The Missing

The Missing

Ron Howard (2003)

15 Certificate


Our Score
After a moderately promising start, director Ron Howard's stab at creating an epic western soon degenerates into a bloated chase movie. Cate Blanchett stars as an unmarried frontier woman whose hard life gets a whole lot harder when her estranged father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) turns up on her doorstep, and her eldest daughter is kidnapped by slave traders led by a Native American witch. Blanchett gives an agreeable performance as the anxious mother who is forced to turn to her father to track the girl, while Jones makes the most of his frankly ludicrous role as a mystical wanderer who abandoned his family to live with Apaches. But there's a grinding political correctness to Ken Kaufman's screenplay, with every evil "Injun" counterbalanced by a heroic one, while every white man we meet is either a potential rapist or a coward. It's further hobbled by a laughably earnest dose of native American spiritualism and a villain who looks like he walked straight out of a Wes Craven movie. Some critics have argued that it's what's missing from The Missing that spoils the movie, but the real problem is the slightness and silliness of the little that's there.


A desperate mother is willing to do whatever it takes to rescue her kidnapped teenage daughter from the Apache bandits who have murdered her husband - so she reluctantly teams up with her estranged father to track the youngster down. Ron Howard's Western, starring Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones and Evan Rachel Wood, with a cameo appearance by Val Kilmer.

Cast & Crew

Maggie Gilkeson Cate Blanchett
Samuel Jones Tommy Lee Jones
Lilly Gilkeson Evan Rachel Wood
Pesh-Chidin/ El Brujo Eric Schweig
Lt Jim Ducharme Val Kilmer
Dot Gilkeson Jenna Boyd
Brake Baldwin Aaron Eckhart
Emiliano Sergio Calderon
Two Stone Steve Reevis
Kayitah Jay Tavare
Director Ron Howard
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Edited for language, violence and nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray