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November 20, 2006

The Missing - 7

Directed by Ron Howard, this film takes up some of the western themes of living in a harsh environment and having a sharp distinction between those that are good and those that are evil. The plot is driven by a string of kidnappings that happen in the rugged outback of New Mexico- set in late 19th century. An in dependant minded medicine woman, Maggie (Cate Blanchett), is raising her two daughters, Lilly and Dot (Evan Rachel Wood and Jenna Boyd), with a the current live in boyfriend (Aaron Eckhart). When Maggie's father (Tommy Lee Jones) shows up, we learn of a falling out between them, which is parallelled by Lilly, who wants to move to a city and live a sophisticated life. The plot turns on the kidnapping of Lilly by a group of men who are trading women as prostitutes in Mexico. Father, daughter and granddaughter have to come together to chase them down and try to recover what was lost. It is a moving and well told story (focusing on a story of women empowerment in a genre that rarely does). The cast is great, including a brief scene with Val Kilmer.

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