.
    But all along the character that comes forward as also problematic is
    the husband. And Bateman can be credited with a surprisingly good
    performance. He completely nails the rich guy who is doing so well in
    life that he doesn’t have to bother about being nice or even decent to
    people anymore, unless of course money and his ego are involved, then
    he can be the nicest guy in the world. He also appears to be a great
    husband, but that’s exactly how those people are. Just wonderful at
    home, even there always slightly manipulative, but jerks outside of
    their small intimate circle because everyone outside is perceived as a
    competitor. Poor Rebecca Hall, here without hair, who is the only
    British actor who doesn’t get to use her accent at a time when
    Hollywood is pathologically obsessed with British actors, looks awful
    and downright ill but is always likable even when her character does
    some puzzling things. Gordo, played by the director/writer/producer has
    just the right amount of weird to keep us suspicious of him all
    throughout the movie. We learn some more of his background which
    doesn’t help in exonerating him.

    This movie also captures these non-civilized pockets right in the
    center of the highest levels of civilization. While the aim of
    civilization is to transcend the ”laws” of the animal kingdom and of
    nature, more and more we are seeing that enterprise failing miserably,
    as with power and wealth also come brutishness and a return to the law
    of jungle–might makes right. The strong destroying the weak for no
    reason other than to exert force is becoming troublingly common and
    accepted.

    In some regards this movie reminded me of the even more radical and
    perhaps distasteful Inside and Deadgirl. Not sure what the director’s
    inspirations were, but this movie is also filmed in a very un-American
    way, at a moderate pace with scenes lasting longer than the would
    otherwise and longer than they should. There are few extremes of
    emotion, but rather a measured moderation all along, which makes the
    ugliness even more poignant. And in the end, you get a situation like
    in Martyrs where the audience doesn’t get a definite answer.

    The Gift is another great movie in what has been a strong year for
    unique horror thrillers and one of my favorites along with The Guest,
    It Follows, and Spring. It is a remarkable achievement for first-time
    director Edgerton.

  • LaakbaarFebruary 18, 2016Reply

    Arrogance and revenge

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Gordon-11February 18, 2016Reply

    Such a suspenseful thriller

    This film tells the story of a young married couple moving back to the
    husband’s hometown, and is enthusiastically greeted by his ex- high
    school classmate. The past creeps up and messes up their lives in an
    unexpected way.

    I have to say I’m very impressed by how the film presents mystery and
    maintains suspense. The story keeps me very engaged and captivated
    thorough the entire film. There are even two occasions that it scared
    me out of my chair, which doesn’t happen often. It is a well presented
    and executed film. When the film finished, I let out a wow because it
    is very good.

  • John Beckerman ([email protected])February 18, 2016Reply

    You’ll Never want to be Alone at Night Again

    This movie was one of the best thrillers that I have seen in a long
    time. And I mean it’s been a while. While there were some other great
    movies recently that riddled me with suspense, none kept me questioning
    ”what is going to happen next?” like this one.

    As a directorial debut from Edgerton, this film did fantastic for his
    first feature film. The movie rocked me to my core. The story was laid
    out perfectly, in a slow, and heart-racing manner. Although not listed
    in the horror genre, the film also contains some of the best jumpscares
    in a movie.

    Edgerton, being the director, created an amazing, and slightly
    terrifying, character for this film. Mosley is that creeper that you
    WANT to stay away from. And Edgerton played it in the best way
    possible.

    Rebecca Hall gave a heartfelt performance. Her character was strong-
    willed, courageous, and kind to Gordon, even with his stalking nature.
    Her willingness to dig deep into her husband’s past is really what
    brings the whole story together. She goes against the ”freaking wife”
    cliché.

    Bateman’s character was decent but not his best. Simon is deceptive,
    and hard core, and is willing to do his worst to get what he wants;
    creating the profile of the perfect swindler.

    Although for some unsolved plot holes, the movie will fascinate you
    beyond belief.

  • ATEreviewsFebruary 25, 2016Reply

    Labelled a Psychological Thriller rather than a Horror, I was expecting an intelligently created, suspenseful story. Sadly, I was left slightly disappointed.

    I find Psychological Thrillers more chilling as they are real. Ghosts
    and Monsters may offer jump scares and can make decent horror movies
    but they don’t leave a lasting impression on me as they are so far from
    realism it takes away much of the fear. A psychological thriller, based
    around human emotions and characteristics can provide us with a much
    deeper fear, if done correctly. The Gift is a story of a newly married
    couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) who have moved
    into a new area, they have their dream, forever house and are very
    content with their lives. Out shopping for furniture one morning, they
    bump into one of Simon’s old school friends, Gordo (Joel Edgerton).
    Gordo appears very strange, socially awkward and he certainly leaves an
    impression on Simon. Over the coming days, Gordo keeps turning up at
    the house uninvited and regularly leaves gifts on the couple’s door
    steps.

    Joel Edgerton as well as acting in this movie, also wrote and directed
    it. I will give him serious praise for his direction especially, as The
    Gift looked visually stunning. The house which was chose for the
    filming set was a perfect choice, floor to ceiling windows, in a
    secluded environment were wonderful for a stalker type movie. It really
    gave the impression that there was nowhere to hide and that he could be
    watching from anywhere, into any room. The choice of music which he
    uses to complement the film is another strong factor, he creates
    suspense well and the more disturbing scenes are edited perfectly. On
    direction and cinematography alone I was very impressed, sadly this
    wasn’t enough as I felt the movie lacked elsewhere.

    Jason Bateman, better known for his comedy roles, did a reasonably
    acceptable job in this movie, he wasn’t anything to shout about but he
    did make the role his own quite well and was quite believable. Rebecca
    Hall didn’t give an amazing performance in my opinion, she was quite
    underwhelming if I’m honest. She was supposed to be the person you were
    supposed to really like but as her character was so annoying and made
    ridiculous choices consistently, she really wasn’t that relatable.
    However, it was refreshing however to see a ‘strong wife’ role as
    appose to the usual emotional wreck, screaming female role we are
    forced to watch in so many of these movies. Joel Edgerton gave a strong
    performance, easily the best of the lot. His character was
    uncomfortable and edgy without being over the top. He was subtle, which
    I found quite freaky as it was much more realistic. The supporting cast
    are few and far between and the little screen time they did get wasn’t
    anything special.

