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"THE MISSING"
(2003) (Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Extreme None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Heavy Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Suspense: A frontier woman reluctantly enlists the aid of her estranged father in hopes of rescuing her daughter who's been kidnapped by renegade Apaches intent on taking the teen to Mexico for sale.
PLOT:
It's 1885 and Maggie Gilkeson (CATE BLANCHETT) is trying to raise her two daughters, Lilly (EVAN RACHEL WOOD) and Dot (JENNA BOYD), on her New Mexico farm where her hired help, Brake Baldwin (AARON ECKHART) and another man, work.

Out of the blue, her long-estranged father, Jones (TOMMY LEE JONES), shows up one day hoping for reconciliation. Maggie wants no part of that, however, as she's never forgiven him for abandoning her when she was just a child. Thus, she sends him on his way and hopes the matter is behind her.

When several men are murdered and Lilly is kidnapped, however, Maggie is forced to ask Jones, who sees himself as an Indian, to help find her. With the army forces, led by Lt. Jim Ducharme (VAL KILMER), appearing incompetent and headed in the wrong direction, Jones agrees to lead Maggie and Dot in the rescue attempt.

Their task is daunting, however, since the renegade kidnappers are larger in number and are led by Pesh-Chidin (ERIC SCHWEIG), a former Apache scout for the army who's turned bad and supposedly wields supernatural powers. Eventually enlisting the aid of Indian acquaintance Kayitah (JAY TAVARE) and his adult son, Honesco (SIMON BAKER), Jones and Maggie hope to find and rescue Lilly before Pesh-Chidin and his men get to Mexico where they plan on selling Lilly and other kidnapped girls.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested in it, as might fans of anyone in the cast, but other kids will likely give this one a pass.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CATE BLANCHETT plays a single frontierswoman who's trying to raise her kids, is having a sexual relationship with hired help Brake, and then reluctantly joins forces with her estranged father who she can't stand to rescue Lilly.
  • TOMMY LEE JONES plays her estranged father, a white man who sees himself as an Indian. He wants to make amends for his past indiscretions and thus helps rescue Lilly. He uses some profanity.
  • EVAN RACHEL WOOD plays Maggie's teen or early twenty-something daughter who wants to leave home and feels her mom is holding her back from a modern day lifestyle.
  • JENNA BOYD plays her younger sister who feels she's old enough to handle anything and thus wants to go along on the rescue mission.
  • ERIC SCHWEIG plays the head kidnapper who wants to sell Lilly and other young women to the Mexicans. He and his men kill others in the process and he puts supernatural spells on others, including Maggie.
  • JAY TAVARE plays an old Indian friend of Jones who assists him and Maggie in battling the renegade Indians.
  • SIMON BAKER plays his young adult son who also helps.
  • AARON ECKHART plays the hired help who has a sexual relationship with Maggie.
  • VAL KILMER plays an Army lieutenant who proves to be worthless to Maggie in getting her kidnapped daughter back.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated suspense thriller. Profanity consists of several "s" words, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some brief and non-explicit sexually related talk is present, a couple is seen making out before implied sex and a dead man's nude butt is seen.

    Violence consists of many scenes of people fighting with or killing others via various means and with varying degrees of bloody results (sometimes quite a bit). Some of those scenes and others - including some kidnapping material and a near drowning - may be unsettling, suspenseful or even frightening to some viewers. The villains obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes, while others (including prejudice) are present.

