The Clearing

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Fox Searchlight Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Pieter Jan Brugge
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
Wayne and Eileen Hayes (Robert Redford, Helen Mirren) appear to be living the American dream. All illusions are shattered when Wayne is kidnapped in broad daylight from the Hayes? peaceful Pittsburgh estate. Under the microscope of a probing FBI investigation and her own painstaking introspection, Wayne?s wife Eileen also becomes a victim. The interrogation introduces a life underneath outward appearances; the suspicions, the secrets, the inadequacies, and what can happen along the way to achieving the American dream. Suddenly the man who at one point in his life prided himself on being a cunning negotiator finds his fate resting in the hands of a kidnapper (Willem Dafoe) who has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Will he succeed in the most important negotiation ever... for his life?

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    A beautiful and consistently engaging film, but that the filmmakers dared cast all three lead roles with actors who are over 40 makes it especially rewarding.

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Classy, decorous and well acted, directorial debut by Hollywood producer Pieter Jan BruggePieter Jan Brugge is nicely crafted but too buttoned up to generate more than polite inter...

  • 50

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    Mr. Brugge has perhaps succeeded in avoiding vulgar melodrama, but he has hit on something far worse -- a bloodless melodrama, with bottled water running in its veins.

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    Themes

    Thrillers, Crime