The Dinner (R)
Coogan's characterization isn't the only thing jarring about this adaptation of Herman Koch's novel of the same name, about two couples meeting over dinner to discuss a horrendous episode involving their kids. The dinner itself is constantly disrupted by long-winded flashbacks. The beauty of a single-location thriller is how the tension escalates in containment, but Moverman fails to seize that built-in advantage.
There have been two previous big-screen versions (Dutch and Italian) of Koch's book, but this is the first American adaptation, and it has the most noteworthy cast: Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall play wives to Coogan and Gere, respectively; Chloë Sevigny makes a brief appearance as Gere's ex-wife. Third time's a charm, supposedly, but Moverman doesn't know what to do with the page-turner source material. Set up with title cards, from apéritif to digestif, The Dinner should have momentum, but it's not until the cheese course -- after the entrée -- that things start to pick up.