The Gift

September 4th, 2015


The Gift

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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.

Release Year: 2015

Rating: 7.5/10 (122 voted)

Critic's Score: 76/100

Director: Joel Edgerton

Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton

Simon and Robyn 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 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?

Joel Edgerton - Gordo
Jason Bateman - Simon
Rebecca Hall - Robyn
David Denman - Greg
Busy Philipps - Duffy
Allison Tolman - Lucy
Katie Aselton - Joan
Susan May Pratt - Rhonda Ryan
Beau Knapp - Detective Walker
Wendell Pierce - Detective Mills
Nash Edgerton - Frank Dale
Tim Griffin - Kevin 'KK' Keelor
P.J. Byrne - Danny
Mirrah Foulkes - Wendy Dale
Stacey Bender - Office Worker

Taglines: Not Every Gift Is Welcome.


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official Instagram |

Country: Australia, USA

Language: English

Release Date: 7 August 2015

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Joel Edgerton's second horror film after 2011's The Thing. See more »

User Review


Rating: 8/10

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 have 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.


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The Gift

January 19th, 2001


The Gift

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Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg at event of The GiftLucy Lawless at event of The GiftLaura Linney at event of The GiftLucy Lawless at event of The GiftDanny Elfman at event of The GiftJason Behr at event of The Gift

A woman with extrasensory perception is asked to help find a young woman who has disappeared.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 6.7/10 (33,358 voted)

Critic's Score: 62/100

Director: Sam Raimi

Stars: Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, Keanu Reeves

When Jessica King goes missing, all eyes turn to Annabelle Wilson. Not as a murder suspect, but as a clairvoyant. Many of the towns folk go to Annabelle for help, and Jessica's fiancée, Wayne Collins, turns to Annabelle for possible guidance. Annabelle feels that she can't help, but this doesn't stop her from constantly getting visions of Jessica's fate.

Writers: Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson

Cate Blanchett - Annabelle 'Annie' Wilson
Giovanni Ribisi - Buddy Cole
Keanu Reeves - Donnie Barksdale
Katie Holmes - Jessica King
Greg Kinnear - Wayne Collins
Hilary Swank - Valerie Barksdale
Michael Jeter - Gerald Weems
Kim Dickens - Linda
Gary Cole - David Duncan
Rosemary Harris - Annie's Granny
J.K. Simmons - Sheriff Pearl Johnson
Chelcie Ross - Kenneth King
John Beasley - Albert Hawkins
Lynnsee Provence - Mike Wilson
Hunter McGilvray - Miller Wilson

Taglines: It was the perfect crime... Except someone saw it all


Official Website: Artis Group [Germany] (german) | Paramount Classics [United States] |

Release Date: 19 January 2001

Filming Locations: Effingham County, Georgia, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $11,827 (USA) (25 December 2000) (3 Screens)

Gross: $44,567,606 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA:

Did You Know?

The cards Annie Wilson uses to perform her "readings" are actually Zener Cards, which are used to perform ESP tests. The cards are not known for their fortune-telling abilities, however, this is not necessarily a mistake. Fortune tellers can use a variety of cards from tarot decks to ordinary poker cards to give readings. All that truly matters is that the four elements of nature (fire, water, earth, and air) are represented in some form. Annie would still be able to deliver readings with them as long as she knew which symbols represented which element.

Continuity: Annie is bleeding on the dock from her head, and in a close up the blood runs down her cheek into the corner of her mouth. In the shots following, however, all the traces of blood disappear from her cheek and mouth, and move to the side of her face.

[first lines]
Annie: Oh, thank you for the peaches.
Tommy Lee Ballard: Yes, ma'am.
Annie: So how you been?
Tommy Lee Ballard: Oh, pretty good, I reckon.
Annie: You had a health problem since I saw you last?
Tommy Lee Ballard: Ma'am?
Annie: Have you been sick.
Tommy Lee Ballard: Back's been hurting a little.
Annie: No, no, it's not your back. You been bleeding somewhere?

