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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast-Paced Thriller
I had heard a lot of people recommend this to me before I finally saw it, so my expectations were high. After the opening five minutes my expectations were met and the stakes even raised. I really don't want to give anything away here as the less you know about the movie going in the better, but don't go into it thinking it's on par with a "Reservoir Dogs" or a "Saw."...
Published on November 4, 2010 by Erica Hughes

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for a Friday or Saturday night outing
This is a remarkably well directed and produced hostage for ransom thriller set in England. Despite its minimalist cast, locations and obviously low budget, the acting was believable and the storyline engaging. The main characters played by Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), and Martin Compston (The Damned United)...
Published on November 25, 2010 by Brian Kodi


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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast-Paced Thriller, November 4, 2010
This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
I had heard a lot of people recommend this to me before I finally saw it, so my expectations were high. After the opening five minutes my expectations were met and the stakes even raised. I really don't want to give anything away here as the less you know about the movie going in the better, but don't go into it thinking it's on par with a "Reservoir Dogs" or a "Saw." It's very, very good and the directing makes it claustrophobic and scary, but by the end of the film it has slipped into more than a few genre cliches that let out a little steam but not TOO much.

All you need to know about the plot is that there are these two men who go through an elaborate series of preparations before kidnapping a young woman, Alice Creed, off the street. One of the most fun things about the movie is how the power shifts from one character to another to another and you're never certain who has the upperhand, who is lying or who will "win" the day. In this way, it is very similar to "Shallow Grave." Eddie Marsan plays the older of the two kidnappers and you've seen him in movies before but never this good. He is very impressive here.

A good one to check out but make sure you have enough time to watch it straight through as the pacing is relentless and you won't be able to turn it off once it begins.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bond Girl in Bondage, January 22, 2012
By 
The JuRK (Our Vast, Cultural Desert) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
There really isn't a whole lot I can tell you about THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED. I happened on to it, started watching it...expected to lose interest...and then kept thinking, "Oh, wow, that's different."

What got me to start watching was Gemma Arterton, a "Bond girl" from the last 007 entry, QUANTUM OF SOLACE. She's gorgeous and very watchable. At the beginning of this film, she's snatched off a street, cuffed, gagged, hooded and dragged into a sound-proof apartment. She's also stripped and redressed.

And just when you think you're going to lose interest..."Wow, that's different."

So I'm not going to discuss anymore about this interesting, twisting little film of only three characters.

Just check it out.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, August 30, 2010
By 
Jones "itimbuktu" (Columbia, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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I took a chance in buying this via video on demand and enjoyed it. From the opening scene as the kidnappers prepare their place for the captive, there really aren't any dull moments and even though all of the actors are no-name, they did a good job with the script. There were several points where you could feel the tension and you weren't sure whether the girl or the kidnappers would come out on top. Like one reviewer said already, there are a few twists (though one you will probably see coming) that keep you guessing how the movie will end. It won't win any Oscars, but it was definitely entertaining.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A first-time director with a thriller that delivers!, November 28, 2010
This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
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This is an amazing film. While it didn't have an enormous Hollywood advertising budget, it has the potential to gain popularity though positive word of mouth. Here's hoping this review can spread the word.

The movie opens in an unconventional way...there was no title screen. This was done on purpose, since the writer/director J Blakeson wanted to put us right into the story, and it was quite effective.

I was very impressed by another non-conventional technique: for the first 6 minutes of the film, not a single word is spoken. All we see are two men preparing to do (what we assume are) heinous things. It establishes the mood very effectively - cold, calculating men with a crime to commit.

Over the course of the movie, we learn that kidnapping is a crime with a certain level of intimacy that other crimes don't have. Since the victim has to be cared for, clothed and fed, these two kidnappers become surrogate parents. As a result, there is a lot of emotional transference between all three characters. There are plot twists and revelations throughout the film and this keeps the audience guessing what the final outcome will be, right up to the very end.

Gemma Arterton did a phenomenal job as Alice Creed. Her emotions and reactions felt very true to life; she sold every single scene with her portrayals of fear, despair, humiliation, and empowerment.

Martin Compston was an excellent casting choice as Danny. He reminds me of a young Edward Norton - just as charismatic and professional. Martin had to cover a very broad range of emotions in this movie (no spoilers, I promise!) and he always delivered the goods.

