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Stolen Lives (2009)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,735 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 32 user | 25 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A detective deals with the loss of his own son while trying to uncover the identity of a boy whose mummified remains are found in a box buried for fifty years.

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Title: Stolen Lives (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom Adkins Sr.
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Matthew Wakefield
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Barbara
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Diploma / Rogianni
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Lea Adkins
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Rose Montgomery
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Jonas
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William Daniels
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Swede
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Police Chief
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Officer JJ
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Pete Dunne
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Storyline

A detective deals with the loss of his own son while trying to uncover the identity of a boy whose mummified remains are found in a box buried for fifty years.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Secrets from the past don't stay buried.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

10 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stolen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,391 (USA) (19 March 2010)

Gross:

$7,306 (USA) (2 April 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Glenn Taranto wrote his first draft of the screenplay, originally titled "The Boy in the Box", in six days over a two week period. He was inspired by the famous unsolved case of "America's Unknown Child" aka The Boy In The Box. Working backwards Glenn created an original scenario detailing how such an unsolved crime might have occurred. Should anyone have any information regarding the real "Boy In The Box" case they are encouraged to contact the Philadelphia, PA Police Department. See more »

Goofs

We see the box being buried in concrete, yet when the box is being dug up it is just buried under earth. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tom Adkins Sr.: He has his mother's eyes. Her hair. My face, my laugh. First time I held him I knew he was my son. The best of me and his mother. I can still see his eyes light up watching those fireworks. I gave him everything a father can give a son. And now with all this searching, being a cop, being a father, I still can't find my boy.
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User Reviews

Intense character study with nice touches of surrealism
6 December 2011 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The plot is pretty simple: a man who is searching for his lost son gets wrapped up in a parallel mystery from 50 years earlier. It isn't intended to be a Hitchcockian thriller with lots of action, twists & turns, but instead it's a great character study into the mind of a man who borders on obsession. It asks the questions: when are we supposed to let go, and if we do pursue closure, at what cost? Over the course of his many-year investigation, the man's life becomes a total mess, and in that respect we see some interesting parallels with the excellent Clint Eastwood film "In the Line of Fire" (about a secret service agent who fails to save JFK and who is tasked with foiling a similar assassination decades later). Both films ask us what is the difference between perseverance and obsession? The answer, even after the credits roll, is up to you.

Something I really liked about this film is the way the director used surrealism to blend the two timelines, 1958 and 2008. Scenes would blend seamlessly from one to the other. For example, there's one shot in a bar where the camera flows through the room beginning in 2008 and ending in 1958 without any cuts. This subtle style, in addition to the underlying mystery of the whole story, forces the audience to keep on their toes.

The basic plot is pretty straightforward, but there are a lot of background questions & themes that are not as obvious. These questions give the film substance. Religion is a minor theme that crops up visually in the form of crucifixes and subtle lighting effects. Guilt is another subtle yet powerful theme. I also sense a bit of existentialism in that the heroes are subjected to some rotten luck without any apparent rhyme or reason, and it is only through the individuals' strength of character that they manage to make it through the day. In all, there's a ton of stuff going on, and if you like your films to be full of philosophy and questions of morality, this will be a real treat for you.

Other great films worth checking out are "Changeling" (2008) about a woman searching for her lost son, "A Very Long Engagement" (2004) about a woman searching for a soldier reportedly killed in action, the aforementioned "In the Line of Fire" (1993) about a secret service agent trying to redeem himself for losing JFK, and a wonderful unknown gem called "Into Temptation" (2009) about a priest trying to find a suicidal confessor before it's too late.


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