Gone Girl is a masterpiece of a movie. From its plot twists to its cutting social commentary, it’s the kind of film that will leave you wanting more every time.
Fortunately, there are other movies that can help to fill the void. Some are based on different works of author Gillian Flynn, including Dark Places (dir. Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2015). Others are the same kind of “disappearance” thriller such as Gone Baby Gone (dir. Ben Affleck, 2007), or they cover similar ground in terms of villains, power schemes, and critiques on modern society, like Fight Club (dir. David Fincher, 1999).
Nothing will be the exact same, of course, but if you’re just looking to cure your Gone Girl withdrawal, here are a few suggestions for similar flicks.
1. Dark Places
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Cast: Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult, Corey Stoll, Chloe Grace Moretz
Budget: $20 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $5 million
Plot: The only survivor of a childhood family massacre sets out to find the truth about what really happened that night.
Based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, Dark Places is a natural place to go after Gone Girl. It stays true to form with razor-sharp female characters setting things into motion based on lies, secrets and tragedies.
The one drawback of Dark Places is that it isn’t nearly as good as its predecessor. Though it has a star-studded cast and an incredibly twisted story, it fails to live up to its full potential.
Ultimately, however, if you just have a craving for more Gone Girl, it isn’t a bad way to get your fix. Go in with moderate expectations and you’ll be fine.
2. Gone Baby Gone
Director: Ben Affleck
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Amy Ryan
Nominations: Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards
Budget: $19 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $34.6 million
Plot: When a little girl is reported missing, two investigators are drawn into moral and ethical dilemmas far beyond what they could’ve imagined.
If you enjoyed Ben Affleck in Gone Girl, you might like his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. Additionally, his younger brother Casey Affleck is the star!
Gone Baby Gone has a similar “kidnapped” premise complete with the media frenzy that goes along with it. It’ll also hit the same notes in terms of the story behind the kidnapping being much more complex than it originally appears. Every time that you think you have things figured out, the movie will pull the rug from underneath you.
While nothing does a kidnapped story quite like Gone Girl, Gone Baby Gone is close behind.
3. The Call
Director: Chung Hyun Lee
Cast: Shin Hye Park, Jong Seo Jeon
Plot: Two women living in the same house in different decades manage to talk to each other through a landline, but one of them has darker intentions than the other.
This little-known Korean movie was supposed to hit theaters in 2020, but since the pandemic happened, it was released on Netflix instead.
The basic plot is that two women in the same house are able to talk to each other on a cordless phone even though they’re living in separate decades. When they start sharing information about the past and the future, they start to change their own realities. This becomes a problem when one of the women turns out to be a teensy bit psychotic.
Are you looking for awesome female villains? Do you like cat-and-mouse games under morally dubious circumstances? If so, choose The Call for your Netflix binging session.
4. Get Out
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams
Nominations: Academy Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards, British Academy Film Awards
Budget: $4.5 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $255.4 million
Plot: A black man with a white girlfriend goes to meet her parents, but there are even more sinister things to worry about than their reaction to the biracial couple.
Get Out does for race what Gone Girl did for gender. While it’s an entertaining movie even without looking at its social and cultural context, it’s so much richer when viewed through the lens of what it’s critiquing and why.
Another similarity to Gone Girl is the creeping mix of adrenaline and dread that you’ll experience as you and the main character slowly realize together that things aren’t what they seem.
Tense, atmospheric, and thoroughly messed up, Get Out is a worthy movie to succeed Gone Girl.
5. Fight Club
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter
Nominations: Academy Awards, BRIT Awards,
Budget: $63 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $101.2 million
Plot: Two men start a no-holds-barred fighting club to vent their aggression at modern society, but things quickly get out of hand.
On the surface, Fight Club doesn’t have a lot of similarities to Gone Girl besides the sleek and stylish directing of David Fincher. When you look a little closer, however, you’ll start to see the parallels.
Both films are driven by leads with strong “cults of personality.” They criticize contemporary society and the roles that their genders are supposed to play within it.
Most importantly, however, both films have killer twists that completely change everything that came before it. If you’ve made it this long without seeing spoilers for Fight Club, do yourself a favor and watch the film with pure eyes. You’ll be absolutely staggered by what comes next.
6. A Simple Favor
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively
Budget: $20 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $97.6 million
Plot: A woman investigates the disappearance of her best friend, but the more that she learns, the more that she starts to question everything about her and her friendship.
It’s hard to talk about A Simple Favor without spoilers, but we’ll give it a try.
