Review: All Good Things (2010)


All Good Things come to an end – yep, they do and in this case, mayyybe(?)Ryan Goslings recent hot streak!

This supposed horror-chiller is one of those movies that really should be far better with a complex true story and a strong supporting cast of Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella and Kristen Wiig.

Gosling plays David Marks, the real life son of a rich Manhattan property developer (Langella) who no longer wants to be part of the family business. He hooks up with Dunst to fatherly disapproval, but all seems well until his mental issues, brought about by a traumatic childhood event, start messing up what looks likely to be a lovely coupling.

Starting off well with small nuggets and suggestions of latent psychosis and daddy issues, a slow build suggests an intriguing murder mystery to come – but it never really gets there, mis-stepping the most in not evolving into the horror a bloodied poster and sub-lines would have believe.

Based on a high profile New York court case it could be forgiven for sticking to the source, but the lack of development of drama and frights makes this all very tame, petering into something quite routine.  Borrowing heavily from others thoughts turn to the similar unsolved rich family murder mystery of ‘Dragon Tattoo, but that’s where the comparison of quality ends as it’s clichéd, clumsy and uncertain.

Lacking the direction to tell a supposed true story with any real panache there is a disconnection from Goslings’ lead that conjures little disdain or sympathy; just like Dunst’s poor befuddled wife we too scratch our heads as to what’s eating Ryan when the reasons for David’s issues are underdeveloped, no doubt due to a vague script that provides Gosling with little chance to display his immense talent and presence. The identical anguish of flitted young love to Blue Valentine cannot be found here, lacking both the heart and the tragedy and neither do we see the intimidating brutality of Gosling’s other, better known seminal psycho.

A latter plot turn is simply bizarre, with the aging David’s attempt to gain ‘privacy’ appearing disproportionate to his motivations to not be seen as ‘David’ anymore; creating the feeling of an altogether different movie, unintentionally becoming darkly comic; and overall never settling on one direction or being clearly defined in its progress.

But there is nothing stranger than fact and when possibly being faithful to the actualities, the real life framework for the chronicling of this story would naturally dictate the narrative, but with still enough artistic licence to thrill a chance is missed to get as much drama and chills from New York’s most notorious unsolved case.

All Good Things is intriguing enough but ultimately it fails to deliver anything genuinely disturbing.

P.S. back to that hot streak; because we all love Ryan, we can allow that streak to remain intact given this long delayed release (at least in the UK) and a majority straight to home release in the US in 2010, coming after Blue Valentine.

He returned to form soon after – Drive anyone?

banner 6 star

29 responses to “Review: All Good Things (2010)

  1. I read a positive review on this ages ago. I like courtroom dramas. Sounds like it does a lot of time shifting. I have it pinned on my Xbox to see sometime via Xbox Video

    • I understand that some would like this and it has some good parts, but it’s a curious movie. Still worth a watch in many respects, you may enjoy it more than me. Thanks.

  2. I keep seeing the DVD on sale at various different places and after reading your review…I still can’t make up my mind if it’s worth a look or not…*sigh* Great review though!!

    • worth a look, it may well hold far more for you and I am not totally down on it (hope my review came across that way) It’s curious and is quite good in some parts but it fails to deliver for me. that said I wouldn’t ever say never to watch unless it was totally rubbish, I think opinion vary on this movie.

      • Do it Mike, I would be interested to see if you like it, I hope so as I don’t want to be disliking any movie, perhaps you will see more in it. Thanks.

      • LOL I just went to my local library and checked it out, I’m setting here looking at it while I’m typing. It was a pleasant surprise to find it so easily. 😀

  3. I’ve only heard bad things about this movie. I know Kirsten Dunst’s boobies make an appearance, but I don’t think that’s worthy of a watch. I’ll just Google them *cough* her. Thanks for confirming my suspicions, I’ll stay away from this one.

    • ha, ha, I forgot about that, it may well have been the positive balance the review needed 🙂 did you ever see Melancholia? ‘lots’ of Dunst in that and a very good movie too. Funniest comment of the day! Thank you.

  4. Surprisingly, I actually liked this…I don’t even think it got a wide release though? I thought Gosling and Dunst were great, but I agree that the plot and characters were very underdeveloped.

  5. I’ve been dying to see this but it’s taken ages to get here. I’ve heard it’s not very good and your excellent write-up confirms that but I’ll still give it a look.

  6. I heard awful things about this movie but I was pleasantly surprised – Dunst was fantastic here and I thought the first half was very well done but then after she disappears it’s like the director had no clue how to handle that bizarre story.

    • That’s a good point Sati and I didn’t think of Dunst’s removal in that way, but you’re right.From that point on it really lost heart and in turn my care for it. Without the interaction of them both it went somewhere else completely. I thought it was pretty poor and my review trends like your comment, good start – weird second part. Shame really.

  7. I thought this was a very interesting movie that had its high points and low points. I really like Ryan Gosling in this. I thought he brought some of the same nervous intensity we have seen from him before but with a scary self-destructing quality that makes this role standout. Dunst is usually hit or miss but I think this was one of her better roles. So I was down for the performances. What I didn’t like was the flanking courtroom scenes and even the latter plot turn (like you mentioned) that seemed uneven, unpolished, and just like a whole different movie.

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