Puzzle (2018) Poster

(II) (2018)

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3/10
The pieces don't quite fit
Irie21228 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is a very strange little movie. The main character, Agnes (Kelly Macdonald), appears sympathetic at first-- a housewife in Connecticut who discovers she has a talent for speeding through jigsaw puzzles. But as the movie progresses, she reveals herself to be not only selfish, particularly about sharing her own emotions and desires, but also distrustful and cruel.

The odd thing is, no other reviewer I've yet read has felt this way, so I feel obliged to offer evidence:

1. She's deceitful. When she discovers her puzzle skill-- which is formidable, her hands don't even pause while she's working a jigsaw puzzle-- she connects with a wealthy man named Robert (Irrfan Khan) and begins commuting twice a week from Connecticut to his townhouse in Manhattan to practice for the national championship. Instead of telling her family-- a husband and two grown sons-- of her new interest, she lies to them. Why? Her husband Louie (David Denman) is an old-fashioned man-of-the-house type, but he's a loyal, loving, hard-working garage owner, and a dedicated family man. Their sons also love her and, when she finally does tell the truth, they encourage her, which positively influences their father. So she knows her own family so little that she doesn't know she can trust them?

2. She's more housewife than mother. Their son Ziggy (Bubba Weiler) is depressed because he hates working in his father's garage but he doesn't know what he wants to do and claims he's "not good at anything." How does Agnes respond? Does she say, "But remember in school, how you loved math / were so good at chemistry / at languages / at woodworking / at whatever..."? No. She apparently has no idea what her own son is good at or even what he's interested in. It's only when he says he wants to cook that she responds with, first with genuine surprise, then with support.

3. She betrays her husband. When she has sex with her puzzle partner, it is a bolt out of the blue. There was little flirtation and no evidence of passion (not even for jigsaw puzzles, really, though they talk about how it calms their tumultuous thought patterns). The sex happens exactly once, on the very day Agnes tells her husband about her puzzle hobby, and her admission shows little respect for him: "I think I'm having an affair," she says. "You THINK you're having an affair?" he says, in tears, devastated.

4. She also betrays her puzzle partner, and in the worst possible way. They actually win the national championship, which elevates them to the international competition in Brussels. He believes they're in love because they both said as much to each other, but when he calls her to say he's booking the ticket, she refuses. She gives up the competition, and him. Never mind his commitment to it. Does she give him a reason? No. Do I know why she backs out? No, I do not. Does she still love him? Did she ever? Who knows.

Even played an actress as engaging and naturalistic as Kelly Macdonald, Agnes is hard to believe as a realistic woman living in the 21st century. There's a jolt in the very first scene: Agnes is shown vacuuming, cooking, etc., preparing her home for a party-- which turns out, in a revelatory little twist, to be her own birthday party. A housewife through and through, she is more servant/hostess than honoree until it's time for gifts. One gift is a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that fuels the plot. Another is a cell phone from her son. A cell phone? Both my companion and I were surprised at seeing modern technology in a movie that we both thought was taking place in the 1950s.

Agnes projects some emotional depth, but truly gives herself to no one, which suggests that she has little capacity for life-fulfilling love. I did check the spoiler box, but I won't reveal the ending simply because it's so contrived, and almost arbitrary. It does, however, confirm Agnes as an essentially callous, self-centered woman.

The reason for my low rating (3) is that I think the filmmakers failed to make Alice a sympathetic character, though it seems quite clear that's what they intended. I rest my case.
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7/10
Puzzling out the Game of Life
tigerfish5020 October 2018
Living in provincial Connecticut, married to an auto mechanic with two grown sons, Agnes resembles a church mouse, suppressing her own aspirations in order to maintain an ordered household. On the surface, she appears to be a devoted wife and mother, but timidity and low self-esteem have disconnected her from family, friends and herself. A jigsaw puzzle birthday gift leads to Agnes learning she possesses a hidden talent for piecing together these games of fragmented images - and this discovery opens the door to new experiences which force her to question how she's living her life.

Agnes' journey doesn't follow a smooth or conventional path as she struggles to liberate herself from self-inflicted shackles as well as those imposed by others. Kelly McDonald shows her usual excellence, range and subtlety in the lead role, with the script and direction complementing her talents nicely. Although the story's action takes place on a small stage, the characters' are confronted with major issues and upheavals before Agnes is able to figure out what she really wants, and begin the process of realizing it.
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7/10
Puzzle (2018)
rockman1824 August 2018
Gotta love them independent movies. I try to go out and watch whatever I can with my Moviepass, and thought this looked like an interesting film. Kelly Macdonald is pretty underrated, having seen her and her acting talents o Boardwalk Empire. After watching the film, I thought it was simplistic, understated, but highlighted loneliness and what people do to seek out comfort from others.

