The Nines (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/11/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 99 mins

Absorbing, mind-bending and thoroughly engaging mystery thriller with a superb script and terrific performances from its three leads.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by John August, The Nines is a mystery thriller split into three short films: in The Prisoner, Ryan Reynolds plays Gary, a Hollywood actor confined to house arrest with his perky publicist, Margaret (Melissa McCarthy) and striking up a relationship with his enigmatic next door neighbour, Sarah (Hope Davis). In Reality Television, Reynolds plays TV show creator Gavin, who tries to stop executive producer Susan (Davis) from recasting his best friend, Melissa (McCarthy, playing herself).

Finally, in Knowing, Reynolds plays video game designer Gabriel, who gets stranded in the Hollywood hills with his wife Mary (McCarthy) and their mute daughter Noelle (Elle Fanning), before accepting help from a mysterious passing stranger, Sierra (Davis). However, lines, characters and events increasingly overlap between the three films, leaving the audience to wonder just what the hell is going on.

The Good
Ryan Reynolds is superb, playing three ostensibly different characters but allowing them to overlap in intriguing ways that keep the audience guessing till the end. There's also terrific support from both Davis and McCarthy as characters who seem to know more than they're letting on.

August's script is extremely clever, layering in lots of clues throughout but never tipping its hand too soon – as a result it's unlikely that you'll guess the ending in advance. It also cleverly keeps the story grounded in reality by having McCarthy play herself (there are repeated references to her role on The Gilmore Girls; her real-life husband plays her husband).

The Great
There's an absorbing what-the-hell-is-going-on type vibe to The Nines that recalls the likes of Twin Peaks or Donnie Darko. As a result, it's worth following the few clues that the film lays out in advance, such as the instruction to look for the nines.

Worth seeing?
The Nines is a hugely enjoyable mystery thriller with terrific performances and an intelligent, thought-provoking script. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

The Nines (15)
The Nines has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 16/07/2018 10:00

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