HBO Max, Warner Bros., and Discovery may be going through a challenging transition at the moment due to the merger of companies, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of great content on the streaming app. As a matter of fact, multiple older films that can take you back to simpler times are trending in the top ten, including Friends with Benefits with Justin Timberlake, Street Kings with Keanu Reeves, and the insanely good Ben Affleck thriller Gone Girl. According to Flix Patrol, the film based on the novel of the same name, has broken the top five for the second week in a row.
On the rating website, the film is holding strong at number five for the second week in a row, as is the number six film, The Purge: Anarchy. Preceding it in the top five are two HBO Max originals in A Hollywood Christmas and the Jenna Ortega film, The Fallout; also present are the new Margot Robbie film, Amsterdam, and an older film starring Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner. The last four films in the top ten are all older films, just like Ben Affleck’s Gone Girl, including Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Street Kings, Friends with Benefits, and Columbus Short’s Stomp the Yard.
Gone Girl is a film based on a New York Times Bestselling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, released in 2012. The story follows Nick, played by Ben Affleck, as he searches for his wife, Amy. While Amy seems to have been murdered, Nick maintains his innocence as he uncovers a maniacal plot to frame him for the murder, all while she commits a murder of her own, and forces her husband to remain married to her.
Ben Affleck’s appearance in Gone Girl was the culmination of a process to separate himself from the earlier phase of his career where he was either the heartthrob in films like Jersey Girl, Bounce, and Forces of Nature or the side character to funny men in films like Dogma, Clerks, or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. While he wasn’t a stranger to substance with roles in hits like Good Will Hunting, Pearl Harbor, and The Sum of All Fears, he seemed to be marred by flops like Daredevil and Gigli. By turning his attention to films like The Town, Argo, and Gone Girl, Affleck’s turn to darker roles set himself up for his most significant role of the last decade as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the DCU.
Ben Affleck wasn’t the only one to show themselves as a heavy hitter with Gone Girl, as Rosemund Pike was most well known as a cheesy James Bond girl in Pierce Brosnan’s final appearance as a spy in Die Another Day. She played virtually the same role, sans the cheese, in 2012 when she starred opposite Tom Cruise in his film adaptation of the book series Jack Reacher. It wasn’t until Pike starred in Gone Girl that American audiences began paying attention.
Nearly a decade later, the film still stands as arguably the best in both leads’ filmographies, and director David Fincher proved himself as the king of dark twists and turns with films like Se7en, Fight Club, and Zodiac. The culmination of all these creative processes make it no secret to why it is in the top five on HBO Max eight years after its release.