Critic Reviews



Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Rolling Stone
The pleasures of this endeavor, directed with a keen eye for detail by Pieter Jan Brugge, come from what the actors bring to the material.
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 interest, much less the urgent excitement a kidnapping story might be expected to trigger.
Village Voice
Kidnapping movies invariably crescendo to a fever pitch of procedural complexity. At a terse 91 minutes, The Clearing offers the reverse, a movie that only grows more conceptually minimal as the clock ticks down.
Entertainment Weekly
The Clearing is what's known in the biz as an alternative for adult moviegoers. Which is to say the film is a performance-driven drama devoid of special effects and loud noises. On the contrary, it's a meditation on midlife weaknesses and compensation.
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.
The Hollywood Reporter
The real problem is that Brugge and Haythe fail to satisfactorily pull off either the thriller or the marital deconstruction.
Film Threat
As austere as the unflappable Mr. Redford, The Clearing is an enterprising but ultimately unsatisfying exercise that promises quite a lot, but delivers very little.
Wants to be at any given moment--wrenching, thought-provoking, surprising, heartbreaking--all it ever is is tastefully lifeless. It’s been beaten into a coma by its own scruples.
The A.V. Club
It never adds up to much. There's a fair amount of fine acting (with that cast, how could there not be?), but it's in the service of a story that bubbles without ever boiling.
Chicago Tribune
Just an OK thriller, full of standard scenarios and cookie-cutter characters.

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