User Review

Cate Blanchett Displays Her Own "Gifts"

Rating: 9/10

In a small town deep in the South, a single mother endowed with a special ability becomes involved with the disappearance of a young woman and has a brush with the supernatural, in `The Gift,' directed by Sam Raimi. Cate Blanchett stars as Annie Wilson, a young widow attempting to raise her three kids and provide a decent life for her family, scraping out a living on Social Security since the tragic death of her husband in a work related accident the previous year. She supplements her meager income by doing `readings' for the local townsfolk, accepting their donations for the insights she offers them into their own lives. Annie has a `gift,' the ability to see certain things in the cards that enables her to advise her clients about personal issues. It's something she can't explain; she knows only that it's inherited (which she learned from her grandmother), and that it's real. And though it's helped her maintain her home, she soon finds that it doesn't always make for the most pleasant of situations, as when she must advise a young woman, Valerie Barksdale (Hilary Swank), on how to cope with her abusive husband, Donnie (Keanu Reeves), or attempt to help a troubled young man, Buddy Cole (Giovanni Ribisi) come to terms with some sensitive aspects of his life. Then, when a client comes to her to ask for help when his daughter disappears, not only does it take her to the dark side of the human experience, she discovers that certain individuals, including local sheriff Pearl Johnson (J.K. Simmons) do not believe that her `gift' is real.

Stylistically crafted and delivered, Raimi's film will keep you engrossed and on the edge of your seat until the very end. He successfully blends reality with just a touch of the supernatural that makes for riveting suspense while keeping it within the realm of believability. The relationship played out between Donnie and Valerie is anything but unique-- you've seen this before, many times in many films-- but within the context of this story it's fresh and it works. The doubtful sheriff and the cynical, jaded defense attorney, Gerald Weems (Michael Jeter), are fairly stereotypical, but that can be easily overlooked in light of the overall story and especially due to the credibility of the Annie character, which is well developed and never presented as anything beyond what can be readily accepted as true to life. As the central character, Annie anchors the film and enables the circumstances in which she is involved to be perceived as real; it's the strength of the film, and it's what makes it all work so well.

What also makes it work is the strong performance by Cate Blanchett, who makes Annie so real and accessible, displaying her `gift' with restraint and avoiding the possible pitfall of taking it too far over the edge, which could easily have made it suspect. Instead, she brings a depth to the character that draws you into her world and allows you to empathize with her, which would have been impossible had she invested Annie with even a touch of the charlatan. With consummate skill, Blanchett creates a well rounded character which demonstrates that as an actor, she definitely has a very real `gift' of her own.

Ribisi also does a memorable turn as Buddy, with a striking performance in which he creates some disturbing moments that are almost painful to watch; his is a character study of a soul in distress, seeking solace and resolution, and even as he attempts to sort out his life, you are able to sympathize with his plight as you share Buddy's experiences. And it's through Buddy (as well as Annie, of course), that the audience is able to make that necessary and very real connection with the film. With films like `Saving Private Ryan' and now this one, Ribisi is on his way to establishing himself as one of the premiere character actors in the business today.

Playing somewhat against type, Reeves proves that he can be a good `bad' guy, giving possibly one of his best performances ever as Donnie. He very credibly conveys that sense of explosiveness lying just beneath the surface that makes his character menacing and dark, which in turn makes Donnie psychologically as well as physically threatening. It's a good job by Reeves, who deserves credit for taking on a role that is so disagreeable and insensitive.

The supporting cast includes Greg Kinnear (Wayne), Katie Holmes (Jessica), Kim Dickens (Linda), Gary Cole (David) and Rosemary Harris (Annie's Granny). A taut thriller that is emotionally involving, `The Gift' delivers what it promises early on, which is exceptional, as many films of this nature often fail to actually follow through after a tremendous opening act. Rest assured, this one does and has it all; suspense, credibility and some memorable moments, all courtesy of Raimi, a good story and a superb cast. And that's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.


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