The film follows Agnes who is a bored housewife. Her relationship isn't exactly stimulating and she is seeking a challenge in her life to escape the mundane day to day she experiences. She stumbles across an ad from a man seeking a puzzle partner for a competition. When she meets him she reinvigorates her love for solving puzzles and also starts to bond and fall for her competition partner. This of course, causes waves in her relationship with her family and she must seek a way to balance both.

The film can feel slow and uneventful for many people, I get it. It is definitely one where there is a lack of events, but the heart of the film is really in the portrayal of Agnes. She is somewhat subservient to the whims of her husband at first but then finds her voice and truly goes for what she wants. Its a depiction of loneliness, which is so common for most of us and the amazing moment where we think we find something new to do to occupy our lives.

The chemistry between Irfan Khan and Kelly Macdonald is good and I think that's what gets you to stay invested in the film. You would think that a film about two people putting puzzles together would be boring, on the contrary I found it simple and rather enjoyable. Its not something to write home about (despite me writing about it now) but its something you could see if you ever felt bored and needed something to pass the time. Much like the leads in this film.

7/10
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10/10
Kelly Macdonald is Astounding in This Powerhouse of a Movie
larrys31 December 2018
A powerhouse of a movie, led by the astounding nuanced performance of Kelly Macdonald. She portrays Agnes, a very introverted homemaker in a lifeless marriage, but who has a passion and genius for jigsaw puzzles.

Irrfan Khan is also exceptional in the role of Robert, who advertises for a jigsaw puzzle partner for an upcoming competition, and to which Agnes replies. The two will not only work well together on the puzzles, but will teach each other some valuable life's lessons as well.

David Denman is also totally believable here as Louie, Agnes' rather selfish lunkhead of a husband. I just thought the acting, direction, and writing in this film was spot on.

Overall, just an outstanding drama laced with humor and led by Macdonald's superb performance.
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6/10
Little Miss Jigsaw
torrascotia21 June 2018
I managed to attend the European premier of this at the opening night gala of the Edinburgh Film Festival. In the past some of the movies chosen to open the Edinburgh festival have been poor quality and chosen due to their links with Scotland. However in this case they managed to pick a movie which may just be one of the best on show this year. The story is about a mother of two who seems more of less content with her family life but on her birthday is presented with a jigsaw puzzle. Her life is so predictable she knows what her husband will say before he does. Completing this puzzle seems to give her a sense of achievement which she doesn't seem to be able to find anywhere else in her life. This sets her off on a mission to find more puzzles to complete and opens up a new life for her...possibly. The tone of the movie is somewhat offbeat, quite a few times there were members of the audience laughing at what seemed inappropriate times. You also have to suspend your disbelief for the story to work. It takes a while before you notice the movie is set in the present day. The main character is somewhat strange as well, its unclear if her quirky behaviour is supposed to be due to a sheltered life or something like Aspergers/OCD. The reason I think its like an old fashioned fairy tale, up to a point is there is a handsome rich stranger who comes into her life via her interest in puzzles, who has the potential to whisk her away from a life of domestic drudgery. Its very much a story told from a female perspective at the expense of her husbands' there is more a little bit of selfishness in the main character which to me makes her less sympathetic. Its an interesting film and worth the watch although how you respond will largely be down to whether you find this a movie about someone who is blinkered and selfish or someone escaping from a humdrum life of family responsibility. You decide.
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8/10
wow...a six POINT? doesn't speak well of imdb reviewers, to be honest...
imizrahi20026 December 2018
Or maybe you're all just very young... the movie didn't cover ground that hasn't been covered before, granted. but that's true of most movies at this point in our species's history. so it comes down to the way it's told. and this one is told sparingly and, at times, poetically and funny. lots of it is bittersweet. and the ending will probably prove unsatisfying to many. but this, all told, is VERY good storytelling. deceptively simple, but rich in substance. and lots is being said without any dialogue. it's an 'art film'. parts reminding me of a hopper painting. obviously not for everyone. it's simple. but it's not FOR the simple...
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7/10
Kelly Macdonald shines in this drama played in a minor key
Red-Barracuda21 June 2018
This low-key drama has Kelly MacDonald as a timid housewife who goes through a form of self-discovery when she discovers she has a skill in completing jigsaw puzzles.

