On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck, perfectly cast and inhabiting the character with an appropriate amount of emotional vacancy and smug aloofness) returns home to finds his living room ransacked, evidence of blood in his kitchen and his beautiful wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. The circumstances are certainly suspicious and the investigating police, who believe he is hiding something, immediately put Nick under pressure. His strange behaviour in front of the camera and in reaction to whirlwind media frenzy certainly suggests he is.
While trying to keep his own secrets bottled up, Nick begins to put together the pieces of Amy’s annual anniversary hunt, and learns that prior to her disappearance she had set up a string of clues that threaten to reveal those secrets and make his case look even more dire. He finds an ally in his tough-skinned sister Margo (Carrie Coon) and super attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), but is publicly embarrassed as their seemingly blissful union is picked apart - revealing not only that the pair had lost their jobs to the recession and were considering divorce, but also that Amy had begun to fear for her life.