Director Rowan Joffe, most famous for giving us 2007’s 28 Weeks Later and 2010’s The American starring George Clooney, is back with a new drama starring Nicole Kidman. Originally a bestselling 2011 novel by S. J. Watson, Before I Go To Sleep follows the story of Christine, a woman who has suffered with a horrible trauma-induced amnesia for the past fourteen years. Every night, her mind erases the previous day and when she awakes, her husband (Colin Firth) fills her in on what’s she can’t remember. At least, that’s what he tells her.

The accident that led to Christine’s amnesia is a violent one, and PluggedIn’s Bob Hoose warns that “seeing a fragile, set-upon woman slapped viciously and then beaten bloody and senseless on numerous occasions is, to say the least, unsettling.” Hoose adds that Kidman’s performance “makes us want to care for her delicate, nerve-jangled and memory-deprived character.” Despite this, Hoose claims the film “seems almost too intimate and character-focused,” making it seem like Before I Go To Sleep “might have made a much better stage play than a big-screen movie.” The New York Times’ Stephen Holden calls the film a “preposterous thriller” fueled by “hoary soap-opera device, amnesia.” Holden says the movie’s biggest asset is Firth who “proves he can play nasty as well as nice.” Overall, Holden suggests that without Firth and Kidman’s killer performances, Before I Go To Sleep “would be an unwatchable, titter-inducing catastrophe.”

The last Keira Knightley film we reviewed over here at Christianity Today Movies was Begin Again, the musical non-romantic, romantic comedy about a brokenhearted musician in New York City, which we loved. This month, you can find Miss Knightley starring alongside Chloe Grace Moretz in another movie about broken hearts and crossroads. Laggies is a comedy about 28 year-old Megan (Knightley) who is technically an adult, but is literally fleeing from the responsibility. She forms an unlikely bond with young Annika (Moretz) and the film follows their searches for happiness and the decisions they’re running from that they must eventually face.

Crosswalk’s Christian Hamaker believes the film’s “depiction of characters searching for stability and meaning is deeper than most rom-coms,” and features a few refreshing moments of “conviction in a movie driven by its main character's ambivalence.” Hamaker admits that Laggies “is not a great movie, but it's a compassionate one.” Not only that, but the film is “a reminder of . . . the small steps we make in building a stable life from very unstable surroundings.” A.O. Scott of The New York Times called the film a “winning hybrid of coming-of-age story and romantic comedy,” but admits that it “is so eager to be liked that it undermines some of its comic ingenuity.” Scott continues, “This is a nice movie,” but, “it isn’t a very good movie, mainly because, like its heroine, it’s reluctant to make up its mind about what it wants to be.” The NYT article’s title and subtitle sum up the film quite nicely: “Some People Persist In Taking An Endless Time Out From Adult Life: Laggies Stars Keira Knightley, Embracing Immaturity.”

Larisa Kline is an intern with Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King’s College in New York City.