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Parents' Guide to

Stephen King's A Good Marriage

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Creepy but underwhelming tale of a truly killer marriage.

Movie R 2014 102 minutes
Stephen King's A Good Marriage Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (2 ):

Most of the movie is just OK, not get-under-your-skin scary (The Shining, Carrie) or unforgettable (The Green Mile and Shawshank). A Good Marriage is the first page-to-screen adaptation of King's work that he's adapted himself since Pet Sematary, and the horror master keeps the details of his characters' idiosyncrasies high (Bob prefers finding rare pennies in his change to paying for them; Darcy has a thing for eating Tootsie Rolls; Bob leaves little notes for Darcy tucked around the house), so the marriage feels realistic and satisfying -- that is, until Darcy figures out that her beloved is a wanted serial killer. That makes the movie feel like a domestic-drama TV movie -- the kind where the wife discovers her husband is really a bigamist/white-collar criminal/fraud/etc.

Allen does the best she can to transform into an emotionally tortured, frightened wife pretending that she can deal with her husband's horrific history, and LaPaglia lets himself get comfortable with crazed looks and quiet terror. Since the audience knows from the opening scene that Bob is a creepy stalker, it's Darcy's decisions after finding out that her husband's a killer that should be fascinating. And a few scenes are gripping, as Darcy descends into darkness to move forward with her life. Allen is such an accomplished actress that she manages to make Darcy more than a clueless housewife.

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