All Good Things

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
All Good Things Movie Poster Image
Depressing "true" story of violence and destroyed lives.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The central couple makes all the wrong moves; they start out marrying for love, but then major life decisions drive a wedge between them. They grow violent toward one another and then grow apart. They rarely talk or work together try to solve these problems, and eventually their path leads to much darker places.

Positive Role Models & Representations

David gives up his dream to work for his father, and it costs him his happiness. He begins to act crazy and violent and alienates his wife, who wants to have a baby. David and Katie continue to spiral out of control, getting worse and worse, without ever taking action to solve their problems or work together. Katie eventually realizes her dream of going to medical school, but she does so partly to hide from her pain and anguish. Both characters tend to drown their troubles in alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.

Violence

Three (possible) murders are shown to varying degrees. Some happen totally off-screen, while one involves a gun and blood oozing from the back of the victim's head. Another victim is beaten to death but not shown. There are bloody clues pointing to the murders. Also occasional arguments and fits of rage; in one scene, the husband grabs his wife and drags her by the hair. She turns up with a black eye in another scene. Discussion of a past suicide.

Sex

The married couple flirts, kisses, seduces each other, and has sex. Nudity is limited to a shower scene in which breasts are visible in silhouette.

Language

Infrequent use of "f--k" and "motherf----r." Also "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The characters regularly smoke cigarettes and pot and snort coke. They also drink quite often in a social context, i.e. beer and wine at dinner or harder drinks at parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this downbeat drama -- which is based on the true story of a man involved in a disappearance and two deaths over the course of 30 years -- tells the tale of a destroyed marriage and two miserable lives. There's some violence and blood related to the murders, as well as ugly fights between the married couple. They kiss and seduce each other and have sex (though there's little nudity). Language is limited to a few uses of "f--k," but there's lots of drinking and drug use, including cigarettes, cocaine, and pot. Teens may be interested to see what stars Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst are up to, but this depressing, flat movie won't cause much of a stir.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykhan2705 December 6, 2010

extremely cliche, poor direction and screenplay, good performances

Inspired by the most notorious missing person's case in New York history, ALL GOOD THINGS is a love story and murder mystery set against the backdrop of a... Continue reading
Adult Written bywonder dove October 22, 2013

Bland & Blah...

I wanted to see this movie so bad when it first came out. Mainly due to it's cast and true story. I ended up seeing it 2 years later when I bought it on DV... Continue reading

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What's the story?

David Marks (Ryan Gosling) is the son of a wealthy property owner (Frank Langella). He marries Katie (Kirsten Dunst), who is outside the family's social circle, and dreams of running a health food store. But eventually he succumbs to his father and goes to work for the family business, which begins a harrowing decline into anxiety and violence. Katie gets pregnant, but David refuses to become a father. They begin fighting and, eventually, living separate lives. Before long, David becomes involved in a disappearance and two mysterious deaths. Will he be made to face the consequences of his life, or will he simply disappear?

Is it any good?

This is director Andrew Jarecki's fictional debut, and unfortunately, it isn't particularly engaging. Jarecki, who gave audiences the brutally powerful dysfunctional family documentary Capturing the Friedmans, now turns his skills to a "based on a true story" feature film -- and interestingly, he takes a documentary-like approach to the material, narrating the tale with Marks' court transcript and filling in the blanks with deduction and imagination.

The material is relentlessly harrowing, and it's difficult to know just where the characters stand: David is shown to be slightly unhinged, and there's no one to root for. Additionally, Jarecki employs some fairly standard-issue thriller elements, such as jump-shocks and things hiding in the shadows, which seem unworthy of this story. It's difficult, ultimately, to discern the point of the movie, other than to comment on how depressing and futile it all is.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the film. What has more impact: the things that are shown, or the ones that aren't? Which is more disturbing, the murders or the violence toward Katie?

  • The main characters tend to drown their troubles in drinking, smoking, and drugs. These activities never seem to get out of control, but does that make it all right? What would the consequences of this kind of behavior be in real life?

  • Could David have avoided all of his trouble if he had ignored his father and kept on living the life he dreamed of living?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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