Mystic River

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This film is amazing.

Breathtaking in every way, and every aspect.

Penn deserves an Oscar. This was his best performance, and if the Academy doesn't reward him, then I've lost every shread of faith I've ever had in the Academy.

Only for the weak
Yeah I've been looking forward to this film for a long time, I might go see it this weekend. I've read a few reviews, kinda mixed, but all say it's interesting and that Penn is amazing.
Early morning moments, a glimpse of joy. But soon it's over and I return to dust. As I try to be, everything everyone. I shrivel up and, waste away.

The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
The reviews aren't really mixed at all. There is the occasional person that doesn't like it, but the overwhelming majority of the critics have loved it.
"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" - Howard Beale

I'm that occasional person, I reckon.

First let me say that I am a massive and unabashed Eastwood fan. I think he is still very underrated as a filmmaker, even with the Oscar on his shelf. So I certainly went in ready to be wowed, and I had gotten wind of the "masterpiece" reviews coming in.

So, I saw this last Friday, at the opening night of the NYFilm Festival. Clint was there, as was much of the cast. If this wasn't the perfect atmosphere to be swept up in, what is? Then the movie started.

I was underwhelmed by it, by in large. There are many good things to recommend, and it is miles away from being a bad movie or one not worthwhile of seeing theatrically, but this is simply not a "GREAT" film. Doesn't even stack up to Eastwood's previous best works: Bird, A Perfect World and Unforgiven.

The themes are very Eastwoodian, but there is too much that is supposed to be Operatic throughout, and that's just not Eastwood's strength. He is a subtle, minimalistic director at his best, really quite magnificent, but the material here is at odds with all that. If he was trying something new, either on purpose or subconsciously, for me it didn't work overall.

Without getting into spoilers yet until more folks here have a chance to see it, there is way too much of the dialogue that is unweildly and rings false, much too literary. I haven't read the book yet, but too much of what is spoken on screen is clearly either interior monologue truned into dialogue for the sake of the screenplay, or languge that works in a novel, but doesn't in a film. Either way, I found it distracting and distancing, when the inherent power of the material should have been expressed in other ways. Brian Helgeland adapted the book, and he definitely has done better before (most obviously L.A. Confidential).

I had other problems with Mystic River, but that's the key one.

I'll see it a second time, perhaps I can reconcile some of my disappoinment on a second viewing, but I definitely didn't find this was masterpiece territory, or the best movie of this or any year.

"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra


So I was able to catch an advanced screening of this film and i left with mixed emotions.

First, let me just say that Sean Penn was AMAZING!!! He definitely put on an award winning performance and his talent never ceases to amaze me. Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins were incredible as well. The three of them together is what made this movie great. I can't stress enough how incredible the acting was!!!

The storyline itself was pretty decent although I felt that the end didn't leave me with much closure. That was my only problem with the film. Does anyone else who has seen the film feel the same way???

But I would definitely recommend checking it out and I am really curious to hear what other people have to say about it!!!


I saw MYSTIC RIVER last night and absolutely loved it! There were so many stars in it that I love (especially Kevin Bacon). The story was very interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The end was totally shocking to me (I won’t say it), but I will say it was not what I expected at all. If you want to see a good mysterious movie, I definitely recommend checking this one out!

birdygyrl's Avatar
MovieForums Extra
I saw Mystic River this afternoon. I think I am with Holden on this one. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I just wasn't blown away. Maybe it was the hype and the critics saying how outstanding it was supposed to be. It was very good, but not outstanding. Sean Penn was just phenomenal in his role but I had trouble becoming invested in some of the other characters. Its not like I didn't enjoy it; I really did. I especially liked the fact that it was done in Massachusetts, having grown up there. I just didn't see "Oscar" on the screen.
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I watched this movie Tuesday night, I enjoyed it, Penn was really good as was Bacon, very enjoyable.
Gimme some sugar!

