In 1885 New Mexico, a frontier medicine woman forms an uneasy alliance with her estranged father when her daughter is kidnapped by an Apache brujo.


Ron Howard


Thomas Eidson (novel), Ken Kaufman (screenplay)
4,489 ( 1,163)
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Samuel Jones
Cate Blanchett ... Magdalena Gilkeson
Evan Rachel Wood ... Lilly Gilkeson
Jenna Boyd ... Dot Gilkeson
Aaron Eckhart ... Brake Baldwin
Val Kilmer ... Lt. Jim Ducharme
Sergio Calderón ... Emiliano
Eric Schweig ... Chidin
Steve Reevis ... Two Stone
Jay Tavare ... Kayitah
Simon Baker ... Honesco
Ray McKinnon ... Russell J. Wittick
Max Perlich ... Isaac Edgerly
Ramon Frank Ramon Frank ... Grummond
Deryle J. Lujan Deryle J. Lujan ... Naazhaao - Hunter


In 19th-century New Mexico, a father (Tommy Lee Jones) comes back home, hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie (Cate Blanchett). Maggie's daughter is kidnapped, forcing father and estranged daughter to work together to get her back. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How far would you go, how much would you sacrifice to get back what you have lost?

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Ron Howard and Val Kilmer previously worked together in Willow (1988). See more »


After finding the photographer's wagon, an owl is seen sitting in a tree. As the owl flies away the sound of wings flapping is heard, When an owl flies, the wings are totally silent. See more »


Maggie: Why didn't you stay?
Samuel: [long pause] There's an Apache story about a man that woke up one morning and saw a hawk on the wind. Walked outside and never returned. After he died he met his wife in the spirit world. She asked him why he never came home, he said "Well, the hawk kept flying".
Samuel: There's always the next something, Maggie. And that will take a man away.
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Alternate Versions

Although the film was shot in the Super 35 format for 2.39:1 and protected for 1.33:1, the VHS and the Full Screen DVD mostly Pans and Scans as if it were shot in Anamorphic Widescreen instead of properly framing it for Full Frame as most Super 35 films are. Only a few shots in this movie were reframed properly. See more »


Referenced in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) See more »


The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
Lyrics by George Leybourne
Music by Gaston Lyle
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User Reviews

undistinguished western
29 August 2004 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Blandly directed by Ron Howard, `The Missing' is a grim, depressing western that strands Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones in two thoroughly uninteresting roles. Blanchett is a frontier doctor living on a ranch in 1885 New Mexico; Jones is her long lost daddy who left her as a child and has since adopted the Apache way of life. As the movie opens, he returns - in full Indian regalia - to bury the hatchet and make amends for his long absence. Blanchett wants nothing whatsoever to do with him, but when her oldest daughter is kidnapped to be sold into slavery in Mexico, Blanchett reluctantly enlists his aid in getting her back.

For all the high caliber talent both behind and in front of the camera, `The Missing' is a surprisingly mediocre, undistinguished film, plodding, overlong and faintly sadistic in character and tone. The relationship between father and daughter develops along predictable lines, with the initial antagonism softening to mutual respect and admiration through the course of the action. The many scenes involving the mistreatment of these helpless, innocent girls give the film a faintly distasteful air all the way through. Although the screenplay hews pretty close to reality most of the time, it occasionally wanders off into the realm of the supernatural as Indian shaman indulge in competing spells and Jones calls on some sort of bird spirit to get him out of trouble. These scenes serve merely to undercut the more realistic tone of the rest of the picture.

Jones and Blanchett give professional performances, but there really isn't much for them to work with here in terms of developing characters or making an emotional impact on the audience. `The Missing' feels pretty much like a walk through for everyone involved, a movie that will be quickly digested and quickly forgotten by the vast majority of the people who care enough to see it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

26 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Ride See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,833,633, 30 November 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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