The Missing | Chicago Reader

The Missing

Oscar in hand, Ron Howard tries a variation on John Ford's The Searchers with this story of a frontier doctor (Cate Blanchett) and her estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones) tracking the fearsome Apaches who have kidnapped her teenage daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). The father has just returned after deserting his family years earlier to take an Indian wife, and like John Wayne in the Ford picture, Blanchett has a problem with red people. Watching her and Jones work together is the chief pleasure of this polished but self-conscious drama—Howard delivers some terse and coherent suspense sequences, but Ford looms over the story like a rifleman hidden in the red rock. Ken Kaufman adapted a novel by Thomas Eidson; with Aaron Eckhart, Jenna Boyd, Val Kilmer, and Clint Howard. R, 130 min.

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