Even Cate Blanchett can't save this misbegotten horse opera. As frontier woman Maggie Gilkeson, Blanchett calls on her estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones) for help when her daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is kidnapped by a psycho Indian (Eric Schweig). Daddy left Maggie in childhood to live among the Apache, so he knows the territory. Jones hams like a Hormel, speaking half his lines in Apache and reporting that his Indian name means "shit for luck." Except for Salvatore Totino's stark, scary cinematography, the film is shit without the luck. Director Ron Howard trashes a plot out of John Ford's 1956 classic, The Searchers. He even has Blanchett echo a John Wayne line from that film: "Let's go home." My advice? Stay home and avoid The Missing.
From The Archives Issue 369: May 13, 1982