Erased (2012 film)

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Erased (The Expatriate)
Erased film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Philipp Stölzl
Produced by
  • Karl Richards
  • Adrian Politowski
  • Jonathan Vanger
Written by Arash Amel
Music by Jeff Danna
Cinematography Kolja Brandt
Edited by Dominique Fortin
  • E-motions
  • Informant Films Europe
  • uMedia
Distributed by RaDiUS-TWC / The Weinstein Company (USA)
Release date
  • September 21, 2012 (2012-09-21) (Belgium)
  • May 31, 2013 (2013-05-31) (Canada)
Running time
95 minutes
Language English

Erased (released as The Expatriate outside of the US) is a 2012 Canadian-Belgian thriller film directed by Philipp Stölzl, starring Aaron Eckhart and Olga Kurylenko. The story centers on Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) an ex-CIA agent and Amy (Liana Liberato), his estranged daughter who are forced on the run when his employers erase all records of his existence, and mark them both for termination as part of a wide-reaching international conspiracy. It was released in the US on May 17, 2013, following its acquisition by RaDiUS-TWC, the multiplatform distribution label of The Weinstein Company. It was retitled Erased for the US market.[2]


Ben Logan, an American single parent who has recently moved with his estranged daughter to Belgium, works for a multinational technology corporation called Halgate Group. When one of his co-workers discovers that a patent has been apparently misfiled, Logan brings it to the attention of his boss, Derek Kohler. Shortly afterward, his entire office building is emptied and no records exist to show that he was ever an employee. Confused, Logan attempts to prove his employment by accessing bank records, but he is kidnapped at gunpoint by a coworker.

Logan kills the coworker in front of his stunned daughter, who demands to know his background; Logan cryptically alludes to "getting people in and out of difficult situations". In his investigation, Logan discovers that the rest of his coworkers have all been killed, and he goes into hiding, aided by his daughter's contacts among undocumented immigrants. Eventually, Logan uncovers a wide-ranging conspiracy involving illegal arms sales to African insurgents and a shell company, not a Halgate division, used by the CIA to harness his engineering skills. Logan reveals that he is an ex-CIA operative, and he is hunted down by his former CIA coworkers, led by Anna Brandt, a former lover. When Brandt turns and attempts to protect his daughter, she is killed; Logan goes after his corrupt former employers and blows up the CEO of the company with a bomb hidden in a suitcase.



Erased made its United States theatrical premiere on May 17, 2013.[3]


Rotten Tomatoes reports that 26% of 42 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review, and the average rating was 4.7/10; the consensus is: "Derivative to a fault, Erased squanders some nifty potential and its talented cast in a bland retelling of a story action fans have seen too many times before."[4] Metacritic rated the film 34/100 based on 17 reviews.[5] Dennis Harvey of Variety called it "a confidently engineered, propulsive piece of intelligent action cinema."[1] Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter called it "competent but uninspired".[6] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times called it unoriginal and cliched.[7] Paul Bradshaw of Total Film wrote, "Eckhart makes a decent Damon stand-in, but there’s nothing here than hasn’t been done (better) before."[8]

The script was heavily criticised for being what many reviewers felt was "unoriginal." Michael Posner of The Globe and Mail said "Arash Amel’s plot is a hodgepodge of threadbare motifs, liberally cut and pasted from every thriller you’ve seen."[9] Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times agreed with the sentiment, saying "We have a script, by Arash Amel, that hustles cardboard characters from one crisis to the next, pausing only to leak lines that might have been clipped from a compendium of spy movie clichés."[10]


  1. ^ a b c Harvey, Dennis (2013-05-15). "Film Review: 'Erased'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  2. ^ Kroll, Justin (2012-03-20). "Radius-TWC acquires 'The Expatriate'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  3. ^ Miller, Julie (2013-05-17). "Aaron Eckhart on Actor's Block, Raising Teenage Girls Onscreen, and Making Twitter Personal". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Erased (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  5. ^ "Erased". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  6. ^ Scheck, Frank (2013-05-16). "Erased: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  7. ^ Abele, Robert (2013-05-16). "Review: 'Erased' lacks originality but not cliches". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Paul (2013-04-05). "The Expatriate". Total Film. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  9. ^ "Erased is a clichéd melange of plot lines lifted from past thrillers". The Globe and Mail. May 31, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Outrunning Assassins, Sulky Daughter in Tow". The New York Times. May 16, 2013. 

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