5.9/10
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146 user 108 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.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Wayne Hayes
... Eileen Hayes
... Arnold Mack
... Tim Hayes
... Agent Ray Fuller
... Jill Hayes
... Louise Miller
... Tom Finch
... Eva Finch
... Cindy Mack
... Agent Kathleen Duggan
... Lane Hayes
... Graciela
... Detective Kyle Woodward
... 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:

You only really know what you have when you're about to lose it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

16 July 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secretos de un secuestro  »

Filming Locations:

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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 »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

During Wayne and Eileen's breakfast by the pool, while Wayne is trying to teach the dog to jump in the pool, the orange juice level in her glass changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Agent Ray Fuller: Describe your husband
[Robert Redford]
Eileen Hayes: Six foot tall...
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Crazy Credits

For ALAN J. PAKULA See more »

Connections

Referenced in Goedemorgen Nederland: Episode dated 21 October 2004 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Trout
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Courtesy of The Extreme Music Library plc
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User Reviews

 
Waste of good talent
13 March 2005 | by See 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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