    The Gift is a slow burner, it progresses at a very leisurely pace,
    building suspense and mystery very well as the story unfolds. It is
    very much a thriller, not a horror, although there are a couple of
    cliché jump scares which were passable as they weren’t overdone and did
    feel quite relevant to their situations. The Gift is a story of Winners
    and Losers, with strong emphasis on people’s belief that the winners
    keep on winning while the losers deserve to keep on losing.

    My main problem with The Gift is that the more the story unravels the
    less you seem to care about the characters, they all seem so hollow and
    I didn’t find myself cheering any of them on. As things started to come
    together I was impressed with certain aspects of the movie but
    ultimately felt a little flat. I was expecting a lot from the film, it
    had a big hype with some very good reviews and it’s a genre that I
    usually enjoy.

    The overall end message is striking, with the climax of the movie
    coming together quite well. The story definitely goes full circle with
    an ending that should give great satisfaction to the viewer; sadly for
    me I found it to be a little underwhelming.

    6/10

  • visharlMarch 10, 2016Reply

    something familiar but never feeling tied down by the clichés

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Screen_BlitzMarch 16, 2016Reply

    Brilliantly twisted thriller by the amazing directorial efforts of Joel Edgerton’

    Joel Edgerton has made a name for themselves in roles such as in
    ‘Warrior’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, and recent biopic ‘Black Mass’, but many
    may not expected him to take the director’s chair as well as the
    screenwriter behind the picture. He manages to surprise us however, in
    this twisted and shockingly complex psychological thriller that defies
    viewers’ expectations. To brighten the matters, his efforts pay off
    greatly. This film tells a story of Simon (played by Jason Bateman) and
    his wife Robyn (played by Rebecca Hall) who move back to their hometown
    to start a new life with their new business. Along the way, they run
    into Gordo (played by Joel Edgerton), Simon’s old classmate from high
    school twenty years ago. Gordo greets Simon and Robyn with pure
    kindness and shows on friendly that dropping by their house with
    numerous wrapped gifts. But after a series of uninvited visits paid,
    the couple is drawn until a horrifying secret that leads their past to
    haunt him and spin their lives out of control.

    What comes from the amazing efforts of Joel Edgerton’s directorial and
    writing debut is a twisted suspense thriller that greatly challenges
    viewers’ expectations from scene to scene. The story takes the the
    stalker concept and turns it upside, Edgerton achieves this by giving
    the protagonist a darker side to make him more of the bad guy and
    making the stalker look more innocent, and the way he does in this film
    works surprisingly effective. The film strays away from the typical
    stalker clichés and generates wildly intelligent thrills that are
    nearly impossible to predict, unless you are profoundly smart. And this
    feet could have been achieved without its powerful characters. The
    characters are written diligently and developed with great complexity.
    And to complete the rest of the equation are the performances. Jason
    Bateman soars in what is probably his most mature role he’s landed in
    his career. Joel Edgerton on the other hand, takes the cake with his
    performance. He serve as the heart of the nerve-racking suspense
    conveying the story, just enough to leave viewers lean at the edge of
    their seats.

    The Gift is a very original, twisted, and profounding thriller with a
    brilliant script and fantastic directorial flair from Joel Edgerton.
    His actor leaves a powerful impression for a first time director, and
    the result is a film that strives with pure suspense and intelligent
    writing.

  • Miles burtonMarch 27, 2016Reply

    The Gift review

    With it also being a film directed by Joel Edgerton as well as
    starring, I think Edgerton did a great job with this one. It was very
    enjoyable the whole way through, with an incredible twist delivered at
    the end of it which I did not see coming. Talking about Edgerton in
    directing, I think he could be a great director as well as Actor, as
    the film was very powerful, with also a powerful performance by
    Edgerton throughout the film as the creepy character of ‘Gordo’ Whilst
    watching the film, I began to feel sorry for edgertons character, which
    is a sign that Edgerton played him perfectly and it gave me the impact
    that he intended to give. Jason Bateman was also very good in a leading
    role, but I’d have to say that Edgerton stole the show, with him twists
    and turns involved, it is definitely a film to see.

  • alindsay-alApril 1, 2016Reply

    A great unique thriller

    I had heard pretty good things about the gift and now I have seen it
    and I thought it was a great film. The premise of this film sees a
    couple move to a new house when they are met by an old acquaintance of
    the husband which starts to cause tension. Jason bateman is a pretty
    good comedic actor but he absolutely changed for this film giving
    probably the best performance of his career. He is great in this film
    because he uses his humour to create a real damaged character who you
    feel like there is allot of depth to him. Rebecca hall plays his wife
    and also does a great job playing a strong female character who really
    tries to figure out what is going on. Joel Edgerton directed, wrote and
    starred in this film as the character gordo and was great. His
    character was creepy but there was a bit of likability to him that made
    you sympathise for him even though he is a bit of a creep. The story is
    good especially as more and more of the secrets are unravelled.
    However, there are a couple of side plots that are focused on and I
    didn’t really care for them at all. The script is really good with the
    drama all feeling real with a mix of real humour that makes these
    characters feel real. The style of the films is good with the use of
    tension really making this film interesting and a thrill. However, the
    pacing of this film is pretty slow and it feels like a longer film then
    it is. Overall this isn’t a film I will watch loads but it is a great
    film that you should see.

  • SnoopyStyleApril 2, 2016Reply

    great creepiness

    Simon Callum (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are married with
    a new house. They’ve moved from Chicago back to his home town. He has a
    new high-powered job. One day, they run into Simon’s high school
    classmate Gordo Moseley (Joel Edgerton). Gordo starts insinuating into
    their lives making Simon very uncomfortable and leading to a secret
    from the past.

    This has great creepiness right from the start. In the beginning, it
    seems to be coming from Edgerton and the desolated nature of the film.
    Then it morphs and spreads beautifully. Edgerton has some great weird
    vibes. Jason Bateman has this douche side to his roles sometimes.
    Surprisingly, he brings physicality and is believable in his strength
    over Edgerton. This is a terrific twist on a story that could have
    easily been little more than a Lifetime movie.

  • zrikard-456-706321April 9, 2016Reply

    Awesome adaption of payback

    To all you bullies! This is what you get. I have lived in a few
    countries during my youth and there is no where in my experiences where
    there is so much bullying as in the great USA. Shame on you all. My
    guess is the upbringing that you get with ”be number one no matter the
    cost”, in this god forsaking country, is what does it. It hurts me to
    say it, but it is the way it is in this country of the brave and few.
    Survival of the fittest bites you back in the butt no matter what.It is
    inevitable. You are just to ignorant to see it before it is too late.
    This movie rocks saying this. Best adaption so far. To summon up the
    point of this movie: Either you make it being greedy and hated, or you
    make it generous and loved. Your pick!