I haven't seen Eddie Marsan in his other films - he did an excellent job as Vic. I was genuinely scared of this character throughout the film...his icy demeanor and minimal dialogue made him even more frightening.

It's clear from the director's commentary track that J Blakeson enjoyed making this film and has nothing but the highest respect and admiration for all 3 of his actors and the 30-odd people that composed his movie crew. He talked about difficult filming conditions due to weather and fading daylight, he expressed genuine concern for each of his actors and their peace of mind, and he said that making a feature film was his dream come true.

In a very touching moment, at the very end of the commentary you can hear J Blakeson tearing up as he gives thanks to his mother and father, right before he invites us back for his next film, whatever that may be.

DVD Extras:

(1) "Phones" deleted scene with optional director commentary (A good scene, but for this type of movie, cutting down the dialogue was very effective).
(2) "Alice gets the gun" extended scene with optional director commentary (Another good scene but it was initially too long. It's nice to see the scene in its entirety).
(3) Outtakes - 4:16 minutes of clips, we watch the cast get a healthy dose of the giggles during various scenes.
(4) Storyboard Comparison - Shows a split-screen of the intro sequence and the "Alice gets the gun" scene.
(5) Theatrical Trailer

The only negative point that comes to mind: because a few scenes were edited for time, some character motivations are unclear. However, by watching the deleted/extended scenes, this helps to clear up some of the confusion.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed reminded me of Memento in several ways - both movies were done by fledgling filmmakers, both had a minimal cast, and both stories were extremely well written.

We've seen Christopher Nolan's career rise to dizzying heights...who knows what J Blakeson could do with a bigger budget and faith from the powers that be?

I can't wait to see what he'll bring us in the future.

Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the Unexpected, September 4, 2011
This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
This movie is a hostage plan gone wrong in spite of meticulous planning. From the beginning to the end it is exciting and completely unpredictable.

The two ex convicts Vic (Eddie Marsan's character) and Danny (Martin Compston's character) put into action a plan to take hostage a rich family's only daughter Alice (Gemma Arterton's character) for ransom. I can't give anything else because it will ruin the experience, but trust me on this, this is a good thriller. You would think that with just a few actors it will be a boring movie, but this movie is anything but boring.

There may be objectionable material for some viewers (explicit sex scenes).

Thumbs up, highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good!, November 26, 2010
By 
Tomorryo (Southwest USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
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This movie had a very independent feel, and a very original storyline. The premise is that two men kidnap a young woman for ransom, which sounds boring, but the filmmaker turns it into a remarkable story. The whole intro is of them preparing the apartment where they're going to hold her, and it's pretty fascinating. I noticed the packaging for the movie describes it as a "victim has other ideas" movie. I didn't find that so much.. When she has opportunities to escape she tries to take advantage (as anyone would) but there are reasons she passes up some opportunities. I don't want to ruin anything! This has high production values, very good acting, and was filmed on the Isle of Man! A warning for parents though - there is nudity in this, and a bit of violence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good crime procedural, August 23, 2011
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This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
There is not much to add to the generally good reviews for this film. I happened to watch this movie right after watching a very dissapointingly bad film, so I was doubly appreciative of how good this movie was. I only find it unbelievable that 4 people gave this film only two stars! The acting was exceptionable (try to find a more scary kidnapper than Vic!), there was a well thought-out script, good directing; what else do you need in a thriller? The beauty part is that it remains a mystery as to what Danny's real agenda was had not everything happened as it did. We know what he does in the end, but we do not know what he would have done had everything gone according to plan. No Hollywood-style explanation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly suspenseful but rent this instead of buying it., September 28, 2010
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Before viewing this, I had not read any reviews or other information about this movie. I took a complete chance on it and was absolutely riveted. I'd hoped for a good suspense thriller with some unexpected twists and turns and this one delivered those things - and more. Once you've seen the film, however, you won't be surprised the next time around so why buy it? Rent it instead - perhaps through Video on Demand. Why pay more for it?

The pace of the film is strong throughout while the style varies, especially at the start, and builds to the ultimate suspenseful moments. You'll get to know each character over time.

In the beginning, two men are clearly preparing for the kidnapping of Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton). This is accomplished with quick film shots and no dialogue, leaving viewers with the impression that this might be a straightforward hostage event but that doesn't turn out to be the case. Also in the opening scenes? A room is soundproofed and windows are boarded while a van is prepared along with a mouth gag, handcuffs and a bag to cover the victim's face. Everything seems in order and all goes smoothly - at first.

