The Clearing Reviews

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July 28, 2004
[I]t remains a mystery why anyone thought that this was a story that needed to be told, or who they thought would be engaged by the problems of these bland, distant people.
July 21, 2004
There's no urgency in the execution and no point to the resolution -- all in all, a major disappointment for those seeking cinematic sanctuary.
July 21, 2004
By the time The Clearing was over, my single greatest feeling was: Why did anyone want to make this movie?
July 21, 2004
July 21, 2004
Man, aren't WASPs boring? The movie's simply not deep enough to be an art film, and nowhere near entertaining enough to pass itself off as a satisfying thriller.
July 20, 2004
An enterprising but ultimately unsatisfying exercise that promises quite a lot, but delivers very little.
July 19, 2004
Though performed impeccably by everyone involved, the film's wall of conceit makes for neither a gripping nor suspenseful viewing.
July 18, 2004
A mature, character-based film in which kidnapping is the story, but the people are the substance.
July 16, 2004
Despite strong intentions and even stronger performances, The Clearing's shallow narrative fails to delve deeply into either of its commendable themes.
July 16, 2004
The pacing here might be perceived as too slow by audiences expecting something different, but it's quietly effective.
July 16, 2004
Unfortunately, suffering in silence -- even when you're doing it as marvelously as Mirren does -- doesn't make for terribly exciting cinema.
July 16, 2004
...the dullest kidnapping-for-ransom drama ever conceived
July 16, 2004
The Clearing deftly blends three great performances and an intricate character study into a quietly powerful film.
July 16, 2004
A poorly paced kidnapping drama that seems to think it's so prestigious that it doesn't need to generate much suspense.
July 15, 2004
The Clearing, rather fuzzy in so many ways, is an incredibly slow-moving exercise in tedium.
July 15, 2004
Brugge has built a character-driven piece that is as sturdy as it spare.
July 13, 2004
Don't go in expecting a thriller and you might be happily surprised...
July 13, 2004
Well acted, with an accumulative sense of novelistic detail, but it doesn't quite fully connect.
July 12, 2004
Robert Redford brings to the screen a perfect couple, Wayne and Eileen Hayes.
July 12, 2004
The audience ends up identifying with the privileged wine-drinker (Reford) and rooting against the underclass cereal-eater (Dafoe)...
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