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Critics' Picks

'The Vanishing'

March 13, 1994|Kenneth Turan

Psychological thrillers are only as effective as their villains, and this 1993 film serves up one hell of a suspenseful specimen. Barney Cousins is his name, and as played by Jeff Bridges, he is an only too believable maniac, oozing a kind of bumbling menace that is totally chilling. Bridges' Barney is a college chemistry professor in the Pacific Northwest, a loving father and faithful husband, a man you could pass on the street without feeling in mortal danger. Directed by George Sluizer, who also directed the original 1988 Dutch version. With Nancy Travis and Kiefer Sutherland (both pictured) as co-stars (HBO Saturday at 9 p.m.).

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