The Disappearance of Alice Creed


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Gemma Arterton is a fast-rising star in the mainstream of the cinema galaxy. She was in The Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans and The Prince of Persia. It is therefore a bit surprising to see her toiling away in a zero-budget British indie in which she gets kidnapped and stripped naked on camera. She made the decision herself. She takes pride in her edgy indie roots, and she told The Times. "I’m not slating Hollywood movies, but I wouldn’t normally go to see them. Alice is the sort of movie that I would go and see." Plenty of critics agreed with her assessment of the film. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 80% of the reviews have been positive.

Frankly, I don't know what Gemma and those critics were thinking. I found it to be very competently acted and directed, but all of that stalwart effort takes place in service of a script which is too talky and completely predictable. The entire film is essentially a three-character stage play which takes place on a single set with two rooms, minus all of the clever dialogue and character development you would expect from a night in the theater, because virtually all the dialogue here has to serve as exposition for a complicated plot. It's one of those thrillers that relies on multiple plot twists, each of which reveals new information previously hidden from certain characters and the audience. It turns out that the kidnappers and Gemma are bound together by various connections and promises, and will eventually be divided by a string of betrayals. It's just the usual genre stuff, and you should have no problem guessing how it will unfold if you have seen similar films before. That's why I'm so puzzled about the plaudits from the critics. My general understanding of the qualifications required for a film critic includes an assumption that he or she must have seen a lot of movies, and it seems to me that anyone who has watched a lot of films would anticipate almost every single plot twist in this one, except one, and that one has proved to be guffaw-inducing with festival audiences.

Oh, well, maybe it's just me being jaded. Obviously, many people did like this film, so I won't advise you to stay away. The film is technically excellent, the pace is very fast in the first ten minutes, and you will see Gemma Arterton's impressive breasts exposed on several occasions in good lighting conditions, so the film will provide some guilty pleasures and will certainly not be a complete waste of your time.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Completely predictable plot. Virtually no character development. Slickly made, but vastly overrated by the critics.

Video on Demand


78 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)





7.3 IMDB summary (of 10)





Box Office Mojo. $56,000 in 12 theaters. It took in $378,000 overseas.


Wikipedia page

MAJOR spoilers. (The entire plot, scene by scene.)



  • Gemma Arterton: breasts in three different scenes.