Mystic River (2003)



Critic Consensus: Anchored by the exceptional acting of its strong cast, Mystic River is a somber drama that unfolds in layers and conveys the tragedy of its story with visceral power.

Movie Info

Directed by Clint Eastwood, the mysterious drama Mystic River is based on the novel by Dennis Lehane and adapted by screenwriter Brian Helgeland. Set in an Irish neighborhood in Boston, Jimmy, Sean, and Dave are three childhood friends who are reunited after a brutal murder takes place. Reformed convict Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn) and his devoted wife Annabeth (Laura Linney) find out that their teenage daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) has been beaten and killed. Jimmy's old friend Sean Devine (Kevin … More

Rating: R (for language and violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Brian Helgeland, Dennis Lehane
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 8, 2004
Box Office: $90.1M


as Jimmy Markum

as Dave Boyle

as Sean Devine

as Whitey Powers

as Celeste Boyle

as Annabeth Markum

as Val Savage

as Nick Savage

as Young Dave

as John O'Shea

as State Trooper

as Cop at Barricade

as Esther Harris

as Michael

as Medical Examinder

as Dave's Friend

as Driver

as Boston Police Office...

as Nadine Marcum

as Jimmy's Father

as Eve Pigeon

as Sean's father

as Brendan Harris

as Lauren Devine

as Bartender

as FBI Agent Birden

as Priest

as Nadine Markum

as Diane Cestra

as Drew Pigeon

as Boston Police Office...

as Lieutenant Friel

as Police Detective

as Kevin Savage

as CSS Tech

as Sara Marcum

as Lab Technician

as Spectator

as Mrs. Prior

as Trooper Jenny Coughl...

as Detective

as Loudmouth Cop

as Young Sean Devine

as Cop at Barricade

as Young Jimmy Markum

as Neighbor at Barricad...

as Headstone Salesman

as Reporter

as Handcuffed Man

as Solicitor in Car

as '75 Police Officer

as '75 Reporter

as Helicopter Pilot

as Liquor Store Owner [...

as Helicopter Pilot
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Mystic River

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Critic Reviews for Mystic River

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (45)

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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Sean Penn is so frighteningly good in this movie that he outdoes even the best of his earlier work.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

The entire cast did a phenomenal job, resisting the urge to overact too much, which is what you get for a film like this.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
7M Pictures

Powerful performances in graphic story. Only 16+.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

American drama doesn't get any more meaty and muscular than this.

Full Review… | June 13, 2009

The performances are uniformly superb.

Full Review… | August 25, 2008

Audience Reviews for Mystic River



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Three childhood friends who share the memory of a traumatic event are brought together once more when one of their children is murdered. Clint Eastwood once again proves he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood with this extremely well acted and written crime drama. The characters on display are far more sophisticated than those found in your average mainstream thriller, and the top notch cast all get to demonstrate their thespian chops with plenty of meaty dialogue as Clint cranks up the suspense with consummate skill. I personally have always found Penn a little unconvincing and his performance here is a little over-ripe as well, but he is a suitably intense protagonist. Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne are totally believable as the detectives on the case, very much in the tradition of The Wire and Oscar winner Tim Robbins is the stand out as the traumatized abductee who is beginning to fear for his sanity. My one criticism would be that I thought that the epilogue killed the mood somewhat, but as a whole it is head and shoulders above the usual cop thriller fare.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A masterpiece. A pure powerhouse entertainment. Sean Penn is magnificent, giving a groundbreaking and emotionally shattering performance. Tim Robbins is brilliant, a haunting and brooding performance. Kevin Bacon is terrific, a compelling and fantastic performance. Laurence Fishburne is excellent. Marcia Gay Harden is a revelation. The acting is so beyond superb, the actors go places they haven't been before and nail it dead on. A powerful cast. It's sizzling, heart-pounding and utterly shocking. The best picture of 2003. Clint Eastwood's best film as a director. An instant classic. A powerful, deeply effective, chilling and brooding thriller. A stylish, masterful, intriguing and searing mystery. Unsettling and unforgettable. It sticks in your mind and does not let go. It will keep you on the edge of your seat then take your breath away and knock you out. A true shot of adrenaline to the heart. Such a film should not be missed for it's power, suspense, tragedy and emotion.

Al S

Super Reviewer

Mystic River Quotes

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– Submitted by Jeremy F (3 years ago)
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– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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