“Greek director Costa-Gavras is like Oliver Stone with subtlety,” declares Chris Nashawaty in his Entertainment Weekly review of Missing. More than two decades have passed since Costa-Gavras’s political thriller won awards around the world (including the Palme d’Or at Cannes and an Academy Award for its screenplay), but our recent two-disc DVD release of the film is wowing a new generation of critics. Of the filmmaker’s intense dramatization of the real-life search for vanished American writer Charles Horman in Chile during the American-aided coup that put dictator Augusto Pinochet in power, Leba Hertz writes in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Costa-Gavras makes the story move like a thriller . . . The acting is great across the board, and the story is still relevant decades later.”
One of the film’s key lasting ingredients is the performance of Jack Lemmon, as Charles’s crumbling, desperate father. “Lemmon was perhaps the quintessential everyman of American cinema, a reliably down-to-earth performer who was equally good at playing the put-upon hero in Billy Wilder comedies and embodying an average, relatable guy in dramas like The China Syndrome and Glengarry Glen Ross . . . So it’s especially heartbreaking to watch Lemmon’s performance in Missing,” writes Scott Tobias in the Onion.