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The Clearing | 2004 | R | - 4.5.5

Robert Redford and Helen Mirren star as Wayne and Eileen, a middle-aged couple that has seemingly made a success of their car rental business, as well as their lives. But when a desperate man (Willem Dafoe) kidnaps Wayne, Eileen finds her home full of FBI agents and her life under scrutiny. At the same time, while walking through deserted woods the kidnapper and Wayne, become acquainted and talk about the missteps each man has made in his life. Also with Alessandro Nivola and Matt Craven. Directed by Pieter Jan Brugge. [1:31]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man leans over his wife who's lying in bed, and they speak tenderly to each other. A man and his wife sleep in bed together. We hear that a man has had an extramarital affair with another woman, a woman confronts another woman about having had an affair with her husband, and a man questions a woman about her husband's extra-marital affair. Men and women dance together in a couple of scenes, and a man dips a woman in one scene. A man makes an allusion to the fact that he and his wife cannot have sexual relations because their newborn sleeps in their bed with them. A woman sits in a bathtub (we see her bare shoulders and knees). A woman wears a bathing suit that reveals cleavage and bare legs, a woman wears a bikini that reveals cleavage, her bare abdomen and bare legs. A woman wears a low-cut, tight-fitting sweater that reveals cleavage and her bare abdomen, and a woman wears a low-cut, tight-fitting sweater that reveals cleavage. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A man urinates behind a tree (we see him reaching for his zipper, then hear him close his zipper).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man is shot, and we see him jerk forward when he is hit. Two men tussle over a cell phone, one shoves the other to the ground, he hits his head on the ground and we see a bloody gash on his eyebrow. A package is opened that contains a ketchup bottle with blood in it. A man points a gun at another man, cocks it and then shoots into a tree. We see a man in a car trunk with tape over his mouth, and another man opens the trunk and holds a gun on him. A man shoves a man's head against a car window and binds his wrists together. A man runs away from a man, he slips and slides down a hillside, the other man follows with a gun, the first man tackles him, and holds him on the ground by the throat until he lies motionless. A man holds a gun on a man and makes him drive, and then makes him walk through woods. A woman walks along a dark road, she is frightened, she hears noises in the woods around her, and she calls for her husband. We see blood being drawn from a man's arm. There is a constant sense of foreboding and tension when the kidnapper and the victim walk through the woods for an extended period of time. A man runs and sobs uncontrollably. A man talks about the death of his father. A woman files a missing persons report and says that the police told her "they were going to check the river" (suggesting that the person may have committed suicide). A man urinates behind a tree.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 2 F-words, 2 scatological terms, 2 mild obscenities, 4 religious profanities.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown smoking and drinking alcohol.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family, love, admiration, wasted lives, extramarital affairs, marriage, kidnapping, ransom, downsizing, disappointment, disgruntled employees, desperation, death of a parent.

MESSAGE - After all is said and done, knowing that somebody loves you can be all you really need.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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