Directed by Clint Eastwood.
Written by Brian Helgeland. Based on the novel by
Starring Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins and Marcia Gay
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 10/27/03
Damn, maybe all of those great reviews
really DO mean something.
I was very excited to catch “Mystic River”
ever since I first saw the trailer for it a month ago, and director
Clint Eastwood does some great work with a great cast and a solid
script based on the Dennis Lehane novel. Three friends from
childhood are reunited over some very unfortunate
circumstances—Jimmy (Sean Penn), a local convenience store owner;
Sean (Kevin Bacon), a Boston detective; and Dave (Tim Robbins), a
down-on-his-luck husband. After we witness an event that affects
one of the guys’ adolescent years, we move to the present day, where
we come to see that Jimmy’s oldest daughter Katie has been murdered,
and it’s up to the cops—led by Sean and his partner Whitey (very
unwhite Laurence Fishburne)—to figure out whodunit.
Penn only comes to school on test days and
it shows here—the man is just so intense, he makes you feel
everything as the wronged father of the 19-year-old Katie. I love
watching him work because you just never know when he is going to
blow his top and when he does in this film, oh boy, watch out! His
matchups with every actor in the film feel like all-star
appearances; scenes with Penn, Bacon and Fishburne are electric, and
it must have been pretty cool as an actor to work on a film with so
many great performers. Marcia Gay Harden appears as Dave’s wife,
and she is fantastic once again as well; Robbins and Bacon are quite
good, and Laura Linney is superb in her few scenes as Jimmy’s wife.
Even the child actors in this film, led by Tom Guiry as Katie’s
boyfriend Brendan, are solid.
The film’s twisting plot and constant
cutaways as we revolve around the three former friends keep things
moving very briskly, making the film’s long 145 minutes evaporate
effortlessly. A score by the Boston Philharmonic and original songs
by Eastwood himself fill the aural air; a good-looking Boston in the
background makes for pretty scenery. I loved the murder setup, I
loved the little developments that come in with the suspects in the
case, I loved the ending.
Damn, I think I pretty much loved it all
with “Mystic River.” You should definitely get into a theater and
check this thing out; it is sure to be a contender when all is said
and done at Oscar time.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard