The Clearing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Clearing Reviews

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½ January 20, 2013
Based on a true story of a kidnapping that occurred in The Netherlands.
December 8, 2012
Way too much silent footage in the forest is unreal and does not lend to the 'thriller image' making an effort to be seen. I was not 'thrilled' at all, the supposed suspense just really never happeed.
December 7, 2012
Could be worth watching. Will find and devour with my eyes!
December 2, 2012
I found this to be mostly tedious and boring.
December 2, 2012
I found this to be mostly tedious and boring.
½ December 1, 2012
Redford and Dafoe were good...but..
½ November 29, 2012
Despite having an amazing cast, I felt this film never picked up pace and never delivered. While I struggled to watch this, I found the writing simply bad.
½ October 18, 2012
A more of a drama film, than thriller. It had too much talking and love themes, and no suspense until the last hour. It also didn't make sense (just like its title). I really didn't get this film. And the ending was very anti-climactic. It was also a quite of a B-ish movie.
September 7, 2012
Saw "The Clearing" on DVD tonight. I thought it was just OK, a relentlessly somber and exceptionally uneventful telling of a very unfortunate set of circumstances. A very good acting piece for all three of its three stars. It is definitely NOT a high action thriller. The test of a really great movie for me though is, would I ever want to watch it again? The answer on this one is no. I also thought there were a few logic defying facts. My wife loved it, but of course she loves everything with Robert Redford in it.
August 28, 2012
Don't watch this movie. The whole time I did I couldn't get HIMYM's Jason Segel's quote. His name sounds like an arguement between a bird and a frog. willem.... DAFOE!!!
Super Reviewer
½ July 16, 2012
Much better than I'd anticipated, not the biggest fan of Helen Mirran nor Robert Redford and yet both gave enjoyable performances.
April 23, 2012
A very slow moving suspense movie that I actually kinda liked for some reason. Perhaps I was influenced by the great cast? Redford, Defoe, Mirren? Too awesome. But I'm not normally influenced by the presence of great actors. Why did I like this movie that no one else seemed to? It was far from perfect. Especially how it all played out. It was pretty easy to see where it was headed, although it took me longer to catch on than it should have. Maybe I just liked how different it was than so many modern movies that seem to be in a contest over who's the loudest and prettiest. It really was an incredibly simple story. A very rich man gets kidnapped and held hostage. Family is upset. FBI gets involved. Kidnapper has a story of his own. Simple. *shrugs*
April 14, 2012
Very boring thriller where the annoying piano works overtime because it's the only thing trying to give any suspense. But I gave it a 1 instead of 1 1/2 because the piano music is terrible.
March 26, 2012
The plot is just an excuse for the actors to go head to head leaving you with a somewhat entertained experience.
March 14, 2012
Wow!! seems people hate this movie, but if you can honestly fault the acting then tell me now. The lovely Helen Mirren nearly out-acted Defoe and Redford. Actually, maybe she did. I'm sorry, but because of the acting and the story this deserves to be in my favourites. It's a brilliant film.
March 11, 2012
The Clearing is not a typical thriller in the way that is doesn't focus too much on plot developments. Redford, Dafoe and Mirren are well suited to their roles and give a good performance. The characters of both Wayne and Arnold are developed successfully over the course of the film which allows you to vaguely understand Wayne's kidnapping. The best aspect is the structure - both plot lines are inter-twined with one another, disguising the differences in time with great effectiveness at the end. The misleading nature creates suspense in an engaging way that holds your attention for the duration of the film. However, the downfall of the film is that it's terribly predictable which does take away some of the suspense Brugge creates. The film does progress at a slow pace but it is a compelling film nonetheless.
February 28, 2012
See Robert. See Willem. See Robert and Willem walk into a forest. See Robert and Willem proceed to put you to sleep. In short, a fantastic waste of phenomenal talent. Hope the craft service was yummy...
½ February 8, 2012
This is a movie that had a lot 2 say 2 anyone who can relate 2 these situations. Its a good script with good actors but the ending is really the best part.
½ December 10, 2011
Thought this would be better, especially considering the talented cast. Just a run of the mill kidnapping tale. Thumbs down!
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2011
This little 2004 drama is a slow-burn thriller about a successful businessman (Redford) who is one day kidnapped and held for ransom by a former employee (Dafoe). Once word gets out about the abduction, it is up to the businessman's wife (Mirren) to deliver the ransom.

The ideas going on, and the way they are executed is kinda alrighr, and this had the potential to be really good. However, the film ultimately faisl to deliver a product that is as compelling as it could be. The film is edited in a way to make it seem that all the events are happening simultaneously, when in reality this isn't quite the case.

I kinda liked this idea, but with the way it plays out, I think the film would have ultimately been far better and stronger had they just told it in a more straightforward fashion, with greater emphasis on motives, characters, and that kind of thing. All of that is there, but it seems a little weak. Maybe I should just try to overlook that though since this was Pieter Jan Brugge's first film as a director.

There are things I liked about it. The casting is good, and they give pretty decent performances. The film has a good atmosphere and tone, and there are some parts that are really suspenseful and done quite well. I was never bored watching the film, yet it left me a little unfulfilled and wondering why the people behind the film made the decisions they did.

Despite it's problems and the fact that it ultimately isn't a successful movie, you can tell they tried to make it good. The psychological elements are nice, too. I don't really ultimately recommend it, yet I still kinda liked it, or at least some it, or the concepts.

I wantd this to be good, and even though it's not, it does come fairly close.
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