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Puzzle is a 2018 American drama film directed by Marc Turtletaub and written by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann, based on the 2010 Argentine film of the same name.[2] It stars Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, Liv Hewson, and follows a stay-at-home mother who enters a puzzle building competition. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.[3][4] Sony Pictures Classics then acquired the worldwide rights to the film, and released it on July 27, 2018.[5]

Puzzle (2018 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarc Turtletaub
Produced by
Written by
Based onRompecabezas
by Natalia Smirnoff
Music byDustin O'Halloran
CinematographyChris Norr
Edited byCatherine Haight
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release date
  • January 23, 2018 (2018-01-23) (Sundance)
  • July 27, 2018 (2018-07-27) (United States)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.1 million[1]



Agnes is a middle-class suburban mother of two grown sons, Ziggy and Gabe, and is stuck with her husband Louie in a monotonous routine. Day in and day out she serves everyone in her family, who take her existence for granted by leaving her little or no choice in family matters. She finds herself curious about a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle among all other gifts she had received for her birthday. She soon discovers her passion for putting together all the pieces into the right places. As she is eager to stay involved in making her own choices by solving new puzzles, she travels to New York to find a shop where she can explore more puzzles of similar types. It is here she notices an advertisement that leads her to meet Robert, a former champion of puzzles who is looking for a partner to take part in the next championship scheduled in a month. Agnes is not comfortable with strangers generally, but with her adventurous trips to meet Robert twice a week, she gradually realizes she has been selected by Robert, who also admits her gift in solving puzzles in her own unorthodox way. They fall in love out of their mutual respect and for the ability to see countless random events in their lives taking the shape of a perfect picture similar to the fragments of a jigsaw puzzle. This is due to their realization that at the end of the day there are only right choices no matter how many wrong pieces might have been fitted into wrong places. This helps them to rediscover their inner selves.


  • Kelly Macdonald as Agnes, Louie’s wife and mother to Ziggy and Gabe
  • Irrfan Khan as Robert, Agnes’ puzzle partner
  • David Denman as Louie, Agnes’ husband and Ziggy and Gabe’s father
  • Bubba Weiler as Ziggy, Agnes and Louie's older son and Gabe’s brother
  • Austin Abrams as Gabe, Agnes and Louie’s younger son and Ziggy’s brother and Nicki’s boyfriend
  • Liv Hewson as Nicki, Gabe's girlfriend


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 82% based on 119 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Puzzle transcends its quirky premise with honest emotion -- and Kelly Macdonald, whose nicely understated performance proves she's too often underutilized."[6] On Metacritic, it holds a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Peter Debruge from Variety described the remake of the well-liked Argentine film as a way for "Kelly Macdonald to shine amid the yawn-inducing world of competitive jigsaw puzzling."[8] Kate Erbland from IndieWire gave film a grade of "B+" and said that Macdonald "excels in the rare drama that follows a woman's own journey to self-actualization", and that the film "toes a tough line, managing to stay relentlessly good-hearted and deeply humane, even as Agnes herself plunges into deeper, more dramatic waters".[9]

Jordan Ruimy from The Playlist said that the film takes its time "to let its characters breathe, building up a beautiful atmosphere filled with richly lit, eye-melting shots" by Norr. However, he noted that the script eventually is complicated by "a struggle to tie things up, if they should be tied-up at all".[10]


  1. ^ "Puzzle (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Ford, Rebecca (May 8, 2017). "Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan to Star in 'Puzzle' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 29, 2017). "Sundance Film Festival Unveils Full 2018 Features Lineup". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  4. ^ "Puzzle". Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 25, 2018). "Sundance: Kelly Macdonald Drama 'Puzzle' Goes to Sony Classics for $5M". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  6. ^ "Puzzle (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Puzzle Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  8. ^ Debruge, Peter (January 25, 2018). "Sundance Film Festival: 'Puzzle'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Erbland, Kate (January 24, 2018). "'Puzzle' Review: Kelly Macdonald Puts the Pieces Together in Good-Hearted Midlife Crisis Drama — Sundance 2018". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Ruimy, Jordan (January 25, 2018). "'Puzzle' Puts Together A Stunning Drama With A Remarkable Kelly Macdonald [Sundance Review]". The Playlist. Retrieved May 20, 2018.

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