The Clearing | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Pieter Jan Brugge, who produced Bulworth and The Insider, makes his directing debut with this serious-minded suspense film about a wealthy Pittsburgh couple (Robert Redford and Helen Mirren) whose sham marriage is put to the test by a kidnapping plot against the husband. First-timer Justin Haythe wrote the script from a story by Brugge, and their handling of the husband's abduction is so sleek that I expected this to open out into another loud, thumping thriller. Instead it remains quiet and focused, exploring the couple's frayed relationship and the economic divide that separates the husband from his captor (Willem Dafoe), an embittered ex-employee. With Allessandro Nivola, Matt Craven, and Melissa Sagemiller. 91 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley, River East 21.

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