    Great movie!

  • elise-75075April 10, 2016Reply

    A Gripping and Unforgettable work of art!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • DogFilmCriticApril 12, 2016Reply

    Who is the victim?

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Chris OberApril 21, 2016Reply

    Edge of your seat thriller/mystery

    The Gift, if you could not already gather the concept, was wildly
    entertaining to me. It began ordinary, as if nothing could go wrong and
    as soon as Gordo was introduced, things went haywire. I was sitting on
    the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen next in this
    film as the psychological thriller aspect of this movie is so very well
    done, and without spoilers, everything that would be common and
    expected in a typical movie is spun completely different in this one.
    The final motives of why the events of this film go down leaves some
    audiences stunned, it sure left me stunned, and the overall finale of
    this film had me impressed enough to be praising this film. I try my
    best to give you guys open and honest opinions on films and I know this
    movie has been hit and miss for some audiences but if you want an
    impressive mental thriller, this movie is a key one for the year.

  • sddavis63 ([email protected])April 22, 2016Reply

    Suspenseful And With A Really Good Twist

    I honestly wasn’t too sure what to expect from this movie, but it
    turned out to be one of the better suspense/thriller type movies I’ve
    seen in a long time. It doesn’t have a big-name, star-studded cast. The
    best known name (for me at least) was probably Jason Bateman, but that
    just proves that good acting doesn’t have to come from the mega- stars.
    All the performances in this were excellent, and the story was complex
    and interesting.

    Bateman played Simon, and Rebecca Hall was his wife Robyn. One day in a
    store, they unexpectedly encounter Gordo (Joel Edgerton) – a former
    schoolmate of Simon, whom Simon claims to barely remember. Edgerton
    does a fine job as Gordo. Gordo comes across as obsessed with Simon and
    Robyn. He latches on to them, pushing his way into their lives. He
    seems unbalanced. It’s impossible to know when and where he’s going to
    show up. As Simon notices, he seems especially interested in Robyn.
    Simon tells everyone that back in high school, Gordo was known as
    ”Weirdo.” Gordo’s actually a pretty nerve- wracking character, and
    there are more than a few suspenseful moments along the way as we
    follow him, wondering what he’s going to do.

    And there is a really good twist in this – the extent of which I did
    not see coming, even for a moment. Gordo is weird. There’s no doubt
    about that. But Simon isn’t as innocent as he first seems either, and
    along the way we learn a lot about Simon’s past, the nature of his
    relationship with Gordo back in high school and the fact that he hasn’t
    really changed all that much over the years either. By the time the
    movie ends, while Gordo is still a strange character, we understand his
    motives a lot better and watch as Simon and Robyn’s previously happy
    marriage and successful life crumbles under a cacophony of lies.

    Edgerton also wrote and directed this movie, and proved to be quite
    adept at both, crafting a very suspenseful story and putting together a
    movie that was compelling and interesting. (8/10)

  • chrisApril 22, 2016Reply

    Menacing, cagey thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Claudio CarvalhoApril 24, 2016Reply

    Good People Deserve Good Things

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bowmanblueApril 27, 2016Reply

    Beware of Joel Edgertons bearing gifts

    ‘The Gift’ isn’t exactly a new premise – a slightly sinister man starts
    harassing a nice, middle-class couple and taking things just a little
    too far, however, don’t let its lack of originality put you off. It’s
    actually pretty fun – if your idea of fun is ‘dark and disturbing.’
    Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play the married couple, but it’s Joel
    Edgerton who’s the real star, not just because he plays the part of
    creepy and disturbed to a tee, but also because he wrote and directed
    the film, too. One day, Mr and Mrs average are shopping in a store,
    when they bump into an old ‘friend’ – however, it turns out that they
    don’t really want to be friends with him any more (giving away the
    reasons would be classed as ‘spoilers’) and pretty quickly decide to
    give him the Facebook equivalent of ‘ignoring’ him. However, he’s not
    one to just slip quietly into the night.

    It may sound like it’s just your average ‘stalker’ film, but there’s
    more to it than that. Without wishing to give anything away, it’s not
    just Joel Edgerton who has a dark side and all is not what it seems.

    It’s not a fast-paced movie and its runtime is closer to two hours than
    the average one and a half. However, it does go pretty quickly and
    builds tension well, keeping you guessing as to various characters’
    motives and what exactly they plan on doing about them.

    Don’t go expecting a thriller – it’s more a dark, drama with a lot of
    tense, creepy moments. If you feel like something a little deeper than
    your average stalker/slasher movie, then this one should fill nearly
    two hours of your life quite nicely and still give you something to
    talk about afterwards.

  • The CouchpotatoesApril 27, 2016Reply

    Good mystery thriller with a perfect ending

    I was pleasantly surprised with The Gift. It starts a bit slow, where
    you wonder what’s going to happen. You can feel the tension because you
    know something is about to happen. And as the story goes on it gets
    better and better. I thought the end was just great. I didn’t see it
    coming and that’s how I like it when I watch mystery/thrillers. The
    main actors Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton did a great
    job to make The Gift a movie that will keep your attention for the
    whole duration of the movie. It’s an intriguing movie with a couple of
    good twists. The sound effects are perfect to build up the tension in
    some scenes. I don’t think a lot of people will dislike this movie. You
    can’t please every-one but with The Gift I’m sure a lot of people will
    have a good time watching it.

  • RicktingMay 1, 2016Reply

    An unexpectedly solid thriller and a good directional debut for Joel Edgerton

    The Gift is written and directed by Joel Edgerton, and stars him
    alongside Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall. Despite relatively little
    hype, TG proved to be one of the better thrillers of the year, and
    despite the familiar material it manages to feel fresh. The story of a
    married couple being stalked by a man who keeps bringing mysterious
    gifts and brings back a haunting secret from the husband’s past. No-one
    necessarily expected much from this, but it is good. Personally, I felt
    critics were a bit over-enthusiastic about the film. Since it mainly
    involves just 3 actors, it feels incredibly low key which prevents it
    from being a film one can get truly excited about. The film, while
    maintaining a high level of unpredictable tension throughout, can’t
    quite deliver a satisfying ending. The ending is anticlimactic and the
    last part of the film feels somewhat chaotic since too much stuff
    happens. Still, the ending is good enough and unexpected, and it
    doesn’t undo what came before. TG shows Edgerton as a good director,
    but it’s the writing here that truly impresses. This is a very clever,
    twisty and unpredictable thriller that constantly keeps the audience
    guessing. It does get very tense at times, even when nothing much is
    happening and the number of twists Edgerton manages to think up is
    truly impressive. He’s very good in the film, and aided excellently by
    Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman. It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s a
    solid thriller. If you like twists, this is the film for you.

