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Erased (released as The Expatriate outside of the US) is a 2012 Canadian-Belgian thriller film directed by Philipp Stölzl, starring Aaron Eckhart and Olga Kurylenko. The story centers on Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) an ex-CIA agent and Amy (Liana Liberato), his estranged daughter who are forced on the run when his employers erase all records of his existence, and mark them both for termination as part of a wide-reaching international conspiracy. It was released in the US on 17 May 2013, following its acquisition by RaDiUS-TWC, the multiplatform distribution label of The Weinstein Company. It was retitled Erased for the US market.[3]

Erased (The Expatriate)
Erased film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhilipp Stölzl
Produced by
  • Karl Richards
  • Adrian Politowski
  • Jonathan Vanger
Written byArash Amel
Music byJeff Danna
CinematographyKolja Brandt
Edited byDominique Fortin
Distributed byRaDiUS-TWC / The Weinstein Company (USA)
Release date
  • 21 September 2012 (2012-09-21) (Belgium)
  • 31 May 2013 (2013-05-31) (Canada)
Running time
95 minutes
Box office$1.32 million[2]



Ben Logan is an American single parent who has recently moved to Belgium with Amy, his previously estranged teenaged daughter. He works for a company within the Halgate Group, a multinational technology corporation. When one of his co-workers discovers that a patent has been apparently misfiled, Logan brings it to the attention of his boss, Derek Kohler. Shortly afterward, he finds his entire office building is empty and no records exist of the Kohler Company nor his employment. Confused, Logan attempts to prove his employment by accessing bank records, but he and Amy are kidnapped at gunpoint by a coworker.

Logan kills the coworker in front of a stunned Amy, who demands to know his background. Logan cryptically alludes to "getting people in and out of difficult situations". Logan soon discovers that the rest of his coworkers have all been killed, and he goes into hiding, aided by Amy's contacts among undocumented immigrants she had befriended. Eventually, Logan uncovers documents proving a wide-ranging conspiracy involving illegal arms sales to African insurgents, meant to allow Halgate to access lithium mining rights when the insurgents take power. The Halgate shell company Logan was working for was using his security engineering skills to steal these documents from a CIA cache. Logan finally tells Amy that he is an ex-CIA operative.

Father and daughter are hunted by the CIA, Belgian police, and an assassin hired by Halgate. The CIA team is led by Anna Brandt, his former lover, who is also on the Halgate payroll, and who recommended him to the shell company.

After many innocent people have died, Brandt changes sides and attempts to protect Amy, who was captured by the assassin. Brandt is killed by the assassin. Logan goes after his corrupt former employers and arranges to deliver himself and the documents, in exchange for Amy's life. He is able to say goodbye to Amy when he personally hands a briefcase to Halgate and his assistant, watching her release to her Arab friend. Halgate tells the assassin that Amy and her grandfather, her only other family, must be killed. Logan is one step ahead, as seconds later Halgate, his assistant, and the assassin are killed by a bomb hidden in the briefcase with the documents. Father and daughter reunite at the airport.



Erased made its United States theatrical premiere on 17 May 2013.[4]


Rotten Tomatoes reports that 26% of 42 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review, and the average rating was 4.7/10; the consensus is: "Derivative to a fault, Erased squanders some nifty potential and its talented cast in a bland retelling of a story action fans have seen too many times before."[5] Metacritic rated the film 34/100 based on 17 reviews.[6] Dennis Harvey of Variety called it "a confidently engineered, propulsive piece of intelligent action cinema."[1] Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter called it "competent but uninspired".[7] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times called it unoriginal and cliched.[8] Paul Bradshaw of Total Film wrote, "Eckhart makes a decent Damon stand-in, but there’s nothing here than hasn’t been done (better) before."[9]

The script was heavily criticised for being what many reviewers felt was "unoriginal." Michael Posner of The Globe and Mail said "Arash Amel’s plot is a hodgepodge of threadbare motifs, liberally cut and pasted from every thriller you’ve seen."[10] Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times agreed, saying "We have a script, by Arash Amel, that hustles cardboard characters from one crisis to the next, pausing only to leak lines that might have been clipped from a compendium of spy movie clichés."[11]


  1. ^ a b c Harvey, Dennis (15 May 2013). "Film Review: 'Erased'". Variety. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Erased (2013) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  3. ^ Kroll, Justin (20 March 2012). "Radius-TWC acquires 'The Expatriate'". Variety. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  4. ^ Miller, Julie (17 May 2013). "Aaron Eckhart on Actor's Block, Raising Teenage Girls Onscreen, and Making Twitter Personal". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Erased (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Erased". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  7. ^ Scheck, Frank (16 May 2013). "Erased: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  8. ^ Abele, Robert (16 May 2013). "Review: 'Erased' lacks originality but not cliches". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  9. ^ Bradshaw, Paul (5 April 2013). "The Expatriate". Total Film. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Erased is a clichéd melange of plot lines lifted from past thrillers". The Globe and Mail. 31 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Outrunning Assassins, Sulky Daughter in Tow". The New York Times. 16 May 2013.

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