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The Disappearance of Alice Creed - Blu-ray Movie Review

The Disappearance of Alice Creed Movie Review


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Keeping things tense and simple in his first feature-length directed and written thriller, French director J. Blakeson presents audiences with a fresh take on a kidnapping tale that successfully avoids most of the tired clichés that usually render the genre stale.  Three characters, but no innocent victims.  That’s what you need to know and be reminded of.  The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a rollicking little film that focuses its energy on exploring and exploiting the central triangle created by the best laid plans of mice and men.

Shot entirely on the Isle of Man with a budget just barely scratches the other side of $1 million, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, with only three characters, tells one hell of a tightly-wound narrative during its running time.  Full of surprising twist after twist - complete with a final nihilistic turn that gives more emphasis on its title than any thriller from the last decade – Blakeson’s movie keeps its cinematic appeal because of its mysterious nature.

Starring Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan as the two crooks that hatch the kidnapping plot against Gemma Arterton, Blakeson’s movie operates with pure intrigue because its actors hold their cards close to their chest and use – like screenwriter, David Mamet - language as a deadly and calculating weapon.  Marsan as Vic is forever making the audience guess as to his motives and keeps danger close at hand with a tightly-focused expression that never relinquishes in its intensity.  Compston’s greenhorn role as Danny works more as he becomes conflicted by his own confusing emotions.  And what can be said of the fearless performance by Arterton?  It’s magnificent.  Alice Creed is shockingly real and expertly played by a beautiful woman, seemingly unafraid by the script’s brutal treatment of her character.

Beginning with a stunningly engaging and awkwardly silent montage that showcases the lengths the two kidnappers have gone in selecting their human target, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is an uncompromising and unsettling affair.  Harrowingly stark and intriguingly bleak, Blakeson’s narrative is an effective example at how to side-step the mindless sensationalism that usually accompanies this type of crime noir movie.  Without revealing any of the narrative’s closely-guarded secrets, know that nothing in Blakeson’s script is what it seems.  Full of clockworked suspense, The Disappearance of Alice Creed also has unexpected moments that showcase a dangerous sense of humor in which a lot of mileage is spent on episodes concerning a discharged bullet.

While the organic-feeling of the triangular situation between its three characters gets a little out of hand at one point, Blakeson quickly puts a learned grip on the ridiculousness and brings things back down to earth in a matter of minutes by cranking up the dial marked “suspicion”.   Ripe with paranoia, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, while not the feel good film of the summer, certainly rolls in the month of August with some seriously intriguing close-cornered action and proves to be more a product of intelligence than Hollywood desperation.

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

2 stars

Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 23, 2010
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, Spanish
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)


Commentary Track:

  • Feature-length audio commentary track with writer/Director J Blakeson

Deleted Scenes:

  • Deleted Scene (480p, 1:43):
  • Extended Scene (480p, 7:42): Alice Gets the Gun

Storyboard Comparison (480p, 5:32)

Outtakes (480p, 4:16)

Trailer (1080p, 1:21)

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