The Missing (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Missing (2003)

The Missing (2003)

The Missing



Critic Consensus: An expertly acted and directed Western. But like other Ron Howard features, the movie is hardly subtle.

The Missing Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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.more
Rating: R (for violence)
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Ken Kaufman, Kenneth Kaufman, Akiva Goldsman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 24, 2004
Box Office: $26.8M
Sony Pictures Entertainment - Official Site


Tommy Lee Jones
as Samuel Lee
Cate Blanchett
as Maggie Gilkeson
Evan Rachel Wood
as Lilly Gilkeson
Jenna Boyd
as Dot Gilkeson
Aaron Eckhart
as Brake Baldwin
Val Kilmer
as Lt. Jim Ducharme
Steve Reevis
as Two Stone
Jay Tavare
as Kayitah
Ray McKinnon
as Rusell J. Wintick
Max Perlich
as Isaac Edgerly
Ramon Frank
as Grummond
Deryle J. Lujan
as Naazhaao (Hunter)
Matthew E. Montoya
as Tsi Beoyuao (Blowing...
Joe Saenz
as Mba'tsu-Naabitin (Wo...
Gandi Shaw
as Izhashe (Bird)
Rod Rondeaux
as Hudlao (The One Who ...
Juddson Linn
as Chauaiao (Evening Ti...
Alvin William "Dutch...
as Aii Sionzilo (Wild H...
Josephine Swann
as Baby Sally
Alexandra Eisch
as Baby Sally
Yolanda Nez
as Aii Dahit'eeo
Heather Gulas
as Captive Girl
Scarlett McAlister
as Captive Girl
Aura Jensen-Curtis
as Captive Girl
Shelby Kocurek
as Captive Girl
Molly McAlister
as Captive Girl
Angelina C. Torres
as Esmerelda Nunez
Deborah Martinez
as Maria Nunez
Clint Howard
as Sheriff Purdy
Rance Howard
as Telegraph Operator
Arron Shiver
as Rancher
David Midthunder
as Apache Scout
Paul Scallan
as Stokley
Jerry King
as Drunk Soldier
Jim Tarwater
as Drunk Soldier
Clemente Spottedhors...
as Captured Apache
Brian Brown
as Mexican Slave Trader
Toby Holguin
as Mexican Slave Trader
Eddie Fernandez
as Mexican Slave Trader
Eddie J. Fernandez
as Mexican Slave Trader...
Jason Rodriguez
as Mexican Slave Trader
Cliff Happy
as Mr. Jones Stunt Doub...
Rio Alexander
as Mr. Schweig Stunt Do...
Robert Harman
as Macy Devenport
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Missing

Critic Reviews for The Missing

All Critics (183) | Top Critics (44)

Even Cate Blanchett can't save this misbegotten horse opera.

December 12, 2003
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 10, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

The rawest, scariest, most nerve-rattling saddlebags-and- sagebrush saga since Robert Mulligan's The Stalking Moon.

December 4, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

a monotonous, dreary, wretched kitchen sink drama from post-Civil War New Mexico

Full Review… | January 12, 2016
Fat Guys at the Movies

Ron Howard's vividly gritty and brutally arresting Western is a powerfully effective piece of work.

Full Review… | August 1, 2014
The Moving Picture Show

A disappointment; relentlessly bleak and brutal.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for The Missing

A good movie if you like your westerns without a lot of fluff. Maggie's older daughter is kidnapped by a creepy native psychopath, and it is up to Maggie and her father (who she detests) to save her. As well as dealing with the kidnappers, the relationship between Maggie and her dad must be settled. There is a lot going on in this movie.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Not even with the names in this movie can keep me awake during this long uninteresting and uncaptivating movie!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

I am prompted to write this review because I've seen so many negative reviews of The Missing, while personally I enjoyed it and believe it can be defended as at least a good film. It's a modern western, a gripping, chilling adventure, in the vein of John Ford's The Searchers but not so epic in scope or tone. The Missing is beautifully shot and brutal at times, a dark, supernatural spin on the western genre, non-traditional even more with a dominant heroine. This type of tale; white girls kidnapped by ruthless Indians prompting a desperate pursuit and siege, has been done before, but this take is fresh.

I believe the cast to be excellent, and I appreciate director Ron Howard's approach to the characters. Cate Blanchett is the heroine, effective, tough, and believable. Tommy Lee Jones' character is less effective but no less interesting. He's colorful; he adds expertise, but his heavy baggage and decades-long neglect negate any real leadership potential. Blanchett is the dominant force, and the father-daughter dynamic back-story adds some depth.

The Indian sorcerer character, played by Eric Schweig, is brutal and riveting. He's the most frightening character I remember since Hannibal Lecter. His performance is unforgettable, Oscar-caliber.

The Missing isn't perfect, but it is an excellent addition to the modern western alongside: Unforgiven, 3:10 to Yuma, and Purgatory. This story has been criticized for being improbable and melodramatic, but from what I've read, Ron Howard insisted on authenticity throughout the film making process. Call the story unbelievable, so suspend a little disbelief here and go along for the ride. You'll enjoy it.

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

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