The Clearing
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Dutch film producer Pieter Jan Brugge makes his directorial debut with the dramatic thriller The Clearing. Affluent executive Wayne Hayes (Robert Redford) and his lovely wife, Eileen (Helen Mirren), live in a beautiful home in Pittsburg. One day, Wayne is kidnapped by disgruntled employee Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe). He is then held for ransom in a forest. Meanwhile, Eileen is forced to reckon with the FBI agents as they negotiate with the kidnapper. Alessandro Nivola and Melissa Sagemiller star as the two grown Hayes children. Matt Craven plays FBI Agent Ray Fuller. The Clearing premiered at… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A thriller stripped of thrills -- or, even worse, a thriller that thinks of itself as somehow rising above the vulgar pleasures of excitement."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"It's watchable only if you don't mind that there isn't a shock, a surprise or a message in its 91 minutes."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Good performances almost make it worthwhile."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"...a very good thriller that could've (and should've) been a great one..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Há dois bons filmes em Refém de uma Vida, mas estes se enfraquecem mutuamente em função da estrutura narrativa adotada pelo cineasta."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"An intriguing but dramatically stunted psychological thriller about a kidnapping."
‑ Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle
"A kidnapping drama that may be too intentionally low-key to qualify as a thriller but that accrues weight and tension as it makes its way through a forest of repressed emotion."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"I just expected a lot more in the end, and really just didn't get it with a routine script, bland plot, and an ending that was too sudden to be accepted."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"[Mirren, Redford, and Dafoe] cannot get a fire going in this cliché-soggy kindling."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Christianity Today
"The first 10 minutes are promising, but then the film, a wannabe thriller, loses steam"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Everything about it is stultifying, unexceptional and dull."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Redford and Dafoe have all the fun, but Mirren exhibits the most talent."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"It's pretty bland, even though the trailer would lead you to believe otherwise."
‑ Bill Clark, FromTheBalcony
"Lo que mantiene el interés es el cada vez más impredecible comportamiento de la esposa, animada además por una estupenda Helen Mirren (la mejor intérprete de la película)."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"...may not be the most exciting or well-focused drama of the year, but it manages to engage our intellect most of the time and keep us guessing well up to the end."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for The Clearing on Rotten Tomatoes

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