The Clearing Reviews

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December 28, 2010
Good performances almost make it worthwhile.
April 1, 2006
August 1, 2004
A thriller stripped of thrills -- or, even worse, a thriller that thinks of itself as somehow rising above the vulgar pleasures of excitement.
July 11, 2004
The easy give-and-take between Redford and Mirren early in the film is flawlessly realistic, but even that couldn't stem the tide of this reviewer's yawns.
July 9, 2004
An intriguing but dramatically stunted psychological thriller about a kidnapping.
Top Critic
July 9, 2004
Everything about it is stultifying, unexceptional and dull.
July 9, 2004
It's watchable only if you don't mind that there isn't a shock, a surprise or a message in its 91 minutes.
July 9, 2004
A kidnapping drama that may be too intentionally low-key to qualify as a thriller but that accrues weight and tension as it makes its way through a forest of repressed emotion.
July 8, 2004
Redford and Dafoe have all the fun, but Mirren exhibits the most talent.
July 8, 2004
The film is written, directed and enacted with palpable intelligence. But intelligence can seem dull if unleavened by wit or excitement.
July 8, 2004
What had been an intelligent and intriguing thriller loses its bearing, its momentum and, eventually, its audience.
July 3, 2004
Some nice writing and a commitment to craftsmanship are evident, but the voltage here is simply too low to engage us.
July 3, 2004
The Clearing needed the firm hand of a Hollywood insubordinate, not a sycophant.
July 2, 2004
The acting was very effective...
July 2, 2004
We are lured into the woods brimming with expectations, but ultimately, we find ourselves looking for the wrong sort of clearing: a way out.
July 2, 2004
It stays in character, small, human, bitter and sad.
July 2, 2004
This is one of those moderately engrossing movies that seems to collapse all at once during the wrap-up, yet it's well-acted all around, especially by its star, who once again reminds us why audiences have liked him for 40 years.
July 2, 2004
You want to see this one for the acting.
July 2, 2004
It's still worth a look, for the pleasures of Mirren's peerlessly dry performance.
July 2, 2004
The brilliance of The Clearing lies in its ability to tell parallel stories and make both equally riveting.
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