Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Clearing


There’s a paradox at work here, or at least a big inconsistency. People are all the time complaining that most thrillers follow a formula so rigid that you can predict, almost to the minute, where a particular tired scene will happen. So when one comes along that doesn’t follow the mold, that goes off in directions you don’t expect … nobody goes to see it. This film pulled in less than 6 million dollars. I can barely remember any publicity for it, despite the fact that it stars Robert Redford. What the hell happened to it? It died at the box office, that’s what. Because it didn’t get any publicity? Because the same critics who complain about cookie-cutter plots gave it tepid reviews? I don’t know. All I know is, it started out as a kidnapping movie, and I figured I knew each step along the way … and I was wrong. It explores the emotional toll more than the manufactured thrills and spills you expect, and I can’t even hint at the ending without ruining it for you. I recommend it.