The Clearing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Clearing Reviews

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January 1, 2018
I kept waiting for something to happen in this movie, and it never did. When it was all said and done, it felt like a big waste of time.
July 30, 2017
So the movie is essentially an exploration of marriages, love, and fidelity. Wayne's, Arnold's, and to a lesser extent, Wayne's son, all had issues with their marriages. If you look at it from that perspective, instead of the advertised kidnapping thriller, the movie is a little better. The cast is fantastic. I would say Dafoe, Mirren, and Redford, in that order. Dafoe is the best I've ever seen him and Mirren can steal an entire scene with one little lip curl. Redford is of course Redford.
*** spoilers***
There are no twists, no turns, no surprises. Dafoe gamely tries to portray a nice guy who has been abused by capitalism (for want of a better word) while Reford has benefitted from it. The ridiculous choking of Arnold by Wayne, and the ensuing magical finding of the gun, Redford hanging around nd staring into the trees made my peeps laugh out load. Maybe Redford agreed with the guy and wanted to make amends for something, who knows;'but it came off silly. So the ending is only dumb if you think you are watching a kidnapping thriller. The end came because Redford had come to grips with his betrayal or his wife. Worth a watch, but don't expect a thriller...
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2017
Lacking car chases, explosions, gun shoot-outs, a sex scene, and most of the typical hallmarks of most of the typical thrillers, what remains is the slow dawning realization that one may not get the typical summation that one has been trained to look for. The actors seem happy to present that as well, a refreshing change from the typical, and perhaps a look at the reality of these situations. Excellent work.
April 27, 2017
It's a slow train stopping at every crossroad.
October 10, 2015
A Bit Slow, although great Dialog.Disappointing Ending,Disappointing Movie, even with some of my favorite actors in it.
July 29, 2015
Great cast in a admirable movie that bores one to tears.
June 22, 2014
No jaa, ei oikeastaan pöllömpi (kidnappaus)leffa sateisena sunnuntai-iltana kissan vieressä kynttilänvalossa ja villasukat jalassa katsottavaksi...
½ May 28, 2014
Good cast can't surmount the ordinary screenplay.
½ March 1, 2014
This movie could have been told better
February 9, 2014
Despite the cast and the "short" running time, the film meanders and feels long than 95 minutes and that can't be good
½ January 9, 2014
Una película de tres buenos actores, cada uno viviendo el drama del secuestro a su manera
December 31, 2013
An exercice of style this film is suffocating because centers on only two guys, a wealthy businessman and his kidnaper.
October 28, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013

(2004) The Clearing

What can I say, that although it's a great cast, it's still a terrible film which is a very routine kidnapping story leaving viewers still scratching their heads on the duration of the final 10 minutes. The movie is co-produced, co-written and directed by Pieter Jan Brugge starring Robert Redford as Wayne Hayes who's somewhat financially successful at doing something. As he's about to leave his driveway, he's then taken prisoner by Arnold (William Dafoe) for a ransom. Helen Mirren plays Wayne's wife and gives into Arnold's demands while reminiscent about her life.

(If you don't want to read spoils then stop reading since it's a strictly by the book kind of film with no surprises)

As Arnold (Dafoe) is forcing Wayne to walk many miles and miles through the forest. Redford's wife played by Helen Mirren is considering on paying the ransom. Except that viewers are totally oblivious during the times that happened since Dafoe has no car nor no other means of transportation to walking back this quickly into town, therefore this is the first contradiction. Viewers then find out later that Arnold (Dafoe) has always been working for himself and that he lied to Wayne and still had the audacity to kill him in cold blood even though Wayne was an all around nice guy which is contradiction #2. When Arnold was looking out at the open while Wayne escaped, who somehow had the opportunity to choke Arnold to death(who had every right to do this) but chose not to was one the most stupidest things I had ever saw anyone had ever done since Arnold was going to kill him anyway once picking up his gun which Wayne didn't pick up while Arnold was lying on the ground was a contradiction #3. Viewers are then let hanging at the end wondering whether Arnold felt very bad for what he had done for the final scene has him looking at himself at those double mirrors while Wayne's wife is looking straight at him. Anyone hoping for a feel good movie is not going to get it from this film since I feel that the real victims who suffered are it's viewers who had to waste time watching this because we don't even get to see Wayne's body, nor understand the why. If it wasn't for the performances my rating would've been much lower since I can't relate to the Redford character's actions at all, and as a result lost total credibility.

2 out of 4 stars
October 19, 2013
Dafoe and Redford deserves something better than this together.
½ October 3, 2013
Tried to be more than it ended up to be
September 5, 2013
This movie was only as "emotionally detached" as the viewer. I thought it was an excellent movie, affective and cerebral. The 45 Tesla is no match for Helen Mirren.
½ August 20, 2013
Excellent cast, but the fact it was portrayed as a thriller with no suspenseful conclusion was a let down. Interesting the way they shot the film.
June 30, 2013
Not overly great. Great performances and a great ending saves it from being a bad movie.
June 27, 2013
2013-06-27 well acted but slow, and the two storylines didn't seem to be in sync - confusing.
June 13, 2013
Since when are kidnappers so polite?
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