The main strength of this one is probably in the acting of MacDonald whose character is consistently a little bit strange, yet identifiable. The entire story is from her perspective so the drama does sort of hinge on her performance and it is very good. She is supported well by the others, with Irrfan Khan best as a fellow puzzle maker she hooks up with and develops feelings for. The film is essentially a family drama, with MacDonald as a taken-for-granted housewife who goes through the process of realising that her voice is never heard and building up the confidence to more fully be her own person. Unlike other films about people with unusual competitive skills such as Populaire (2012) (fast typing), there is next to no focus on the competitive nature of the puzzle building; so, there is sadly no montage sequence depicting MacDonald and Khan developing their puzzle-based friendship via a few set-backs, some jigsaw-based comedy antics and ultimately some top-level puzzle solving action. Its not that kind of a film. The puzzle aspect sits in the background and acts as a springboard for all the drama that surrounds it. A good film overall.
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7/10
"Puzzle": Fitting Together the Pieces of a Life in Transition
jtncsmistad1 August 2018
The opening scene of the new domestic drama "Puzzle" seems to take place in a bygone era. Come to find out it is present day. The woman we see behaves as if from a time past.

Mousy, repressed, self-conscience and ultra-OCD, Agnes (Kelly Macdonald in an arresting turn) is living a life dedicated to the age old adage "A woman's place is in the home." Everything she does is for someone else-her husband, sons, church, newfound lover. Nary a thought for herself. Hell, she even throws her own birthday party for crissakes. She speaks little, but her remarkably expressive, yet forlorn, face veritably screams out for something different. Something more.

At the aforementioned sad soiree she receives a gift which she later opens alone. It's a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Her life will never again be the same. From that point on Agnes embarks upon a journey of the soul. A reawakening of the spirit. The birth of renewed purpose. And, gosh darn it, the girl's finally having herself some flat out fun and games.
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7/10
The hardest of all puzzles....LIFE itself...
vasileioskyvellos17 November 2018
Just a decent piece of poetry for all ordinary people who dared to make extaordinary choices even once in a lifetime. And unlike the puzzles you manage to finish, you got no control of every of your days as life itself, the hardest of all puzzles it is and will be. Real, emotional, cinematography.
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One of the year's best dramas with a memorable heroine.
jdesando20 August 2018
"When you complete a puzzle, you know that you have made all of the right choices." Robert (Irrfan Khan)

Puzzle's metaphor is easy enough: Middle-aged Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) needs to fit the pieces of her life together to become fulfilled. However, this small, lovely, poignant drama/ romance reveals that solving a 1000 piece puzzle is a piece of cake next to the puzzle of one's life.

Agnes is chief cook and bottle washer and everything else for the three men in her life: husband, garage mechanic Louie (David Denman) and sons Gabe (Austin Abrams) and Ziggy (Bubba Weller). This demure, loving Catholic lady doesn't yet know how much she needs change, symbolized by the puzzle she speeds through, a birthday gift at her own party, which she organized and decorated. One of the film's revelations is that the party is for herself, not someone else.

As change agent, the puzzle reveals her exceptional talent and mind that puts the pieces together at warp speed. Also, she discovers a love for her sleepy-eyed competition partner, Robert. The film's minimalism shows this emotion not through grand moments but little ones that lead to a slow recognition that the pieces of love fit nicely, thank you, on an emotional level. On the sexual side, the understating Agnes tells her husband that the onetime Robert and she had sex, "It wasn't great, but not bad either."

In this fine example of incremental exposition, the puzzling parts of life such as with her husband show him to be caring and simple but ultimately not enough for Agnes's burgeoning intellect and emotions. Humanity is the name of the real game here, and Agnes is now ready for a ride as she takes the train to a long desired place that's on the train line and in her heart.
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4/10
Standard melodramatic tropes and angst-ridden characters permeate tale of offbeat romance between unlikely couple
Turfseer13 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Puzzle is based on Argentine director Natalia Smirnoff's film Rompecabezas (2010). It stars Kelly Macdonald (of "Boardwalk Empire" fame) as Agnes, a Catholic housewife living in a suburb of Bridgeport, CT. She's married to Louie (David Denman) and they have two 20ish sons, Ziggy and Gabe.

