Missing (1982) - Biography, Drama, History

Hohum Score



When an idealistic American writer disappears during the Chilean coup d'état in September 1973, his wife and father try to find him.

IMDB: 7.7
Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek
Length: 122 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 13 out of 104 found boring (12.5%)

One-line Reviews (67)

A surprisingly taut and gripping drama.

Thoroughly engaging character study .

The whole movie,on the other hand,is much more than the political propaganda that the Missing's poster announces or promises:"Horman thought that being an American …,etc.

Riveting, maddening and ultimately deeply sad, this is a powerful film.

"Missing" is a powerful, fascinating movie that captures the hypocrisy and hubris of certain elements of US foreign policy and the reaction of the innocent public who get run over by such policies with searing clarity.

Openly critical and questioning of our Cold War politics but in the end a very moral and family values-oriented film, MISSING is compelling and well worth watching.

The film itself remains a gripping eyeopener from first to last.

This is a harrowing story and there are compelling scenes.

This is quite an intense political thriller from Oscar winning Costa-Gavras that sees "Ed Horman" (Jack Lemmon) and his wife "Beth" (Sissy Spacek) travel to Chile to try to find their writer son who has become caught up in the coup that has deposed President Allende.

Gripping .

What other sort of people could have knowingly perpetrated such monstrosities besides Eichmanns, empty of soul or conscience, pure puppets?

A bold movie all the same, entertaining and enlightening, slightly let down by the lead acting.

This film, "The Missing", opens up really slow.

The two times I saw this film, you could feel the anger of the audience as they left the theater.

One may find this movie slow-moving if you don't really have toomuch background into the coup or are old-enough to remembersome of the Cold War politics of the past.

There is a stunning shot in which a search is being made of a vast morgue and the camera tilts upward to show us the shadows of dozens of dead bodies sprawled on the glass skylight.

Accomplished Greek-French filmmaker Costa-Gavras has a compelling way of bringing the emotional resonance out of stories with overtly political themes.

MISSING is an intriguing film, extraordinarily crafted and richly deserving of the Academy Award it received.

Despite the movie's length, the perfectly crafted dialogue and incidents kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire 2 hours.

And his scare increases as he gets more immersed in his son's political connection and their bloody implications.

The emotional evolution from devout christian/disapproving dad to grieving father with 'opened eyes' is engaging to watch.

Directed by Costa-Gavras, Missing is a film that seems to care more about informing the world of this gross injustice, rather than do anything particularly entertaining for it's audience.

Once you experience this world with Ed and Beth, you never want the film to stop because this world that Costa-Gavras recreates is shocking and fascinating at the same time.

Lemmon and Spacek, two actors always worth watching, deliver absolutely brilliant performances under Costa-Gavras' sure hand.

Costa-Gavras's "Missing" is emotionally riveting and thought provoking.

And yet the story leads you convincingly enough to its downbeat conclusion aided by Vangelis' excellent score and some snappy editing, none more so than in the reconstructions of the conflicting witness perspectives on the abduction itself.

Propaganda Piece Redeemed by Performances .

Even today, when movies seem to loose their appeal due to comparison with subsequent films done since, it still remains compelling.

The politics of Missing are diverted when Lemmon is on and we concentrate on a father's overwhelming grief and confusion over the fate of his son.

The tension between the characters, at times nearly accusatory in tone, is riveting.

The story structure is too disjointed.

Yet this is built around Ed and Beth's difficult relationship, and the film emerges and ultimately triumphs as a thoroughly engaging character study rather than a political thriller.

'Missing' is certainly entertaining.

Yet in classic thriller fashion we are kept on the edge of our seats with what will happen next.

What really makes this movie memorable is not so much the political story, because it happens to be very confusing.

The narrative build up is both subtle and intense.

In terms of flaws, the film clearly has a political axe to grind, is slightly overlong and despite a narrative that slowly builds in tension and moves toward a strong resolution, possesses many repetitive scenes.

"Missing" is the gripping and powerful story of Charles Horman, a somewhat naive and idealistic American writer-journalist's disappearance in the short aftermath of the coup-d'etat in Chile, and the subsequent search by his wife (Spacek) and his father (Lemmon) to find him.

An Exercise in Propaganda - Major Spoilers .

In a nutshell, the scene symbolizes one of the great divides in American political life, between the polished propaganda face our government presents to the people and the grim realities that face covers over, especially in dealing with Third World countries like Chile.

You get the Feeling while Watching this Gripping Movie that it is Not Real and Taking Place in an Alternate Universe, Surreal.

)So this is the worst kind of propaganda.

The most powerful moments of Missing involve Ed battling his way through waves of bureaucracy and the empty promises of diplomats.

I have to admit that I was hesistant with the rest of the film however it picked up and became very suspenseful.

If, after seeing this compelling film, just one person becomes interested enough in the disturbing story of US involvement in South America to visit the library, search the internet, or buy a book, then the director has succeeded.

I do not agree because the remaining uncertainty is just part of the deliberate political confusion and hence puts us in the shoes of the people involved.

Gripping, thought-provoking and important viewing .

Powerful, compelling political melodrama with Lemmon and Spacek involved in a frustrating search for a political prisoner (his son, her husband) during a South American coup.

If the film's conclusion feels somewhat unsatisfying, then Costa-Gavras has succeeded in communicating Horman's confusion, anger and exasperation at the immobility of the political machine.

But some of these characters just added more unnecessary confusion.

I found it gripping from start to finish.

Excellent, gripping movie - .

Costa-Gavras manages to build an atmosphere of relentless tension in a place where failing to find yourself a taxi to make it home in time for the curfew could see you dragged away for execution.

Ed Horman's struggle to find his son is worthy of admiration and yet is pointless, and the viewer can't help sympathise with Ed's failure to make sense of what happened.

He is a very conservative, very predictable man who has never been able to understand his son's spontaneity and anti-establishment views.

As in the scene before where he was reported killed in the stadium, which he actually wasn't, caused a lot of confusion when it came time to relieve the death of Charles Horman.

Both he and Spacek were deservedly Oscar nominated for their performances in this gripping drama.

Ed, a businessman, model citizen, taxpayer and conservative member of the Silent Majority, then slowly goes through a little "coming of age" subplot, the elderly man forced to confront truths that his son, a freelance journalist, devoted his life to uncovering.

'Missing' Directed by Costa-Gavras, is compelling, disturbing & unforgettable.

A thoroughly absorbing, politically based film.

As usual, Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek gave stunning performances.

There are sequences of incisive critique (including a scene in a football stadium converted into a holding cell that is heartbreaking in its desperation), although there were far too many similar scenes of Lemmon finding out the government is evil; it got a bit repetitive, but overall, an entertaining, worthwhile drama that I would certainly recommend for anyone interested in the material.

However the most credit has to go to Costa-Gavras who brilliantly handles the whole film and creates a strong sense of tension that borders on fright in his depiction of the bullet torn streets of Chile, especially in the first 20 minutes and holds our fascinating right to the highly provocative twist at the end.

But in the end, just like this movie, people are too smart to be fooled by the propaganda.

These factors may add up to a dull movie for someviewers or it could motivate you to learn more.

"Missing", is the suspenseful drama written and directed by Costa-Gavras that revolves around the Horman family and a military coup in some Spanish speaking country in South America which is never named.

Flawed but still fascinating (and quite grim)...