A detective (Kevin Bacon) investigates the brutal beating and murder of the daughter of a childhood friend (Sean Penn), then questions a second friend (Tim Robbins).
" For all its missteps, Mystic River gets the big things right: It turns you inside out with grief. "
" Eastwood has handed Penn the role of a lifetime, and the actor scorches the screen with his anguish and angry vengefulness. "
" It is in many ways Eastwood's tightest movie for some time, and certainly his darkest since Unforgiven; indeed, the ending offers as corrosive an assessment of the limits of American justice as anything in his career. "
" Too depressing to fill audiences with delight, but it does seem to validate questionable attitudes, especially an indifference to the suffering of innocent people and a willingness to shoot first and ask questions later. "
" Solid, rarely showy performances, meticulously recreated detective work and moments of pure unadulterated grief accent this whodunit, a movie that will have those who haven't read the book fooled for much of its length. "
" Contains so many layers that you'll want to see it more than once. It's one for the memory books. "
" A masterpiece of the first order. "
" There is depth in this movie, and fine acting. But even more intriguing, there are questions... questions with no clear answers. "
" It is an impressive movie masquerading as an important one. "
" Eastwood and his terrific cast leave you shaken in ways that matter. "
" If Mystic River is just a bit overplayed, a tad too highly pitched, it still resonates with grief and fury and feeling. "
" Smart, hard-charging, compassionate. "
" Deals with themes Eastwood has often explored before, but never so delicately or with as much sad wisdom: The way in which our past haunts our present, the lasting repercussions of violence and the cruel inexorability of fate. "
" A solid whodunit, with disturbing, provocative, take-home insights into human nature. "
" The experience of being so absorbed in a movie and the lives of the people in it, of trusting a director and a writer and actors to take me places completely unexpected, is so rare that I savored every unexpected turn and twist. "
" Sean Penn is so frighteningly good in this movie that he outdoes even the best of his earlier work. "
" Works as a straight-up detective story, and the acting is often breathtaking. "
" Where Lehane's novel seethes with emotionally charged subtext, Eastwood's workmanlike direction feels static -- fatally tasteful, embalmed in gravitas -- while his sporadic efforts at dramatic heightening come off as vulgar cliche. "
" A deeply textured drama in which the sins (or perceived sins) of the past weigh heavily on the present. "
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