Agnes is a confirmed Luddite, eschewing the use of a cell phone except for emergencies. If you can buy it, after getting a jigsaw puzzle for her birthday, and rediscovering a childhood interest in such games, she takes a train to New York City for the first time, to purchase some additional jigsaw puzzles. She could have saved herself a trip by ordering from Amazon but it never occurs to her to ask any of her friends or family members how to make a purchase online.

The trip to New York City is the convenient way in which Agnes suddenly is thrust out of her hum-drum existence and reaches an existential crisis in the form of a new relationship (we'll get to that in a minute).

Puzzle lacks a solid antagonist so it's Agnes' internal demons that create the conflict and propel the plot forward. What's she's up against on the family front is wholly generic and predictable in nature. All we find out about Louie are the standard melodramatic tropes: he's an auto mechanic who hates his job and demands that Agnes conform to the role of subservient wife. When he learns that she's entered a jigsaw puzzle competition, his boorish, inappropriate reaction highlights his lack of likability as a character.

The same goes for the sons: Ziggy hates working for his father and would rather go to culinary school; Gabe wants to postpone college and trek in Tibet with his vegan girlfriend. All the angst permeates the family and creates a team of confirmed sad sacks (note that humor is significantly absent from the narrative). In other words, it's hard to care for characters who dislike themselves so much.

Agnes at least strives for something different. Still it's hard to believe that a sheltered heavily religious (Catholic) housewife (as they depict her here) would seek out a jigsaw puzzle partner and go over to his house without first meeting him on the outside.

The relationship between Robert (played by Indian actor Irrfan Khan) and Agnes provides the narrative with the hook that saves the story from complete mediocrity. Yes, what goes on between Robert and Agnes is at least slightly interesting compared to the dull machinations back in Bridgeport.

Nonetheless, Robert turns out to be a sketchy character at best. We find out that he made a lot of money after patenting and marketing an invention (the details are not provided). He also likes to watch disasters on the TV news. That's about it. Where is he from? What does he do besides jigsaw puzzles? No clue!

Equally disappointing is how director Marc Turtletaub fails to illuminate how the jigsaw competition works (it's merely a vehicle for Robert and Agnes' interactions). Granted, a jigsaw puzzle competition isn't exactly the basis for thrilling action sequences. Nonetheless, it's an important part of the plot, which seems to have been glanced over too conveniently.

What happens with the relationship between Robert and Agnes? This perhaps is the only thread here that keeps your interest. Why a woman like Agnes (given her prior life experience) would want to have an affair with (the mostly unknown) Robert, is a valid question. Even if you don't buy it, at least she goes back to the husband at film's end.

Kelly Macdonald's performance keeps the film afloat until it sinks under its own weight of predictability. In the end Turtletaub's portrait of a provincial, working class family is stereotypical-what was needed were characters wholly more complex than proffered here.
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8/10
Missing role model
PipAndSqueak22 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Agnes, the dutiful, competent wife of complacent, auto-shop owner Louie, ministers to the gathering supposedly there to celebrate her birthday. There seems to be very little celebrated...she's made her own cake, lights the candles herself and carries the damn thing into the room so that everyone can sing happy birthday and watch her blow out the candles before returning to their own separate conversations etc. Great (not). She doesn't even receive gifts that she wants or are 'age appropriate'. The fact that one is an iPhone is the first indication we have that this is set in the present day...up to then, it could have been anytime 1930's to 1950's. This is the first puzzle. We do learn later that Agnes lost her mother young and thus has no proper marital role model as the wife and mother. She hardly knows who she is but is compliant, uncomplaining and long suffering. Puzzle sets out to show her blossoming self-awareness. She takes her cues about a potential different future for herself by paying close attention to the smallest details in the interactions she has with new people. A beautiful film marred only by the unrealistic portrayal of puzzle gaming...there is a distinct lack of speed! Nevertheless, a worthwhile treatment of middle age female psychological growth.
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9/10
One of the most underrated movies of this year
varun-2507199714 November 2018
Kelly McDonald gives an Oscar worthy performance of a middle class homely mom. The film is captivates you from the first shot till the end and the score is just perfectly suited. This movie should have been given a wide release, it's one of the best movies of the year and will be a cult favorite after a few years. Marc Turtletaub has directed a fine debut feature. The only drawback was that Irrfan Khan wasn't at his usual best and his character isn't written properly.
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superb
Kirpianuscus23 December 2019
To define it as a beautiful film seems enough. Without any explanation. Because it is the perfect film about loneliness, family, passion and resurrection of be alive. Because it is defined by splendid acting, great story, superb cinematography. It is one of films who you can fall in love with . A motif - Kelly Macdonald giving one of her best roles. Or the chemistry between her and Irfan Khan. Or just few scenes , absolutely magical. A film about loneliness and freedom. A magnificent one.
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4/10
Puzzled??
MikeyB179314 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This was an odd film. Generally I don't look at other reviews, but I did in this case.

