Absence of the Good (1999)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Thriller  |  15 October 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 562 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 8 critic

Salt Lake City homicide detective Caleb Barnes is under increasing pressure from all sides to crack a string of serial killings that have been terrorizing the city. At the same time, Barnes... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Caleb Barnes
Dr. Marcia Lyons
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elizabeth Barondes ...
Brian Lee Bouck ...
Joe Marshall
Jenniffer Buckalew ...
Sheila Gaskin
Roger Callard ...
Dalin Christiansen ...
Mr. Gummer
Neblis Francois ...
Young Uniform
Andrew Fugate ...
Michael Barnes
Lieutenant Paul Taylor
Mary Barnes
Rob Joseph ...
SWAT Officer
Robert Joseph ...
SWAT Officer


Salt Lake City homicide detective Caleb Barnes is under increasing pressure from all sides to crack a string of serial killings that have been terrorizing the city. At the same time, Barnes' home life is beginning to crumble in the wake of his son's accidental death. Will he solve the killings before the stress tears him apart? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Før var ondskaben bare en del af jobbet.[Denmark]



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ausencia del bien  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The police are able to obtain a sketch of the killer, and the storekeeper confirms that it was who attacked her, but the killer's face is always covered except the eyes. In particular, the bus driver, who gave the description for the sketch, only saw the killer briefly, from a distance and a side angle. There is no way he could have given an accurate description. See more »

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User Reviews

Pleasantly Surprised
27 October 2003 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

What can I say about DTV movies that hasn't already been said? Not a whole lot. You go in expecting a cheap forgettable experience and the majority of the time that's exactly what you get. Thankfully 'Absence Of The Good' is actually decent. Here we find Caleb Barnes (Baldwin) as a Salt Lake City homicide detective trying to settle back into his job after losing his son. His wife is still somewhat shattered by it, but Caleb puts on a strong face and tries to move on. Naturally soon he and his partner become entangled in a series of murders who's linked nature only becomes apparent as they pick up the pieces, but it's time they can't afford as the killer continues to strike out at the innocent.

Now I know what you're thinking. At first glance 'Absence' seems like any other serial killer movie to come along. What sets it apart is it's tightly filmed, acted and shot. Never once does it become bogged down in overcomplicated plot / character points or try to be something it's not. It has something to say, gets in, says it, then leaves.

Stephen Baldwin turns in his usual self and while that has been a detractor in other movies for once his mannerisms don't sink the movie, but actually fit in nicely. With a supporting cast of Tyne Daly as a psychologist and Robert Knepper strong as Caleb's partner. Under the direction of John Flynn (who also directed 1987's Best Seller - one of my favorite sleeper films) the story is somewhat slow going, but it builds to a fine end that hits the right note. For a low budget DTV television movie starring Stephen Baldwin of all people - the results are decent.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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