    7/10

  • JamesMay 5, 2016Reply

    Not-bad morality tale-thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • talisencrwMay 9, 2016Reply

    Very good directing debut for actor Joel Edgerton–I hope he directs more often!

    Being a) the shortest boy in my class in my early years; b) the
    smartest; and c) adopted by parents of mixed ethnicity (which was a
    rarity in my small city at that time, the mid 70’s), I was a natural
    target for bullies. At every conceivable instance (and a lot of
    inconceivable ones as well!), I fought all comers, often coming home
    black-and-blue, and exhausted–I may have lost some matches to bigger
    and older boys, but if they were going to win, they were at least going
    to pay for it, and feel the after-effects for a while. (Thankfully this
    ended when I was talking with my friend, who was carrying home his
    personal baseball equipment, when I was approached. I asked if I could
    borrow his bat for a second, and that ended that. I wouldn’t recommend
    that as a solution to others, for legal reasons. Thankfully the bully’s
    mom and mine were friends, and when he ran home crying and told her
    what happened, she replied, ‘If Billy did that to you, then you
    deserved it.’) I don’t often do so, but I watched the DVD extras before
    I watched the film (I usually wait until afterwards). Edgerton’s
    impressive directorial debut here, as well as script, fulfilled (at
    least to my eyes) his purpose, that of making a psychological thriller
    along the level of his directing idols, Sir Alfred Hitchcock and David
    Fincher. The three main stars, Edgerton, Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall
    (I kept thinking she was Anne Hathaway!), did very good work here. I
    never really went for Bateman’s work when he was younger, but a good
    friend often watched ‘Arrested Development’ when I was over, a few
    years back, and I have grown to like his acting, but he really hits it
    out of the park here. Had this not been an independent production but a
    more big-budget affair (i.e., David Fincher), I think he could have
    gotten an Oscar nomination–he’s THAT good here.

    There was the occasional logical issue I had with the film afterwards,
    when I stopped and REALLY thought hard about it, but I have no problem
    with that kind of thing, if I enjoy everything else (which I did).
    Highly recommended. Definitely worth buying and rewatching–and I can’t
    say that about most films made today. I hope that Edgerton doesn’t give
    up acting, because he’s definitely good at it, but I hope he also keeps
    on writing scripts and directing. Simply based on ‘The Gift’, he has an
    admirer in me for life.

  • shivamchowdhary336May 19, 2016Reply

    A great film… until the end (no spoilers)

    This film is a sound thriller film; don’t get me wrong. It was
    suspenseful, it delivered great thrills, but often had the tone of a
    horror film than a thriller. This isn’t necessarily a good thing or a
    bad thing.

    The film starts out with a married couple moving back (ish) to the
    husband’s hometown for a fresh new start as they are looking to raise a
    family there. They meet Gordo the Weirdo, an old schoolmate of the
    husband. Soon, thing’s start getting out of hand and very sinister
    indeed when Gordo starts to stalk them.

    The film is done well and intense, but ultimately the ending lets down
    the film as it’s very ambiguous and confusing.

    Overall, worth a watch; if it’s free.

  • eddie_bagginsMay 25, 2016Reply

    A fine directional debut from Edgerton with fitting twists and turns

    Taking the next big step in his Hollywood career, Australian born
    actor/writer and now director Joel Edgerton has shown off his not to be
    scoffed at talents as an all-round movie making master with this highly
    efficient and in many ways original low key thriller that remains
    constantly engaging without ever reaching grand heights.

    The Gift was made for roughly 5 million dollars and its clear Edgerton
    had faith in his script, characters and actors to carry the weight of
    the film where more big budgeted Hollywood thrillers of the same ilk
    would be interested to splash more cash on high stakes scenes or
    unwarranted set pieces. It shows a class to Edgerton that has been
    earnt over a number of years, most tellingly in his short films with
    brother Nash and the Australian produced the Square that entered local
    Australian cinema screens back in 2008.

    In those early entries to Edgerton’s work behind camera he showed a
    filmmaking nuance in slow burning stories and letting dialogue take
    centre stage and The Gift is no different with Edgerton’s script a
    highlight of the film. There’s social commentary and snarky delivery of
    lines and his other cast mates in the form of Rebecca Hall’s loving
    wife Robyn and Jason Bateman’s not as first appears Simon seem to have
    a great time with such a character focused outing.

    Delivering his best turn in years as the increasingly suspect Simon,
    it’s great to see Bateman finally away from such terrible films as
    Identity Thief and the Horrible Bosses’s series and the way in which
    Bateman’s character slowly morphs into a different persona is a great
    reason to watch the Gift. Edgerton too has a whole lot of fun playing
    Gordo ”the weirdo” and not only looks the part of a slightly demented
    stalker-like acquaintance but acts it and while the developing
    narrative of Gordo’s strange behaviours becoming more apparent doesn’t
    in the end feel as strong as it could’ve been, there’s a simple joy for
    viewers to watch the arc play out.

    At its best an almost Hitchcockian like thriller that at its worst
    becomes a little lame, The Gift is a great jumping off point for
    Edgerton’s directional career and while he hasn’t always picked the
    best parts in Hollywood productions (hello Exodus and Jane Got a Gun)
    he has now shown the industry he has the chops to become a highly
    successful behind the scenes presence. I for one look forward to what
    he comes up with next.

    3 ½ monkey masks out of 5

  • Jawa654May 30, 2016Reply

    Good Movie to Watch Until a Certain Point

    I guess this movie is slow because they have to give you the backdrop
    and then the drama. I couldn’t watch it past the argument around the
    table after the wife fell. Is this about her stability or the so called
    creepy weirdo? How can you have an argument about this guy with your
    husband as if your husband is the bad guy? this made me stop the movie.

