Yes, Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn is calling Gone Girl the “film of the year”…but not for the reason you might think. Kohn is saluting Gone Girl because it delivers a kind of one-stop-shopping experience for those looking to ponder solemn social themes that have been explored in some of the best films of the year (Birdman, Nightcrawler, Maps to the Stars, The One I Love, Obvious Child, Grand Budapest Hotel).

Director David Fincher “loves characters who are difficult to love,” Kohn writes. “He shows his affection by framing them with unerring precision — and as Michael Nordine wrote in our review, it’s a level of care that often exceeds his material.

“The story of ex-journalist Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) coping with police and press scrutiny after estranged wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) vanishes under mysterious circumstances, Fincher’s prowess transforms Gone Girl into a blend of media satire and gender politics that zips along at a giddy and unpredictable pace.

“Stop to scrutinize and Gone Girl collapses into soapy melodrama” — are you listening, Scott Feinberg and Tom O’Neil? “But Fincher’s narrative command results in a movie that simultaneously embraces and mocks its own existence.

Gone Girl is not the year’s best film, [but] it may be the best in its embodiment of the year’s most potent themes. Gone Girl arrives in theaters in the last quarter of the year, serving as the last word on many subjects and formalizes virtually every notable topic found in American movies this year.

“Fincher’s better at suspenseful engagement than emotional payoff, and Gone Girl works best when the director dials up cynicism to the max.

“That conflict lies at the root of Gone Girl, which provides the giddy high of watching a scheme come together, but leaves us in a state of moral confusion with no easy way out. It’s a fun ride, but at what cost? The question lingers as the credits roll.”