Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ron Howard|
|Produced by||Brian Grazer
|Written by||Ken Kaufman|
|Based on||The Last Ride
by Thomas Eidson
|Starring||Tommy Lee Jones
|Music by||James Horner|
|Editing by||Daniel P. Hanley
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||137 minutes|
The Missing is a 2003 American Western thriller film directed by Ron Howard, based on Thomas Eidson's 1996 novel The Last Ride. The film is set in 1885 New Mexico Territory is notable for the authentic use of the Apache language by various actors, some of whom spent long hours studying it. The film was produced by Revolution Studios and Imagine Entertainment and distributed by Columbia Pictures.
In late 19th-century New Mexico, Samuel Jones reappears hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie Gilkeson. She is unable to forgive him for abandoning the family and leaving her mother to a hard life and early death. This situation changes when Pesh-Chidin and a dozen of his followers who have left the reservation pass through the area, ritualistically killing settlers and taking their daughters to be sold into slavery in Mexico. Among those captured is Maggie's eldest daughter, Lilly. Maggie's rancher boyfriend Brake Baldwin was among the settlers killed.
The U.S. Cavalry refuses to help retrieve the captive women as its resources are tied up conducting forced relocation of captive Native Americans. This leaves Maggie, her father, and her younger daughter Dot alone in tracking the attackers. The group unexpectedly meets up with Kayitah, a Chiricahua, and an old friend of Jones, who also happens to be tracking the attackers with his son Honesco, because among the captives is a young Chiricahua woman who is engaged to Honesco. After the two agree to join the group, and Maggie treats Honesco's injuries, Kayitah informs Maggie that Jones had been a member of their Chiricahua band where he gained the name Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan, (“shit for luck”) during his wanderings.
It is finally with the combined efforts of the two families that they are able to free the women, at the cost of Kayitah's life, and immediately flee to the mountains with the kidnappers behind them. Knowing they have no other choice but to stand their ground, the group fights off the remaining kidnappers including Two Stone. During the battle, Jones fights El Brujo, the one responsible for kidnapping his granddaughter. When Brujo attempts to kill Maggie with a pistol, Jones sacrifices his life to save his daughter as both he and Brujo fall off a cliff to their deaths. Maggie shoots the last remaining kidnapper. She realizes her father's love for her and finally forgives him.
- Tommy Lee Jones as Samuel Jones/Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan
- Cate Blanchett as Magdalena "Maggie" Gilkeson
- Evan Rachel Wood as Lilly Gilkeson
- Jenna Boyd as Dot Gilkeson
- Aaron Eckhart as Brake Baldwin
- Val Kilmer as Lt. Jim Ducharme
- Sergio Calderón as Emiliano
- Eric Schweig as Pesh-Chidin/El Brujo
- Steve Reevis as Two Stone
- Jay Tavare as Kayitah
- Simon R. Baker as Honesco
- Deryle J. Lujan as Naazhaao
- David Midthunder as Happy Jim
- Clint Howard as The Sheriff Purdy
- Ray McKinnon as Russell J. Wittick
- Max Perlich as Issac Edgerly
The film earned mixed reviews from critics, earning it a 58% rating on Rotten Tomatoes by calling it: "an expertly acted and directed Western. But like other Ron Howard features, the movie is hardly subtle." The Missing was a box office disappointment, grossing only $27,011,180 domestically and $11,353,097 internationally for a worldwide total of $38,364,277 on a $60 million budget.
- Official website
- The Missing at the Internet Movie Database
- The Missing at allmovie
- The Missing at Box Office Mojo
- The Missing at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Missing at Metacritic