    Tense family material is present (including deaths and estrangement), while some characters drink, one smokes and some imitative behavior occurs. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jones drinks from a flask.
  • The local sheriff talks about finding Jones drunk.
  • Some of the kidnappers drink liquor and appear intoxicated.
  • A drunken kidnapper jokes that enough of what he's drinking will cause another man to start looking good to him. We later see them appear to be even more intoxicated.
  • Jones drinks some mescal, and Maggie later pours some on an injured man's wound and then takes a swig for herself.
  • Several kidnappers drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see Maggie sitting in an outhouse when Dot opens the door, but we don't see anything else other than her crumpling up some paper to use as toilet paper.
  • We see a little bit of blood after Maggie pulls a tooth from a woman's mouth.
  • We see Lilly gutting a deer and see some blood on its open skin.
  • Jones has some scars on his body.
  • Maggie comes across a nude, dead body lying face down in the woods (we see the bare butt), with arrows sticking out of the man's body with bloody results (she also spots a dead and bloody cow). She then discovers a large, hanging sack that's slowly rotating. She then sees a dead and bloody man stuffed into that partially open sack.
  • We see a bloody line from a dead, older woman's mouth. A person then grabs a man and scrapes a chicken claw (laced with rattlesnake poison) across the man's neck and face (with a little resultant blood).
  • Pesh-Chidin blows some sort of dust into a kidnapped photographer's eyes, eventually causing partial blindness, bleeding and death (we later see the dead body with blood from the eyes).
  • Lilly has some blood on her hands.
  • We see a bloody deer that's been gutted.
  • Dot encounters a dead and bloody man.
  • Honesco has some blood on his clothing from an injury. We then see Maggie tending to and then stitching up the open and bloody wound.
  • We see Pesh-Chidin putting some of Maggie's hair down into the body of a headless snake.
  • Pesh-Chidin's men grab Jones and Pesh-Chidin then blows some sort of dust into his nose. The men then proceed to kick, knee and otherwise hit Jones before kicking him down a steep hill. As a result, Jones is somewhat bloody. We later see dried blood on his face.
  • A man is shot and then knifed several times before being hit and killed with several blows from a large club. All of that has bloody results.
  • We see a dead and bloody man lying on a boulder that has his blood on it.
  • Some horses run over an injured and bloody man, presumably killing him.
  • We see a dead man whose face is bloody.
  • A man hits the ground quite hard, resulting in blood flowing out from behind his head -- seen from a distance.
  • We see two dead men, one with a dried pool of blood in the dirt around him and another with some bloody scrapes on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • One of Maggie's workers immediately doesn't like Jones since he thinks he's an Apache.
  • Those who kidnap young women with the intent of selling them to Mexicans (and killing others in the process) obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes.
  • Some army soldiers loot a farm house.
  • Some viewers might not like the Indian-based, magical/supernatural material that's present in the film.
  • Maggie is prejudiced against all Indians, telling Dot to stay away from Honesco since "You don't know what diseases these people have."
  • Jones jokes with Kayitah, wondering if he still fools around with some "fat girl."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" might also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • We see an older woman with one remaining, infected tooth. Maggie decides it must be pulled and then has two others hold the woman down while she gets on top of her with a pair of pliers and yanks the tooth out (we see it occur, with a little bit of blood).
  • Maggie spots Dot's horse returning to the ranch. She panics, saddles up and then heads off to find her and see what happened. She then comes across a nude body lying face down in the woods (we see the bare butt), with arrows sticking out of the man's body with bloody results (she also spots a dead and bloody cow). She then slowly makes her way through the woods where she sees a large, hanging sack that's slowly rotating. She then sees a dead and bloody man stuffed into that partially open sack. She also finds Dot who's hysterical about hearing that last man's horrific screams (that we don't hear).
  • We see various rattlesnakes strung up in trees, with at least one of them being milked for its venom.
  • We see that the Indians have the young women bound and gagged in a cave.
  • As Lilly tries to protect an infant by getting over it, various kidnappers hit, kick and otherwise strike her.
  • Dot encounters a dead and bloody man as well as various rattlesnakes hanging from a tree.
  • As Maggie, Dot and Jones travel through a canyon at night in a thunderstorm, Dot is thrown from her horse. Jones goes to help her, but a massive flash flood arrives and sweeps them away. Dot's shoe then gets wedged in something below the surface and Jones races to save her as the flood waters rise and eventually go over her head.
  • Lilly manages to free herself and another kidnap victim and tries to sneak off, but the other girl makes noise that threatens to alert the kidnappers.
  • A distraught young mother, who's just learned that her infant is dead, takes a gun and shoots herself in the head (seen from a distance and with no blood).
  • A kidnapper tackles Lilly off a horse, struggles with her and holds a gun to her as he seems prepared to rape her for trying to escape (he's behind her working on her dress). That doesn't occur, however.
  • For those sensitive to such issues, there's also talk of a rape in the past.
  • Jones, Maggie and Dot prepare to ambush the kidnappers as they pass by, but Dot inadvertently gives away their surprise and location. They then take off and try to elude some men on horseback who race after them.
  • Maggie becomes feverish and increasingly sick, apparently due to a curse that Pesh-Chidin puts on her.
  • Kayitah tries to rescue Lilly, but she makes noise and ends up alerting the kidnappers who come after them.
  • A presumably dead man is seen errantly riding around on a horse.
  • The kidnappers chase after Jones, the Gilkesons and the girls they've rescued. One horse is shot and a girl is thrown, but Maggie rescues her.
  • We see an Indian climbing a precipice, trying to surprise Jones and the others at night.
  • A kidnapper prepares to shoot Maggie, but another man runs into him and drives both of them off a cliff (we see them hitting the ground quite hard, resulting in blood flowing out from behind one man's head -- seen from a distance).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Pistols/Knives/Clubs/Tomahawks/Arrows: Used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*t-hole," "Sh*t for luck" (how Jones' Indian name translates) "You get the hell off my ranch," "Lying bastard," "Piss," "You pissed her off," "Pissed off," "You idiots" and "Bastard."
  • Pesh-Chidin refers to a kidnapped photographer as "squashed penis."
  • Some kids might want to imitate all of the action, fighting and stunts in the film.
  • We see various rattlesnakes strung up in trees, with at least one of them being milked for its venom.
  • A distraught young mother, who's just learned that her infant is dead, takes a gun and shoots herself in the head (seen from a distance and with no blood).
  • Mad at Lilly for trying to escape, Pesh-Chidin shoves a bunch of dirt into Lilly's mouth, causing her to choke.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "s" words, 2 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 hell and 2 uses of "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Maggie and Brake do some passionate, clothed kissing while standing. She then tells him they can't make a sound and he starts to undress her, but the scene ends there and we don't see anything else (although sex is implied).
  • Maggie comes across a nude, dead body lying face down in the woods (we see the bare butt).
  • When Jones asks about the father's of Maggie's girls, she says that with one of them she didn't get much of a look at him.
  • Pesh-Chidin refers to a kidnapped photographer as "squashed penis."
  • A drunken kidnapper jokes that enough of what he's drinking will cause another man to start looking good to him.
  • Jones jokes with Kayitah, wondering if he still fools around with some "fat girl."
  • SMOKING
  • One man smokes cigars a few times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Maggie states that Jones is her father, but that he's dead to her as far as she's concerned. She later states that he left her and her family when she was just a young child, and blames her mother's resultant death on her broken heart. She wants nothing to do with him and wants him to leave her place.
  • Lilly isn't happy living on the ranch and thinks her mother is stifling her life.
  • Maggie must deal with her daughter being kidnapped.
  • When Jones says that bringing Dot along is no way to take care of a young girl, Maggie snaps back, "What would you know about that?"
  • One of the kidnapped young women must deal with her infant being dead.
  • There's talk that Jones wife died in the past of smallpox.
  • A son hears of his father's death.
  • Maggie asks Jones about his Indian family, "What did you see in them that you didn't see in us?"
