A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a darkly violent kidnapping thriller that features some violence toward women (mostly slapping and rough handling), as well as guns and some spattering blood. There is some brief nudity (female frontal and male rear), and very frequent use of "f--k." Mature, older teens and parents will find some enjoyable thrills here, but younger folks should stay away.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Danny (Martin Compston) and Vic (Eddie Marsan) spend a good deal of time outfitting a room with soundproofing, locks, braces, and various other items. Then their plan begins: they kidnap Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), tie her to a bed, and proceed to demand and collect their ransom money. It's a perfect plan, except for one thing: the victim has not been chosen randomly. More than that, the secret relationship between the two men will eventually complicate matters further. Once the power dynamic shifts between the three figures, what will keep the plan from toppling altogether?
Is it any good?
The Disappearance of Alice Creed is economical, surprising, and emotional. The movie had strong word-of-mouth, since first-time British director J. Blakeson was listed as one of Variety's 10 directors to watch in 2010. He makes his feature debut here, it's a strong one. With the exception of a few establishing shots, he confines the action to two or three rooms and some moody woods, with only three characters involved. The very strong screenplay keeps the drama building in interesting and surprising ways, revealing bits of information a little at a time. Most kidnapping movies follow the attempts to rescue the victim, and this one flips the genre on its side.
The movie benefits greatly from a trio of strong performances, by three actors (Arterton, Marsan, and Compston) who deserve to be better known after this. With very little physical movement during the bulk of the story -- the camera stays mostly inside the room -- the movie depends heavily on these characters. The gamble pays off, and we hang on their every word and movement. Intense and unflinching, it's not for the weak of stomach, however.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it thrilling violence, or disturbing violence? Is there a difference? How does the movie achieve this effect?
This movie features violence toward women. How do these scenes make you feel? Do you like the male characters less when they treat the woman badly? How about when they treat her like another person, rather than as a victim?
How does this movie differ from other dark thrillers? Are the characters unique in any way? Do they embody stereotypes or challenge them?
- In theaters: August 6, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: November 23, 2010
- Cast: Eddie Marsan, Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston
- Director: J. Blakeson
- Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violent content, pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
- Last updated: February 20, 2020
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