The Good, the Bad, and The Critic

Review: The Disappeared

During the month of September, in the middle of the North Atlantic, a fishing boat sinks. The crew of six escapes into two dories as the boat plunges into the ocean. It happens so quickly that the fishermen are only able to grab a few supplies. With no sign of rescue in sight, the decision is made to paddle to shore – wherever the shore may be.

The stakes are high for these brave but seemingly doomed men. Not only are their lives on the line, but their sanity as well. Each day is a great strain on the men’s minds – they must grapple with the fact that they may never reach land, and that they don’t even know where that land is. Food quickly becomes a luxury: in the middle of nowhere, a seagull is even seen as a delicacy. The director also does a very good job of creating a distorted sense of time and space.

At its very core The Disappeared is a survival story of the highest calibre. The film dissects society’s codes of masculinity. Though each man puts up a front of stereotypical machismo, the vulnerability of a survival situation reveals their true identity. Society’s ideal masculine characteristics—such as competitiveness and the bottling of emotions—ultimately work against the group and compromise their survival. If they wish to see their families again, they must move past their aggressive feelings.

In conclusion, The Disappeared is a riveting and suspenseful work of art. The ending is left open and each actor is terrific. This film is easily one of the best dramas of last year and is worth more than a few viewings.


Check out more of Michael’s reviews at, and catch a screening of The Disappeared at Cinematheque (100 Arthur Street) on Friday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m., as well as Feb. 8, 9, and 12 at 7 p.m.