The Clearing

Rated 2.0 Self-made Pittsburgh millionaire Wayne Hayes (Robert Redford) gets kidnapped by hard-luck case and corporate grunt Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe). While the two men trek through a lush forest, Hayes’ wife, Eileen (recent Calendar Girls star Helen Mirren), tries to maintain her composure as the FBI moves into her home and awaits ransom demands. One agent (Matt Craven) pokes into a dark corner of the Hayes marriage while the relationship between Arnold and Wayne evolves into a microcosmic confrontation between this country’s haves and have-nots. Director and co-writer Pieter Jan Brugge gives this life-and-death study no emotional life of its own as the methodically understated screenplay branches into two related but parallel narratives encased in two very distinct time frames.