For me the whole film just didn't gel. As another reviewer mentioned,has the director had any real contact and meaningful experience with middle-class and working class people?

Here is a mother with two teenage sons - and she is completely submissive, a doormat. She is not assertive at all. She has the personality of someone who has been closeted from humanity her entire life, not someone in a household raising two teenagers, a family business, with a beautiful cottage by the lake.

In the end she comes off as a selfish conceited person - abandoning all - her family, her husband, and her lover.

Incidentally concerning the ending, she would need a passport to travel to Montreal,Canada, something I doubt she would have, given her insularity. Her lover, being a worldly fellow, would likely have asked her beforehand about a passport for the upcoming tournament in Belgium.
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4/10
ASD
westsideschl25 November 2018
Positives: Liked the "Ave Maria" song on the train. Macdonald's character Agnes was captivatingly acted. Interestingly her behaviors & communication skills reminded me two other film roles: The first year, I believe, the female deputy in Fargo, and also the female detective, Saga, in the Swedish/Danish version of "The Bridge". What seems to be common for all are some elements of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, i.e. repetitive behavior, poor social skills, emotionless communication, literalness. Negatives: I actually found her less of a victim, but someone who should have responsibly resolved her own life issues. Despite her husband working in a thankless job to keep everyone fed & housed, the family (wife & sons) takes him for granted. To top it off she seeks solution by lying & extramarital sex - not good role modeling for the family. Ending scene where she's in alone in Montreal suggests to me she's off to fulfill her life. Alternate ending made no sense.
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3/10
Puzzle? Well, It's Left Me Puzzled.
LouieInLove14 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This amoral story could never be written by someone working class, someone who actually knows about the commitment, strength & willpower (all driven by fear & love) to get up on a morning and go do a physically demanding nuts, bolts, bricks, cement & grease job.

The writer/director of this has no idea of the toll these jobs take or the motivation behind persevering with them; if he or she did they'd never, ever, put something on screen so dismissive & disrespectful of the working man who provides for his family.

I've seen some reviewers referring to the female lead as a 'heroine' - are they completely twisted? The female lead is a nasty, selfish & manipulative harpy who completely destroys a good man - not even leaving him with his favourite place in the world.

This is what I took form the film:

It's okay for a woman to screw-over any white man & it doesn't matter how good he is, she'll still be viewed as a heroine - she'll still be viewed as being brave.

