Gone Baby Gone is an uneven, but still pretty good film.
I’m going to avoid comparing it to the novel, which I just read. Book v. film is never a fair comparison, so I’m going to skip it. Imagine all the typical book to film complaints. I’m making them. All of them.
Well, maybe the characterization of Angie Gennaro deserves specific mention. In the film, she’s basically a typical Hollywood “girlfriend.” Almost passive. She does some crying. In the novels she anything but passive, and while she does do some crying in the book she also drives a major part of the investigation at the same time. It’s a bummer to see such a great character neutered like this.
If you’ve never read the books none of this matters.
The fairer complaint is about the pacing of the film. It really is uneven. It’s oddly paced to the point of being confusing. There are three separate sections where the film feels like it could be “over” and only one of them is the actual ending. As I mentioned, I’d just read the novel, so I knew what to expect, but for people not already familiar with the story the changes must be abrupt.
Still, I did enjoy it. It’s well-acted and I’m obviously partial to the story and characters so overall it gets the thumbs up.