Iain De Caestecker
April 10, 2015 (VOD/LIMITED)
Warner Bros. Pictures
1 hour 35 minutes
On the surface, everything about "Lost River" should have been great. Acclaimed actor and sex-symbol Ryan Gosling makes his written and directorial debut with this film, and along for the ride he brings the likes of Christina Hendricks from "Drive" and "Mad Men," Matt Smith from "Doctor Who," and his wife Eva Mendes to star in this fantasy neo-noir. Not to mention, Oscar heavyweight studio Warner Bros. picked this bad boy up for distribution. Unfortunately, despite having all of the ingredients to make a great movie, Gosling stirred them up and made a less than great movie. What's even more disappointing is that "Lost River" is just a straight up bad film overall.
Sure the cinematography is gorgeous, the visuals are surprisingly stellar, the acting is fine, and even Gosling has a good eye for directing, but the writing is so piss-poor and so vague that it takes any type of enjoyment out of it for the majority of filmmakers. If you're a fan of films like "Only God Forgives" and "The Counselor" which have, for lack of a better term, more style than substance, then I think you may find more enjoyment out of this than most. Unfortunately for yours truly, I found it to bee too artsy, vague, and pretentious for its own good. Gosling has a strong career in the director's chair if more people are willing to give him a chance. As for his writing, well, his chances in that department are very slim.