The men move efficiently and in a no nonsense manner. There is also some tension between them and some small arguments (again, mostly towards the beginning). They appear to be working together but without emotion and with some differences in their personalities. They seem simply out to obtain a massive ransom. But as the movie unfolds, the kidnappers and victim display a wider range of emotions. Cracks in the plan start to appear but the events still aren't boring or completely predictable.

Much of the film depends on understanding the nonverbal cues of the actors so do watch carefully for those moments when trust and mistrust are displayed. Having noted that, I don't want to give specific spoilers so will only note that there are enough surprises to keep viewers watching to see what happens next. I could predict one of these moments but there were others which I didn't see coming. The ending seemed a bit predictable (but not totally) and the film was still extremely satisfying.

While I give this one 5 stars for being so much better than the average thriller these days, I could find some flaws in the film, particularly towards the end, but they were minor compared to the performances of the actors, people which I didn't recognize (except for Gemma Atherton).

The least believable section of the film happened after an event in some woods. I found it hard that there would be any trust left between those two characters and didn't feel that one of those characters should have wavered a bit in response to that particular event. But that slight moment of wavering revealed more about each of the characters involved.

Of course, I'm trying to be vague enough to encourage possible viewers to watch this one. You aren't likely to find a better choice on television, including cable.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Twisty British Thriller That Shouldn't Be Spoiled by Spoilers, December 3, 2010
This review is from: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (DVD)
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Sometimes the less you know about a movie, the more pleasantly surprising it can be. I, for one, had no fore knowledge of "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" and, consequently, rather limited expectations. So when I sat down with friends and plugged "Disappearance" into the DVD player, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. And for once, my pessimism about the movie's prospects were completely unfounded. After an almost wordless set-up, I was already drawn into this tight little chamber piece. Several major twists later and I was delighted to have uncovered a little known gem! With just three characters and a confined and claustrophobic set, "Disappearance" is theatrical (play-like, if you will) in its intimacy. But writer/director J. Blakeson uses this inherent staginess well to create a seamless thriller of lies, deceit, and plans gone wrong.

I will say very little about what transpires in "The Disappearance of Alice Creed." Knowing the film's twists in advance may not ruin the movie's effectiveness--but, trust me, it's best just to let this one unfold. All you get from me is this--two armed and masked men take a young, wealthy woman hostage. Keeping her strapped down and helpless, they await a ransom. But all does not go according to plan, needless to say--but you probably guessed that. That's it--I'll go no further.

Gemma Arterton plays the unwitting victim in this equation while Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston portray the kidnappers. Marsan is intense and Arterton is appealing, but Compston essays the most difficult role as a sort of a go-between. He is terrific, and all three actors pull their weight in this deadly triangle. But perhaps the biggest star of "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" is Blakeson's screenplay. Using standard thriller conventions, but tweaking them with unexpected revelations, this thriller might have lost all credibility. But Blakeson never pushes too far, maintains the suspense, and the casts brings home the show with much gusto. I really had a good time with this film and it is a definite recommendation. BUT DON'T READ THE SPOILERS! KGHarris, 12/10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars for an obscure gem of a picture, November 28, 2011
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This film opened and disappeared quickly in the DFW area, so I'm certainly glad I caught up to it via Blu ray. A first time director (J Blakeson) puts together a taut thriller using only 3 actors and a minimalist set...not to mention a minimalist plot, albeit filled with twists and turns. Alice, a 20 something lass is the daughter of a rich businessman somewhere in England. She is kidnapped and taken to a well prepared (soundproofing, locks, etc.) apartment to wait for an eventual ransom. Alice is played by Gemma Arterton whose previous credits include eye candy roles in "The Prince of Persia" and "Clash of the Titans". She's something else here.

The girl can act as well as look good. In a demeaning, vulnerable role, she is stripped naked, force to pee in a bottle, tied to a bed and ruthlessly gagged with one of those ball-in-the-mouth things that sex dominatrix like to use. It's fun to figure out what's going on because we suspect Alice is familiar with one of the kidnappers. So really, what's going on? Yes, a big surprise. Even after we find this out, our questions aren't answered. The film is filled with tension and is certainly an obscure gem of a picture.
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The Disappearance of Alice Creed
The Disappearance of Alice Creed by Gemma Arterton (DVD - 2010)
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