i saw MYSTIC RIVER today..that film has oscar written allover it\
i went to the movies thinkin, no body will be there, and man
every seat in the theatre is full...i was in shock,
i went to c the movie for 2 reasons, first i LOVE sean penn so freakin much
and i love clint eastwood as a director (unforgiven, a perfect world)
terrific acting, the best, great writing, terrific direction
..i loved that film, i really really love that film, an excellent drama
about loss, revenge, redemption, terrific, mysterious, that movie moved me
the film already won the cannes film festival golden coach award..u have to c it

We bury our sins, we wash them clean.

plot: Childhood friends Jimmy Marcus (Penn), Sean Devine (Bacon) and Dave Boyle (Robbins) reunite following the death of Jimmy's oldest daughter, Katie (Rossum). Sean's a police detective on the case, gathering difficult and disturbing evidence; he's also tasked with handling Jimmy's rage and need for retribution.

Sean Penn .... Jimmy
Tim Robbins .... Dave
Kevin Bacon .... Sean
Laurence Fishburne .... Whitey
Marcia Gay Harden .... Celeste Boyle
Kevin Chapman .... Val Savage
Laura Linney .... Annabeth Markum

directed by CLINT EASTWOOD

i highly recommend u watch the trailer..its incredible: http://mysticrivermovie.warnerbros.c...&settings=true

I must become Caligari..!
I cant wait for this one, 20th of november is going to be good day, Ill go see this then scoot over to OUTIM
It's a god-awful small affair, To the girl with, the mousy hair, But her mummy is yelling "No", and her daddy has told her to go, But her friend is nowhere to be seen, Now she walks through her sunken dream, To the seat with the clearest view, And she's hooked to the silver screen, But the film is a saddening bore, For she's lived it ten times or more...

jamesglewisf's Avatar
Didn't see it.
I thought it was really good. I'll bet it is up for some awards. I thought Penn and Robbins were both very good. The ending with Laura Linney was a bit unexpected.
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Originally Posted by jamesglewisf
The ending with Laura Linney was a bit unexpected.
What was that about anyway?

Saw this last Saturday, and in a word, AWESOME! It's not the best movie ever, but it sure is great. BTW, my sister told me that she thinks when Kevin Bacon makes the gun thing to Penn at the end, she says it means he's going to go after him. (him being Penn) What do you think about that?
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The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Interesting...although I'm not sure what I thought it was. It was a GREAT movie though. The third best this year so far.

Originally Posted by Beale the Rippe
Interesting...although I'm not sure what I thought it was. It was a GREAT movie though. The third best this year so far.

Just curious, but what were the first two?

I must become Caligari..!
Just got back from seeing it and while it wasnt great it was good, alot of people complain about its pace but i loved it, Somthing thats slow enought for you to think about it beofre your hit with somthing else. Also love Eastwoods lighting.... its very real yet still gives you atmoshpere

I must become Caligari..!
Did any one else catch the few frames of what looked like newspaper during the fly-over of the river at the end?, I guess i will haveto wait for the home realese to see it

The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Originally Posted by led_zeppelin
Just curious, but what were the first two?
Sorry about that. (I missed this earlier) They are Kill Bill and Master and Commander. Also ahead of it (as I did this quite a while ago) is The Man on the Train, and tied with it are 21 Grams, School of Rock, and The Human Stain.

What About John's Avatar
Registered User
Beautiful film, loved it, took place in boston where i am from so it appealed to me alot, the story is great, i wonder who will get best picture? ROTK VS MR
Top Films of 2003:
1. Mystic River
2. American Splendor
3. Matrix: Revolutions
4. Kill Bill: Vol 1
5. X2: X-Men United
6. Matrix: Reloaded
7. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
8. Matchstick Men
9. School of Rock
10. Swimming Pool

Originally Posted by What About John
i wonder who will get best picture? ROTK VS MR
If Mystic River beats ROTK, i'm gonna just die. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Mystic River though, one of the best I've ever seen, but I have read LOTR 4 times now, and I just think ROTK deserves it more. But, that's just me, the LOTR fanatic.