|Genre: Thriller, Drama, Betrayal, Deception, Suspense, Kidnapping, Hostage, Infidelity, Capers, True Story, Marriage|
Plot: Wayne and Eileen Hayes (Robert Redford, Helen Mirren) appear to be living the American dream. But 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
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Discussion forum for this movie
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.
--Dave Kehr (The New York Times)
The Clearing is being positioned as "adult counter-programming" for the summer season, but the benefits of seeing this movie may not be worth the patience necessary to get through it.
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
Robert Redford as a kidnapped CEO finally lets go of his boyishness, but can anyone hold a candle to Helen Mirren?
--Stephanie Zacharek (Salon)
I'm glad the movie didn't go all Tinseltown at the end. It stays in character, small, human, bitter and sad.
--Stephen Hunter (Washington Post)
A motley mix of a film – police procedural, violent thriller, and suburban marital angst – that ends up being less than the sum of its parts. 67/100
--Dan Jardine (Apollo Guide)
'THE Clearing" is an extremely well- acted thriller that simply fails to thrill.
--Lou Lumenick (New York Post)
Redford's performance is strong and assured. He projects the right balance of confidence and moral malaise. But neither he nor the filmmakers justify our initial investment in the movie. We are lured into the woods brimming with expectations, but ultimately, we find ourselves looking for the wrong sort of clearing: a way out.
--Desson Thomson (Washington Post)
The Clearing is a quiet, thoughtful film that slowly builds suspense that is not released until the very end. Although there are some contrivances in the plot, the acting is superb throughout and the film works as a psychological thriller, a meditation on loss and regret, and a character study of two flawed but loving people who have forgotten how to express their joy in living.
--Howard Schumann (CineScene)
|Where the movie leads us is interesting, but not nearly as compelling as the journey there. A-|
--Eric D. Snider (EricDSnider.com)
Don't go in expecting a thriller and you might be happily surprised by this engaging psychological character drama with elements of suspense. 7/10