  • A woman must deal with her father's death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Life on the Western frontier in the 19th century.
  • The white man's interaction with and view of Native Americans during the days of the old West.
  • The Indian-based, magical/supernatural material that's present in the film.
  • Kidnappings.
  • We briefly see Maggie sitting in an outhouse when Dot opens the door, but don't anything other than her crumpling up some paper to use as toilet paper.
  • There's talk of a rape in the past and a man seems preparing to rape a woman, but that doesn't happen.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear a gunshot as a person fires at some coyote around a dead cow.
  • One of Maggie's workers comes at Jones with a knife, but Jones slams him into a wall and is prepared to do him so harm when Brake fires a warning shot and then aims his rifle at Jones.
  • We see two dead and bloody men (the results of off-screen/unseen violence).
  • We see a bloody line from a dead, older woman's mouth. A person then grabs a man and scrapes a chicken claw (laced with rattlesnake poison) across the man's neck and face (with a little resultant blood).
  • An Indian grabs a young woman and pins her to a wall as she screams.
  • We see that the Indians have the young women bound and gagged in a cave.
  • Thinking Jones killed some people on a farm (he didn't), a soldier opens fire on him inside the farmhouse. Jones crashes through the window to escape and punches one soldier, while others shoot at him as he takes cover.
  • We see two soldiers struggling on the ground and a lieutenant separates them and pushes one to the ground.
  • Pesh-Chidin blows some sort of dust into a kidnapped photographer's eyes, eventually causing partial blindness, bleeding and death (we later see the dead body with blood from the eyes).
  • One of the kidnappers throws Lilly to the ground.
  • As Lilly tries to protect an infant by getting over it, various kidnappers hit, kick and otherwise strike her.
  • A distraught young mother, who's just learned that her infant is dead, takes a gun and shoots herself in the head (seen from a distance and with no blood).
  • A kidnapper tackles Lilly off a horse, struggles with her and holds a gun to her as he seems prepared to rape her for trying to escape (he's behind her working on her dress). Another kidnapper then hits him on the head, knocking him out.
  • Mad at Lilly for trying to escape, Pesh-Chidin shoves a bunch of dirt into Lilly's mouth, causing her to choke.
  • Kayitah and Honesco attack kidnappers (all on horseback) who were chasing after Jones, Maggie and Dot. They shoot them and Kayitah kicks one before shooting him on the ground with an arrow (seen from a distance and with no blood, but there's sight of the arrow suddenly in the man's body). Honesco is injured during this.
  • Pesh-Chidin's men grab Jones and Pesh-Chidin then blows some sort of dust into his nose. The men then proceed to kick, knee and otherwise hit Jones before kicking him down a steep hill. As a result, Jones is somewhat bloody. We later see dried blood on his face.
  • A man is shot, but manages to knock down a kidnapper and tries to stab him. Instead, he's knifed several times before being hit and killed with several blows from a large club. All of that has bloody results.
  • A gun battle breaks out between the good and bad sides and several people are shot and wounded or killed. During that, a kidnapper chases after Dot who's trying to run away, but Jones shoots the man dead. Maggie also shoots a man dead.
  • Some horses run over an injured and bloody man, presumably killing him.
  • We see a dead man whose face is bloody.
  • Pesh-Chidin slams a tomahawk into a man, while others are shot or pulled from their horses. Another person is killed via a tomahawk, but we don't see that impact.
  • A horse is shot and a girl is thrown, but Maggie rescues her.
  • A gun battle breaks out between the good and bad forces, with the latter also shooting flaming arrows at them (one hits a horse or at least its saddle).
  • A kidnapper is after Maggie at night and grabs her foot. She tries to get away, but he throws her hard into some rocks. Jones and that man then struggle, with Jones driving his knife into the man's side. That man then gets the upper hand on Jones, but Maggie jumps on him and yanks at his hair. He knocks Maggie aside, Jones twists the knife in his wound (no blood) and the kidnapper tries and eventually hits Jones with his club.
  • A kidnapper prepares to shoot Maggie, but another man runs into him and drives both of them off a cliff (we see them hitting the ground quite hard, resulting in blood flowing out from behind one man's head -- seen from a distance).
  • Maggie shoots a kidnapper dead.



  • Reviewed November 14, 2003 / Posted November 26, 2003

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