Mystic River [2003] Movie Review Recommendation

Mystic River [2003]

Directed by Clint Eastwood (fun fact: he also composed the music) this disturbing drama is packed with excellent actors and magnificent performances. Clint decided to tackle a very serious subject of child abuse, and he did an excellent job. Based on a novel written by Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island), Mystic River has that Stephen King vibe. Childhood friends, traumatic events, fast-forward twenty-five years with new disturbing tragedies and you got yourself the recipe for intro and retrospection. However, this movie is much darker and visceral, especially when it comes to characters. They are truly fucked up, like most of us. This omission of lying and pretending that everything is good is what got me. I also must mention Clint’s style that leaves characters to develop organically and doesn’t use some pretentious camera angles or gimmicks.   

Childhood friends reunite after the death of the daughter of one of them. This event will bring up the memories of their rough childhood and one event in particular, an event that changed it all. This plot is somewhat similar to the Sleepers (1996), but still different in many ways. Although Clint is concentrating on the acting and the story, and not special effects or action, if there were not these awesome actors Mystic River would be quite mediocre. The story, in a nutshell, is pretty predictable but still when all this is wrapped together along with convincing characters, the result is more than satisfying. I don’t know why they forced that emotional masturbation (perhaps it’s a needed release after all the difficult issues that the viewer witnessed earlier) towards the end, it was in contrast with the rational nature of the rest of the movie.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Andrew Mackin

Fun Stuff: While researching his character’s occupation, Kevin Bacon had worked in the office of the Massachusetts State Police.


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