5.9/10
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146 user 110 critic

The Clearing (2004)

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As an executive is held captive by an employee, it's up to his wife to deliver the ransom.

Director:

Pieter Jan Brugge

Writers:

Pieter Jan Brugge (story), Justin Haythe (story) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Wayne Hayes
Helen Mirren ... Eileen Hayes
Willem Dafoe ... Arnold Mack
Alessandro Nivola ... Tim Hayes
Matt Craven ... Agent Ray Fuller
Melissa Sagemiller ... Jill Hayes
Wendy Crewson ... Louise Miller
Larry Pine ... Tom Finch
Diana Scarwid ... Eva Finch
Elizabeth Ruscio ... Cindy Mack
Gwen McGee ... Agent Kathleen Duggan
Sarah Koskoff ... Lane Hayes
Graciela Marin ... Graciela
Mike Pniewski ... Detective Kyle Woodward
Geoff McKnight ... John Dewitt
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Storyline

After decades of happy marriage and a life surrounded by luxury and wealth, Wayne Hayes, a successful car-rental businessman and his loving wife Eileen, are looking forward to a tranquil and comfortable retirement. However, the dreams of a peaceful life will eventually crumble like a pack of cards, when at gunpoint, Arnold Mack, a disgruntled former employee, will abduct Wayne in broad daylight right in front of his mansion in Pittsburgh. Suddenly, the life of the accomplished entrepreneur and seasoned negotiator rests entirely in the hands of his nervous, yet ruthless kidnapper who has nothing to lose and everything to gain. This is Wayne's most important negotiation in his life, nevertheless, has he the strength to succeed? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One Kidnapping... Three Victims. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secretos de un secuestro See more »

Filming Locations:

Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$618,674, 4 July 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,763,875, 10 October 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the fight scene in the woods, Willem Dafoe actually cracked a rib when Robert Redford's stunt double Dan Shea rammed into him, tackling him to the ground during the shooting. See more »

Goofs

When Wayne is leaving the table by the pool, he picks up his jacket. In the next scene just a second later, he picks up the ball to the throw to the dog and his jacket is on. There is no way he would have had time to put on his jacket. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Wayne Hayes: Do you love me?
Eileen Hayes: Yes.
Wayne Hayes: Then I have everything I need.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For ALAN J. PAKULA See more »

Connections

Featured in Six Feet Under: The Dare (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Waste of good talent
13 March 2005 | by secordmanSee all my reviews

I wanted to like this film, and certainly there is room for a psychological character-driven movie which doesn't go for the cheap thrills. Yet, for the enjoyment of a movie, one requires a believable plot, some pacing and editing, and a feeling of involvement. In The Clearing, what starts out as an intriguing mystery, with a kidnapping and unknown motives, turns into a slow draggy pointless exercise. Nothing much really happens, and the so-called character-driven angles (as expressed by the director in his commentary) really don't add up to much.

Fine actors are wasted here. Robert Redford does his best trying to engage and outwit Willem Dafoe. Dafoe brings a bit of nuance to his character, insofar as one can feel somewhat sympathetic towards him. It's unfortunate that Dafoe has been typecast as a villain, he's gone into the Christopher Walken Hall of Fame of Typecasting.

Wendy Crewson is usually good but her character's entry into the movie was brief and contrived, and I was wondering why they even bothered to introduce her character. By far the biggest waste of talent was Helen Mirren. In the director's commentary, all I heard was how fabulous a talent she is. I agree, she's a great actress. Then why was she not used properly? Only towards the climax of this movie does she get to show herself, but by then the viewer has quit caring.

Too bad, I liked parts of this movie, but as another reviewer wrote, once you're halfway in you know the film is not going to get much better.


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