|Columbia Pictures | Release Date: November 19, 2003||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Improbable and, at times, sadistic, but, considered as a piece of direction, this Western, set in New Mexico in 1885, is as confident as anything that Ron Howard has done. [8 December 2003, p. 139]
The movie runs into its deepest trouble with its depiction of Lilly's captors. After years of Hollywood wooden Indians and a more recent run of tribal angels (as in "Dances With Wolves"), movies like "The Last of the Mohicans" have acknowledged the historical truth that Native Americans could be as bloody-minded as their white conquerors. Read full review
However bogged down by predictable story rhythms, banally assembled shoot-outs, and climactic mano a mano, The Missing has an acidic period tone, a respect for the reality of violence, and a refreshing dearth of superhuman heroics and easy triumph. For that much, we should be grateful. Read full review
If you're able to take The Missing seriously, as I was not, you'll be impressed by its sweep and ambition. The most lasting impression it made on me was one of absurd overreaching.
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