Two BFFs share secrets over cocktails. One day, half of the pair goes missing, and the other starts investigating her disappearance. As she starts to unravel a complex web of lies and deceit, she gets a message with one of her own secrets printed on it, throwing everything that she thought she knew into question.
A Simple Favor is a dark and stylish tragicomedy that also manages to be a thoroughly entertaining thriller. You’ll laugh; you’ll gasp; you’ll wish that Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively could be your besties as well.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss
Nominations: Academy Awards, AFI Awards, Sundance Film Festival
Budget: $9 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $40 million
Plot: A man with chronic short-term amnesia struggles to find his wife’s killer despite his condition.
Another cult classic, Memento is often considered an example of “neo-noir” filmmaking, and it’s widely agreed to be one of the best psychological thrillers of all time.
The main character is a man with anterograde amnesia. He can’t form any memories that last longer than 15 minutes, so he has to resort to photos, notes, and tattoos to keep track of his own investigation into the abduction and murder of his wife.
You’ll never know where this film is taking you next. In fact, you might not even understand it after you’ve finished it. Memento is famous for both its complexity and its ambiguity.
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Cast: Takako Matsu, Masaki Okada, Yoshino Kimura
Nominations: Japan Academy Prize, Asian Film Awards, Blue Ribbon Awards
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $45.2 million
Plot: Convinced that her students had a hand in murdering her four-year-old daughter, a middle school teacher sets out to get revenge.
Also known as Kokuhaku, this Japanese film has gathered international acclaim for everything from its suspenseful plot to its high-quality writing, acting, and directing.
The basic plot is that a middle school teacher loses her young daughter to a drowning accident at the school pool. As the story unfolds, however, you realize that the drowning might not have been accidental and that the students might have been involved. What’s more, the teacher has decided that it’s her duty as an educator to teach the culprits a lesson. Her cold and chilling plans are very reminiscent of Amy.
Filled with twists and turns, Confessions will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. It’s an amazing thriller as well as a prime example of how good movies can transcend the English language.
Director: Cory Finley
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin
Budget: $5 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $3 million
Plot: Two teenage girls, one with a personality disorder that keeps her from feeling any emotions, hatch a plan to murder an annoying stepfather.
Thoroughbreds is much more comedic than Gone Girl, but if you’re looking for strong female characters that balance sharp wit and even sharper knives, it might hit the spot.
The main characters are funny and observant in a dry, post-modern way. Some of their musings are right on par with Amy’s famous “cool girl” speech. The plot is also a fast-paced ride filled with lies, drugs, kidnappings, and murder.
Give Thoroughbreds a try if you enjoy indie flicks with a lot of nerve.
10. The Girl on the Train
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Nominations: Saturn Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards
Budget: $45 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $173.2 million
Plot: A depressed alcoholic gets embroiled in a missing person case, but she doubts her own memories and intentions, especially after she wakes up covered in blood.
If you like movies that aren’t afraid to have female characters just as messed-up as the guys, The Girl on the Train might be a good choice for you. It follows a depressed, alcoholic, and occasionally violent divorcee who engages in self-destructive behaviors left and right.
When she gets drawn into a missing person case related to her ex, however, she deteriorates into doubting her own reality, and she has to piece together a complex puzzle of actions and relationships to figure out what’s really going on.
Another movie that you’ll have you doubting your own eyes, The Girl on the Train is a suspenseful thriller filled with shocks, so it’ll be a great follow-up to Gone Girl.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard
Nominations: Academy Awards, Satellite Awards, Hollywood Film Festival
Budget: $46 million
Worldwide Box Office Revenue: $122.1 million
Plot: When two young girls go missing, it’s a race against time to find the culprit, especially when the father of one of the girls decides to take matters into his own hands.
Prisoners is one of those deeply twisted movies that will leave a lasting impression on you. It’s darker and grittier than Gone Girl, but it has a similar premise for viewers who are interested in the complex webs that can spring up from abductions. It also has a very fast-paced format that will leave you on a roller coaster of emotions as you lurch from one twist to the next.
Ultimately, however, Prisoners is a satisfying thriller. It has an immensely talented cast, and everything from the direction to the soundtrack is a perfect complement for the story.
There’s a reason why Prisoner has won so many awards, so if you’re looking to stave off your Gone Girl hangover, find it on a streaming service and go to town.
These are just a few movies that are similar to Gone Girl. There are many more, so don’t feel limited by the suggestions on this list! Keep exploring and expanding your cinematic horizons with thrillers from all around the globe.