    The husband is correct when he said, It’s over. She was unstable,
    doubting her husband and I really cannot see why she was pushing so
    hard to redeem weirdo

    Focus on your health and getting pregnant. how the hell can you be so
    stupid as to be taking pills and you want to get pregnant? All in all,
    the part until the fight was OK.

  • wilfchadwick-44434June 4, 2016Reply

    very fulfilling film

    Began as a very 1,2,3 film,so i thought,proceeded to sneak up on me
    gently as the second act played out, once more began to give me the
    impression of another predictable revenge because of bullying film only
    to decide to quash my thoughts of ‘oh for f#$% sake, you have spoiled
    my evening by saying you are a thriller but you aren’t really’ by going
    on to thrill in the last three acts. For me a very pleasant and well
    thought through revenge film with what is possibly, with more dramatic
    build up and editing, one of the best portrayals of a ‘i’m going to get
    back at you’ pieces of work that i have seen. Needless to say rebecca
    hall was spotless in her impression of the ‘finding out who her partner
    really is’ wife, joel edgerton is the ian botham(in cricketing terms,
    the expected all rounder)and as for jason bateman, well, why the hell
    does he not get any lead roles of real merit, he is an actor!

  • jcjs333June 27, 2016Reply

    Wonderfuel

    I’m so glad i didn’t miss this delight. I got this film in one of those
    Instaflix machines thinking it wasn’t going to be that good just
    another so so ‘thriller’ but , after a relaxing , uplifting beginning
    making me feel fluffy and laid back the show moved in on my emotions
    and sensitivities and threw me into an exciting, significant, well
    acted, well written, well paced and wonderfully entertaining flick.
    Whatever i didn’t like about the show is too darn insignificant to
    remember. I did not have the story figured out and , if i did start
    thinking i knew what was going on or what was going to happen i was
    glad to be introduced to a new little twist i didn’t expect. Excellent
    viewing.

  • mrscharlesfernandezJuly 2, 2016Reply

    Best Movie

    I recently saw ”The Gift” in Stan, a Mystery/Thriller movie which I was
    very pleased with the movie. I have to add this is one the best sweet
    revenge movie I have ever seen. Bullies will always be bullies, during
    and after school times. This is something everyone needs to understand.
    They would continue lashing their bullying ways in the working world
    far worse than when they were in school. Sadly, most developed first
    world schools continue to ignore this problem. Coming back to ”The
    Gift”, it’s about a life of a bully, how the revenge sips in with
    little effort. A must watch movie, bullies always think they can get
    away with everything, but if we take a bit of effort and then just let
    go, let loose, their perfect life just come crumbling down just like
    this movie. Most movies these days usually has same-old plain start,
    with disrupted, questioning story line with the endings are usually
    left hanging and the end of the movie we ask ourselves, ”Why did we
    watch that movie?” The Gift, this movie is a different experience
    altogether. From the beginning, it makes you sit in, relaxed and wants
    to watch more and when you do, you question yourself, keeps you on your
    toes and wanting to know what is going to happen next. All the queries
    you have in your mind explained, asking yourself what’s next, what does
    he mean, and at the end, it’s just simply superb. The ending, sweet,
    perfect, a bit of laughter. To top it off, The Best Movie of All Time!

  • ekapeliusJuly 4, 2016Reply

    Both men are psychopaths

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • maralex-68464July 9, 2016Reply

    A bit poor

    The Gift is a good project with a good argument and also good cast, but
    as the film start to advance the movie collapse, it lose the pastime.
    Rebecca Hall save a little the film but she neither can improve the
    quality of this production.The argument is promising, is very good,
    however the development is dull, empty and boring. Regarding the
    script, isn’t bad. The best of The Gift is the actuations, and the
    script. The paticipation of Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman is
    unforgettable. Despite the shortages, The Gift have tension and it
    involve in a milieu full of thriller. I don’t recommend pay any ticket
    for watch the movie, I would wait the premiere in television.
    Conclusion:It can improve…

  • Mahmoud Mohamed El-shafeyJuly 14, 2016Reply

    too twisty movie ..

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • jadavixJuly 18, 2016Reply

    Tense, and raises questions

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • alexxxx-76667July 21, 2016Reply

    The Gift

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • El-KapitoshkaAugust 1, 2016Reply

    Don’t be a bully!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • MDavenp900August 12, 2016Reply

    Sorry to say ”flawed”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • grantssAugust 13, 2016Reply

    Reasonably interesting

    Simon (played by Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a happily
    married couple and have just moved, due to a promotion for Simon, to
    Los Angeles from Chicago. Simon bumps into someone he knew at school,
    20 years ago – Gordon (Joel Edgerton). Gordon starts sending the couple
    gifts and starts dropping around their house unexpectedly. Initially
    they are happy to humour him but he is not really a friend of theirs
    and is a bit creepy, so they ask him to stay away from them. Gordon
    obliges but from his parting note Robyn thinks that there may be an
    incident in Simon and Gordon’s schooldays that Simon doesn’t want to
    talk about. So she starts investigating…

    Okay – reasonably interesting but not that great. Quite slow-moving
    with the promise of a great revelation and possibly some sort of
    revenge-motivated violence. However, the revelation isn’t that extreme,
    certainly not as shocking or profound to warrant such a build-up of
    tension. Probably the biggest revelation is that you can’t always judge
    the characters by your initial impression, but even that isn’t so
    revolutionary.

    The conclusion is also a bit unsatisfactory and misguided. The revenge
    is bizarre and exceeds the initial offense, yet the perpetrator is made
    out to be a hero.

    Still, intriguing and engaging enough. A decent directorial debut from
    Joel Edgerton, who also wrote the script.

