A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Tense and violent scenes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references, including adultery.
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Brief strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has brief strong language and some violence. Characters drink and smoke. There are sexual references, including adultery. There are very tense scenes that may be upsetting to some audience members. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Why would such a murky movie be called The Clearing? There are glimpses and hints of a deeper plot and interesting characters, but the movie doesn't explore beyond the surface. The adult daughter seems to be retreating, sleeping in her mother's bed and curling into the fetal position, barely speaking. Eileen insists on celebrating her grandson's first birthday. Why do we learn that after Wayne sold his business, his next venture failed? Either these were intended to provide some subtle atmosphere and complexity to a straightforward story or (more likely) they relate to plot points that may have been diminished by last-minute cuts after unsatisfactory test screenings. They are more distracting than evocative.
But Mirren's performance almost makes it worthwhile. She is strong and vulnerable at the same time. Her Eileen is richly complex, whether trying on clothes or confronting Wayne's mistress. She makes us feel Wayne's ache at the thought of losing her and adds depth and resonance to the movie that makes us feel its other failures even more sharply.
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Our Editors Recommend
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