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NEW MOVIES THIS WEEK

Gone Girl

The gist: Who is the first suspect when a married woman disappears? This movie, based on a bestselling novel, tells the story of a bad marriage between unlikable people and what happens when one of them disappears suddenly. We're guessing the answer is not couples counseling. R

The cast: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry, David Clennon, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens

The buzz: "Grimly dark humor and spot-on production design buttress the captivating story and heighten the unnerving atmosphere. Gone Girl will leave you breathless and haunted," says USA Today. For a full review, check out Page 62.

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Annabelle

The gist: Creepy dolls are so last century. That's why this prequel to The Conjuring is set in 1969 and features a pregnant lady being menaced by a toy so ugly no sane person would leave a store with it. How scary can something without movable thumbs or jaws really be? R

The cast: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, Eric Ladin, Tony Amendola, Brian Howe

The buzz: "With (The Conjuring director James) Wan serving only as a producer, directorial duties fall to Wan's longtime cinematographer John R. Leonetti, who generates occasional suspense but can't do much about the inert storytelling. Wan made Annabelle creepy in just a few short minutes; Leonetti takes an entire feature to make her uninteresting," says Las Vegas Weekly.

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The Liberator

The gist: Simon Bolivar fought to end Spanish colonial rule over South America. As with most biopics, there won't be much more about him in the film than what you can read in a book. Watching movies is tons faster though, so, you know, this one cuts your report time in half. R

The cast: Edgar Ramirez, Iwan Rheon, Imanol Arias, Juanaa Acosta, Maria Valverde, Danny Huston, Gary Lewis

The buzz: "Largely stillborn as drama and utterly useless as a character study. Screenwriter Timothy J. Sexton (Children Of Men) never finds a compelling thematic subtext for Bolivar's story - as depicted here, it amounts to, 'Well, the love of my life dropped dead, so I guess I may as well overthrow Spain' - and Arvelo's lackluster visual sense robs even the most passionate speeches (well delivered by Ramirez) of their urgency," says the A.V. Club.

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Left Behind

The gist: Unsatisfied with the lack of Nic Cage in the Kirk Cameron version, filmmakers recreated the movie centered on how a pilot deals with the rapture. Apparently, the end of days is back in vogue this year. PG-13

The cast: Nicolas Cage, Lea Thompson, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Chad Michael Murray, Jordin Sparks, Martin Klebba

The buzz: "The script is barely patched together, the effects are laughably tinny and the performances are so stilted you'd think this was everyone's first film. Honestly, Sharknado star Ian Ziering would have done a better job milking this material than Cage, who simply seems confused," says the New York Daily News.

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The Good Lie

The gist: Despite what previews would have you believe, this movie is about Sudanese refugees struggling through red tape and culture shock to adjust to a new life in America. That their help comes from a buxom, big-haired, Southern-accented white woman a la The Blind Side was just a decoy to get the movie made. #sorrynotsorry PG-13

The cast: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Corey Stoll, Kuoth Wiel, Sarah Baker, Peterdeng Mongok, Okwar Jale, Thon Kueth, Deng Ajuet

The buzz: "The people from Sudan - actors and musicians whose courage and humanity uplift the soul - are all wonderful. And Reese Witherspoon's presence is very much felt, although she never upstages the others, giving them space to develop their characters and often command the center ring. The result is a feeling of commitment to a vital project that commands attention and pays off in heart and soul," says the New York Observer.

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Tracks

The gist: Got six months to kill and ambition to die alone? Why not talk a walk through the Austrailian desert like Robyn Davidson did in 1975? Are you not a fan of kangaroo meat and loneliness? Maybe seeing the movie about her journey is a better option, then. PG-13

The cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Raineer Bock, Rolley Mintuma, John Flaus, Robert Coleby, Emma Booth, Jessica Tovey, Melanie Zanetti

The buzz: "At its best, Tracks is a gorgeously filmed but impressively unsentimental story about a woman accomplishing something by and for herself," says Newsday. - Robbyn Mitchell rmitchell@tampabay.com

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UPCOMING

Oct. 10: The Judge; St. Vincent; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Dracula Untold; You're Not You

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