This film could make me vote for Donald Trump & I'm a socialist.
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3/10
Snoozefest
andie-katschthaler11 February 2019
I wanted to like this but actually didn't make it to the end of it. The pacing is terrible. Macdonald, whom I usually adore in everything, is woefully miscast, and her fake American accent is just plain painful. The trailer looked so promising but was completely differently paced. They hired a better trailer editor than writer or director, I guess.
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6/10
The Husband as Unintentional Hero
chet1928 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
You know a movie fails horribly when the guy who is supposed to be the "villain" of your film is the only likable, decent person in the whole movie! After all, he is a doting husband; he works hard for the family; he sells his beloved cabin when the wife asks him to; he refuses to flirt with the customers; he gives his kids gifts to help them get started with their lives, etc. His wife? Oh, she rewards him by having an affair. And somehow she is the good guy in this film. Ha! Her puzzle partner knows she is married, but hits on her anyway. Nice guy. Still waiting for the reason she decided to become unfaithful. Still waiting why she is justified to sleep with the puzzle dude. Some of the other plot points are remarkably weak. She figures out how to text all by herself, but she can't figure out how to order a jigsaw puzzle online? Or apparently her town doesn't have a Target or any store to buy a puzzle, so she has to go all the way to NY City to get one? Horribly weak writing. Why not have the puzzle partner live in the town? That would create some cool tension as they'd have to really hide their affair, instead of openly flaunting it in NYC. Just really bad all around. Roy from The Office does a good job as the blue collar husband, and the acting is generally strong. But the characters? meh.
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Eat Pray Love and total lack of accountability, a retread of a cliche.
tetrahex18 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Almost self parody depiction of working class life by a high minded liberal. "we should start watching the news" says the woman as she "awakens" from domestic life of quiet desperation, maybe some CNN no doubt. Stop being so provincial visiting the country to fish, travel and become diversity tourists, becoming truly worldly through consumerism. Meet the "better people" in academia, because clearly regular people are monosyllabic drones who have never read a book or had an interesting thought ever in their heads. Clearly the "orange man bad" npc's are the thoughtful ones, writing stories like this where a female cliche embraces irresponsibility as empowerment, where if the genders were reversed, this would be the villain. The only marginally interesting character is the indian man, simply by virtue of the power of the presence of the actor, because like the rest the character is little more than a poorly formed archetype.
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2/10
Derivative, bored-housewife, drivel.
FreddyShoop4 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I'm sort of shocked this isn't based on some pulpy housewife book, because that's how it's played. Yes, we've never heard the story of the under-appreciated housewife with special skills who decides she needs to "live for herself." Ugh, where to begin. First, the character development is unbelievable. We're supposed to believe that the wife character is more or less one way for 18-20 years, and then turns on a dime? Uh, no. Hollywood obviously doesn't have much to say about the value of being a successful Mom & Wife, but other people do. Second, if you flipped the script and made it a man (which they could have easily done with the likable husband), it would have played as "selfish husband out to get his." I like the actors, but I didn't buy Kelly MacDonald as the middle aged mother of two college age kids. Melissa Leo, or an older less attractive actress, would have been far more believable. The Indian actor as the male lead has always been very good, and he has a quiet magnitude about him that draws you in. Plus, he gets all the best, spiritual lines. But it still doesn't work. There was a movie here, but they director and writers missed it. It has style and little substance (or likability).
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6/10
In general it was just good.
Aktham_Tashtush13 November 2018
So for a drama genre movie it kinda felt like something was missing ,, the plot though was genuine , the screenplay looked strong but it still had a lack of drama satisfaction even though the ending was kinda good ... my problem was with the dullness in the beginning of the movie and maybe to be it felt unconnected for a bit but then the Drama element kicked in hard right midway ...

The casting was great ,, gotta give them that .. Irrfan Khan was really good and Kelly Macdonald "The Brave" was phenomenal .. so convincing and engaging .. the whole family did well .

The movie was good overall so it is recommended.
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2/10
Boring.
gentryohio3 December 2018
The trailer looked good. So I rented it. And watched. And waited for it to be something: interesting, funny, clever. Kept waiting, and finally fast forwarded the last part so it would end.
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10/10
The first of films to come that garner early Awards recognition
ccorral41911 June 2018
Director Marc Turtletaub knows that a good story (written here by Oren Overman "The Dinner" and original story by Natalie Smirnoff), featuring poignant and honest acting (by Kelly Macdonald "Agnes" and Irrfan Khan "Robert"), guided by a terrific sound track (Dustin O'Halloran) can cement a movie in one's memory. He's proved this with "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Loving," and does again here with "Puzzle". Agnes, a reserved housewife whom her family knows but doesn't recognize, passes her day doing puzzles. When she reluctantly answers a "Partner Wanted" ad posted by Robert, she begins a growth of unexpected self awareness. While this film will take you into the little know fast paced world of Puzzle competition, the film moves deliberately slowly giving the characters and the audience the opportunity to become invested in the storyline and the pending consequences. Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire") is a pro at championing the beaten down character, and Khan continues to prove you don't have to go big to be powerful. When those two aren't eating up the screen, Agnes' husband (David Denman "Parenthood" TV), and their two sons (Austin Abrams "The American's" TV and Bubba Weiler "The Ranger") show that family, as well as the individual, equally hold the blame when things go askew. "Puzzle" may be the first of the films to come that garner early Awards recognition, so don't miss this one.
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9/10
UNDERSTATED BEAUTY...
CerridwenHawk22 November 2018
This was an understated beauty of a film! The premise seems simple and yet the direction, scripting and performances elevate this restrained movie to the ranks of sublime storytelling. Kelly's demure, reticent & artful portrayal of a Woman living a Life of muted desperation was mesmerizing and painful. While Irrfan's Robert stirred up a yearning vigilance which left me breathless.
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