Mr. Howard keeps the emotional temperature of the family reunion as chilly as possible, but it's clear that the father-daughter relationship is the core of the drama, and the rest is all time-consuming digressions.
A potent look at the harsh realities of frontier life and the disillusionment of the pioneer dream, framed in appropriately spare, unadorned widescreen compositions ... that is, until the movie gives way to a wholly unnecessary strain of witchcraft.
A terrific setup, full of inviting genre familiarity and modern tension, borrowed from the novel of the same name. And then, as that mouthy teenager goes lost in an Apache raid, so does the movie itself.
However bogged down by predictable story rhythms, banally assembled shoot-outs, and climactic mano a mano, The Missing has an acidic period tone, a respect for the reality of violence, and a refreshing dearth of superhuman heroics and easy triumph.