Mystic River Movie Review
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Sean Penn, Jason Kelly, Tim Robbins, Cameron Bowen, Kevin Bacon, Connor Paolo, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Tom Guiry, Spencer Treat Clark, Andrew Mackin, Emmy Rossum, Jenny O'Hara, Kevin Chapman, Adam Nelson, Robert Wahlberg, Cayden Boyd, John Doman, Tori Davis, Jonathan Togo, Will Lyman, Ari Graynor
Oscar Wins: Best Actor (Sean Penn), Best Supporting Actor (Tim Robbins),
Other Nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Marcia Gay Harden), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture
In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In Boston, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Kevin Bacon Unit. This is his story.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, Mystic River is a heartbreaking crime story about three childhood friends who were forever changed when one of them was captured and abused by a child molester. Now in adulthood, Sean, Jimmy and Dave are dealing with a new tragedy: the brutal murder of Jimmy’s daughter, Katie.
Though adulthood has forced these three friends apart, this tragedy brings them all together again. Sean (Kevin Bacon) is the lead detective on Katie’s murder and Jimmy (Sean Penn) finds himself turning to Dave (Tim Robbins) for emotional support – that is until Dave becomes suspect #1.
I really don’t want to say too much about this movie because it boasts a GREAT twist at the end…so be careful what you Google before you watch it! But I will say this: In a town where everyone knows your name, you like to think you can trust your family, your friends, your spouse. But that’s not always the case.
Mystic River was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Sean Penn took home a well-deserved Oscar for Best Actor, as did Tim Robbins for Best Supporting Actor. This film also earned several accolades outside of the Academy Awards, including Golden Globe awards, Critics’ Choice awards and won in a variety of film festivals.
As is the case with most police dramas, we want a character to hate here. We want to know who we can trust and who we can’t – but that resolution is not offered in Mystic River. There’s no one to hate. Whether or not director Clint Eastwood intended for us to sympathize with all the characters, he achieved it. We feel for them. We grieve with them. In the quiet, unspoken moments between these three boys, we not only understand their anger, we can even relate to it. Which can only beg the question – does that make US the bad guys?