  • bregundAugust 14, 2016Reply

    By the 90s, we all got tired of these psychological thrillers

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Robert J. Maxwell ([email protected])August 14, 2016Reply

    Social Skills.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • disdressed12August 15, 2016Reply

    very entertaining

    The Gift is a very good psychological suspense thriller.it’s well acted
    and directed.it builds suspense at a good pace.Jason Bateman star as
    Simon and Rebecca Hall plays his wife Robyn.they have a seemingly
    normal life until they meet up by chance with a former high school
    acquaintance of Simon.and that’s when things begin to change,and bot in
    a good way.to say any more might ruin things for some people.so I won’t
    go any deeper into the plot.Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall are both
    very convincing here.and Joel Edgerton (who wrote the script,produced
    the film,directed the film and stars in it)is excellent as the the one
    time acquaintance of Simon.i was very entertained for the duration of
    the film right to the end.for me,The gift is an 8/10

  • RickyLA9August 25, 2016Reply

    100% Total Success

    I came into this movie with very little knowledge about the content of
    the film. Based on the trailer all I knew about the film was that this
    film was going to be a thriller with some intense moments. All I can is
    that Joel Edgerton, your debut film was an outstanding success. This
    film captures your attention from beginning to end. His style of
    directing is very stunning. This mystery film is very similar to the
    1995 film, ”Seven”. It has a very a dark and ominous tone. Once the
    film comes to a conclusion, you will be genuinely surprised and
    satisfied. All the performances in the film were great as well. Jason
    Bateman’s character transition in the movie is quite riveting. As well
    as Rebecca Hall giving one top performances. Similar to one she gave in
    the 2006 film, ”The Prestige”. Overall, I would totally recommend this
    film. Check it out some time.

  • Desertman84September 7, 2016Reply

    A Smartly Written Psychological Thriller

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Thomas ([email protected])September 8, 2016Reply

    I would not call this film a gift, but still a decent watch

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • WrathChldSeptember 9, 2016Reply

    Not Too Shabby, Not Too Great.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • 2fresh 2cleanSeptember 12, 2016Reply

    This Is Truly A Gift!

    ”The Gift” is a gift! This not so big film was brilliant and riveting
    from its rise at the beginning, to its climatic and dramatically
    surprising end. Joel Edgerton did a wonderful job directing, writing,
    and starring in this film as Gordo. This film was totally slept on by
    the major film ”critics”. If it wasn’t for me just browsing through my
    Redbox app I would probably have never known about this gift, pardon
    the pun. I don’t see how major film critics passed this one up. The
    story-line and the plot were set up perfectly and the cast was
    phenomenal. Jason Bateman, a brilliant actor who I think is kind of
    slept on too, played an arrogant jerk perfectly as Simon and Joel
    Edgerton, who I mentioned earlier doing a great job writing and
    directing this film, also did a wonderful job starring in this film as
    Gordo and Rebecca Hall was perfect for the caring and concerned Robyn.
    The way this mystery/thriller unfolded was great. I would definitely
    see it again with my wife or someone who hasn’t seen it yet. If you’re
    wondering if you should or should not see this film just because there
    was no major press on it take my advice and see it.

  • Khizar Hayat BhabhaSeptember 14, 2016Reply

    As you sow so shall you reap

    As you sow so shall you reap this quote of-course go for this story.
    Joel Edgerton, brilliant acting totally different character. I remember
    his great acting which he done in Warrior (2011) he has managed four
    main roles as Teacher, MMA Fighter, Son and Brother. Very nice story
    which contains truth, lie, facts and revenge. And also in this movie
    you will see spices of thriller and many mysterious things which create
    suspense to watch whole story till end. This movie give us lesson to
    keep clean our today that will be our past. Great acting by Rebecca
    Hall, and Jason Bateman. I really suggest you guys should watch this
    movie it’s amazing…. I think that it! be happy and enjoy 🙂

  • ja-191-280465September 17, 2016Reply

    An edge of your seat kind of thriller and a wonderful gift it is

    In his directorial debut, Joel Edgerton proves that all that glitters
    is not gold in this intense, psychological thriller. ”The Gift” tells
    the story of a charming, young couple named Simon and Robyn who just
    moved from Chicago to L.A. for a fresh start. While shopping for
    household items, Simon is approached by a man named Gordo who attended
    high school with him. The two quickly catch up before taking Gordo’s
    number and parting ways. At first, Simon and Robyn think of Gordo as a
    friendly, old acquaintance. However, his excessive politeness and
    intrusive behavior becomes exceedingly creepy as he slowly makes his
    way into the couple’s life. Although Robyn considers many of Gordo’s
    gestures to be sweet and generous, Simon can’t help but think of him as
    just some oddball, weirdo trying to get closer to his wife. After an
    eerie and somewhat awkward dinner party, Simon cuts off all ties with
    Gordo and soon after strange things begin to happen. Their lovely dog
    goes missing, their pretty, little fish turn up dead and Robyn starts
    to feel more and more frightened in her own home. After doing some deep
    digging, she discovers why bygones are no longer bygones. A powerful
    secret from the past has caused a ruckus in her marriage and she soon
    realizes that her husband isn’t as nice as she thought.

    One of the things that makes this film so compelling is the impressive
    story line. It consists of a highly interesting plot that keeps you
    guessing from beginning to end. Edgerton brilliantly avoids the use of
    terrible clichés which is part of what makes this story so effective.
    Edgerton also allows the story to unfold naturally while providing the
    audience with the chance to really get to know the characters. Each of
    the actors gave exceptional performances. Rebecca Hall is OK as the
    kindhearted, mild mannered wife. However, Jason Bateman gives one of
    the best performances to date as an unscrupulous husband who refuses to
    come to terms with a past wrong doing. More importantly, its Edgerton’s
    edgy portrayal of Gordo that is haunting and mysterious. Friendly and
    unsuspecting, he’s a gentle soul whose been hurt, humiliated and
    scarred in the past who may be in need of friendship, kindness and
    understanding. Perhaps he is a bit of a weirdo as Simon labels him in
    the beginning. Through his acting and directing, Edgerton masterfully
    toys with the audience’s perception of Gordo as he causes us to
    question his various motives and actions. Through his sharp directing
    and dark imagery, Edgerton creates a tone that is ominous and tense.
    The dialogue further enhances the enigmatic nature of the film and
    remains very natural. Its simple and straight forward without being
    overly dramatic and unrealistic. The interactions between the
    characters are honest and direct without being too forced or
    melodramatic. Overall, ”The Gift” is a wonderful debut by Joel
    Edgerton. I eagerly look forward to his next cinematic gift in the
    future.

  • avik-basu1889September 24, 2016Reply

    A very solidly made psychological thriller !!!

    ‘The Gift’ marked Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut. He also wrote and
    starred in the film alongside Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman. For a
    first time director, this is a very solid, admirable and promising
    piece of work.

    Edgerton’s writing is intricate. He interweaves a number of themes
    together very well while creating a general structure. First of all he
    uses the premise of the past actions having a huge bearing on the
    present. The film delves into the theme of bullying and how much of an
    impact bullying can have on the victim throughout his/her life.
    Edgerton takes this concept of bullying and merges it with the work
    culture in the modern corporate world. He shows how people who were
    once bullies during their school days can continue with their bullying
    in their professional work to be successful. Edgerton’s film is a bit
    of a damning indictment on corporate culture where these bullies and
    their bullying get rewarded more often than not.

    When it comes to direction, Edgerton has a great sense of how to use an
    enclosed location to amplify the tension, because at the heart of it,
    ‘The Gift’ is a thriller that thrives on the creation of tension.
    Edgerton uses the house that Simon and Robyn move in to brilliantly in
    the tension-filled scenes. I also noticed some subtle use of blocking
    that he uses. Specially in the kitchen scenes, there is a bit of a
    rectangular opening in the wall which gets uses quite subtly whenever
    there is a argument happening between husband and wife. However the
    moment in the film that stayed with me will be an image that comes very
    early on in the film. As Robyn and Simon are checking out the different
    rooms in this new house that they are considering to move into, there
    is a shot where we see Robyn and Simon facing each other with a glass
    sliding door separating them. Simon slides open the door and Robyn
    moves out the door to join Simon oh his side and walks off. This moment
    in a thematic sense, is a foreshadow for the whole film and it’s a
    brilliant moment.

    The acting is also very good. For me the best performance in the film
    comes from Rebecca Hall. She shows the right amount of grace,
    likability and vulnerability to portray the character of Robyn and
    sells her paranoia very convincingly. Jason Bateman once again shows
    that he can be so much more than just a comedic actor. He showed this
    in ‘Disconnect’ and now in ‘The Gift’ he again shows a different side
    to his personality. Edgerton himself plays the character who initially
    seems like the typical creepy outsider who’ll haunt the couple, but as
    the film progresses, the film slowly reveals certain aspects of his
    character and the film somewhat subverts some clichés.

    ‘The Gift’ is a bit like the lighter, non-flashy, a little more
    grounded version of ‘Cape Fear’. It does not achieve greatness, but it
    is certainly a solid, well made thriller especially considering this is
    Edgerton’s first outing as a director. Recommended.

  • phd_travelSeptember 25, 2016Reply

    An original and plausible thriller – a must watch!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Mika PSeptember 26, 2016Reply

    Well directed but as with many mysteries, the mystery is lacking

    The Gift is a well executed film, directed well and paced just to the
    right length to keep things interesting even when the progress of the
    plot is a drawn out one, with issues with plot and originality rising
    up to hold the film back.

    Vague comments on the plot below. Nothing specific mentioned.

    The problem is if you’ve seen a film with a similar concept I doubt the
    film will hold any surprises. Plot threads unravel predictably with if
    anything an extra fake out for certain assumptions but non the less
    still feeling a bit to unremarkable in directions the story takes. The
    worst cliché is the change in characters as new plot points are
    revealed characters dramatically change in personality to just over the
    degree in which I’d feel is realistic, with characters requiring to be
    unreasonable in the later half for an ending that is played off as life
    ruining, only when a modicum of thought needed to see the multitude of
    flaws in a character’s plan.

    It’s a solid film with good direction and pace, reasonable acting and
    writing, enjoyable in short, however if a cliché thriller plot might
    bother you then it might be worth skipping.

  • sol-September 29, 2016Reply

    Gifts

    Not to be confused with the Sam Raimi/Cate Blanchett clairvoyance film
    of the same name, this more modern thriller is a psycho-stalker variant
    with writer-director Joel Edgerton starring as a socially awkward
    individual who invades the privacy of a former high school classmate
    and his wife. To begin with, ‘The Gift’ feels quite routine with a set
    of dead goldfish bringing to mind ‘bunny-boiling’ after Edgerton’s
    advances are ungraciously rebuffed, but Edgerton remains eerily
    friendly throughout, with the question soon becoming whether Edgerton
    or Jason Bateman (as the former classmate) is the real antagonist in
    the tale. It is an interesting dynamic and there is a lot to like in
    the way Edgerton defies generic expectations while shying away from
    boo-moments scares, and yet the film never quite feels like it
    maximises its potential. The key issue is that Bateman is smug and
    arrogant from the get-go; things would have been a whole lot more
    interesting were he a likable character who we gradually come to hate.
    The twist-filled denouement, while thought-provoking, also feels too
    neatly packaged for its own good. Whatever the case, this is a nifty
    little film for Edgerton to make his directional debut with and Rebecca
    Hall is solid as Bateman’s wife too, riddled with the sort of fear and
    paranoia that arguably her husband should have when everything is
    finally revealed and made clear.

  • kosmaspNovember 11, 2016Reply

    The Gift that keeps on … and on and on

    Obviously some formulas (or sayings) are familiar to some, but there is
    always some twist you can give them to make them feel a bit fresh. In
    this case add some really good actors into the mix and let them do
    their thing. Even if you kind of know where this is going (unless this
    is the first thriller of its kind you’re about to watch and/or haven’t
    seen the trailer yet), this can still be engaging, entertaining and
    keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Having said all that, because it’s not the freshest of ideas and not
    the most original concept, this may disqualify it from the start for
    some. Don’t force yourself to watch it, if you don’t think you’ll like
    it anyway. Otherwise give it a chance and stay for the ride til the end
    :o)

  • Syed WaqarNovember 13, 2016Reply

    Good Movie.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • waltercrouchNovember 30, 2016Reply

    The Gift is Great

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • MovieHeartGirlDecember 23, 2016Reply

    Great movie–how did I never hear of it?! NO SPOILERS

    So well done! I think that the excellent acting of Rebecca Hall and
    Jason Bateman (along with the rest of the cast), and the fine
    production values/look/mood of the film elevated a plot that has
    commonalities with many other thrillers (though, I should say, it
    definitely had its own unique and surprising touches)and elevated it
    tremendously. I was supposed to be multi-tasking while I watched, but I
    couldn’t take my eyes off of this film! I don’t want to say much more
    to avoid spoilers. Highly entertaining and riveting. Good message, too.

    SIDE NOTE: How did I miss this movie? Probably due to the title. I wish
    that filmmakers would make an effort to NOT to use the exact same
    titles as other popular films made in the past 10-20 years (or ever!).
    How hard would it be to come up with a different title? Anyway, I hope
    you enjoy it as much as I did when you’re in the mood for a really good
    psychological thriller.

  • RileyOnFilmDecember 26, 2016Reply

    When a Gift is Not a Gift

    The gift isn’t much of a gift at all. The gift to me was when I
    discovered Joel Edgerton is not only Gordo, the creepy stalker in the
    film, but also the writer/director of the piece. Wow! He certainly does
    a great job. Most directors might gravitate toward a role in their film
    that is endearing to the audience, Gordo couldn’t be any further from
    that sort of character. Things that go bump in the night can usually be
    explained away. If you were in Simon and Robyn’s case, you might find
    out your explanations are incorrect months or years later. So what were
    those creepy bumps for Simon and Robyn? Edgerton’s script shows they
    are part of a larger, much darker, horrific beyond an R rated gift.
    You’ll be surprised at the twist.

    Robyn and Simon have just moved in to a posh 60’s retro home and are
    settling in as a married couple. They receive numerous visits from
    Gordo who says he knew Simon in High School. We get the feeling their
    relationship was more ominous in nature than it appears to Robyn, who
    Gordo starts to form a platonic relationship with. Through a course of
    events, the film becomes a typical stalker thriller but eventually sets
    itself apart as a very clever, well written, and telling ”human nature”
    account of who everybody ”really” is (not just Gordo).

    I really liked ”The Gift” because I enjoy psychology. As the tale
    unravels we actually see perspectives we aren’t meant to see. The
    obvious hero is far from it and the villain, while never a hero,
    becomes someone we can empathize with, though never fully. I thought
    the cast was amazing and the story really stays with you because of
    their performances. Jason Bateman does a great job in this thriller
    whereas he usually plays comedy parts. He can do a variety of roles.
    It’s a perfect thriller but I thought it did take too long developing
    the story. I think it’s over 2/3 of the way through before the typical
    stalker thriller stuff ends and you get into the genius of the film.
    For that reason it lost a star with me. Watch this creepy fun movie, I
    recommend it.

  • Luigi Di PillaJanuary 14, 2017Reply

    Solid psycho thriller

    I hesitated longtime to buy this DVD but the the reviews here convinced
    me finally to give The Gift a chance. In fact, I was not disappointed
    and I spent an interesting and suspenseful evening with my wife. The
    story carried me and my wife in a very curious or let’s say mysterious
    trip. I mean you never saw the coming plots and sometimes there were
    some scary scenes. All the actors played their roles respectably and
    the direction well done. At the end the movie turns really unexpected
    with no happy end but I don’t want to spoil more here. I give a 7 and
    my wife a 6 that gives 6.5/10. Check it out and let’s surprise you.

    If you like this kind of genre I recommend you the other two psycho
    thrillers The Game and Falling Down starring Michael Douglas

  • Jason KJanuary 16, 2017Reply

    Well worth a watch!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • blanche-2February 11, 2017Reply

    Fascinating

    But I would have named it something else.

    Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Edgerton, who wrote and directed,
    star in ”The Gift,” an overlooked film from 2015. Guess everyone was
    too busy with the blockbusters.

    Bateman and Hall are Simon and Robyn, who have moved to Chicago to
    California for a ”fresh start.” We don’t know too much about why they
    needed one, except that it had something to do with Robyn’s miscarriage
    and pill- taking.

    Simon runs into Gordo (Edgerton) who reintroduces himself and says that
    he and Simon attended high school together. In the days that follow,
    Gordo drops by the house with gifts and invites them to dinner. It’s an
    awkward event, with Gordo leaving in the middle of the evening to take
    a call. Both Robyn and Simon are uncomfortable, and When Gordo returns,
    Simon tells him that he needs to stay away from both of them.

    A few bad incidents occur at Simon and Robin’s house, and Simon is sure
    Gordo is responsible. Simon also learns that Gordo does not live in the
    house where they were to have dinner. He does send them an apology
    letter and asks that they ”let bygones be bygones,” which Robyn finds
    strange.

    Finally, a horrible secret from years ago emerges, and a pregnant Robyn
    must cope with what she learned at the same time there is a change at
    Simon’s place of business.

    This is a wonderful film, a psychological drama where what seems to be
    going on is only part of the story. All the actors do a terrific job –
    Jason Bateman uses his natural delivery to good advantage here and
    turns in a wonderful performance. Rebecca Hall plays Robyn as a fragile
    and nervous woman determined to adjust to her new home and life. She’s
    totally believable. As the awkward, odd Gordo, Joel Edgerton is
    excellent, coming off as sort of creepy or just weird.

    Highly recommended, this is a thought-provoking film.

  • Moviemanic22February 28, 2017Reply

    Terrific psychological horror

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • spideryamanMarch 7, 2017Reply

    Sometimes I just can’t understand the audience here!

    I mean 7.1 out of 10? Are you serious? Let’s start, shall we?

    1- I know that the idea was the guy didn’t change and he is still a
    bully, but really, they were kids! Most of us got into some problems
    just because of other kids at that age!

    2- Rebecca Hall was horrible, I mean come on, the lady has no
    expressions! I also get the idea that she’s supposed to be depressed,
    paranoid, etc., but she was THAT bad!

    3- Your boy got himself into something, he may have or have not raped
    the lady, OK, at this point, they can do some DNA test to know if the
    baby is the dad’s or not, if not, Gordo the weirdo will face some
    serious charges: breaking and entering, drugging, being on a private
    property without an authorization, violating the restraining order and
    raping, I can see an easy 25 five to life for this guy, and for what?
    To get back at the bully? Great plan, throw your life away in prison to
    prove that you ARE a loser.

  • Floated2April 5, 2017Reply

    Different take on a thriller

    The Gift is a suspense thriller surrounding towards the evolution and
    life of a newly home renovate couple, moving into California. While the
    film is not necessarily terrifying or violent, it does provide similar
    traits employed frequently in a typical shocker, from numerous
    jump-scares to looming hallway shots and sinister themes. The film
    appeared less of a horror thriller and more of a psychological
    thriller, with little to no violence which is what many have thought
    there would be of.

    The cast delivers, though the ending of the film is somewhat
    unsatisfactory when thought upon. As it feels more like it was rushed.
    Gordo (Joel Edgerton) was eerie in a creepy way but it was wondered how
    far he really could have went, which was not as bad as one to assume.
    The Gift is an interesting watch with several decent plot twists as it
    keeps you guessing.

  • cdcrbMay 27, 2017Reply

    surprise

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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