Mystic River Reviews

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Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
October 9, 2003
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 cliché.
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
October 8, 2003
It wants to be a big, serious movie. It has big, serious star power and big, serious themes. There are moments of power and flickers of meaning but it is ultimately hollow and unsatisfying.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 24, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Sobczynski
Critic Doctor
October 9, 2003
'Mystic River' is an ambitious failure but it is, ultimately, a failure. It is a shame because there are a lot of little things that I liked about it even as the big things never quite added up.
Staci Layne Wilson
Fantastica Daily
October 9, 2003
Up the Mystic River without a paddle is how I felt about halfway into this soggy Eastwood-meets-melodrama mess of a movie.
Keith Uhlich
October 2, 2003
And I take a page from Ann Miller and say it's all a load of horse-puckey.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Sean O'Connell
October 7, 2003
Slowly trudges through the motions of a tired whodunit, saving its dramatic juices for a blowout finale that never comes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Phil Hall
Film Threat
October 2, 2003
Plodding, emotionally inert, overlong, badly framed, inappropriately scored and polluted with an ensemble who try to outdo each other with bad performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
February 5, 2004
Eastwood encourages Penn to overact, and Penn Method-ically responds with the enthusiasm of the amateur talents in Waiting for Guffman.
Joshua Tanzer
October 3, 2003
After many meticulously drawn connections, it's a disappointment to see most of our two-plus hours of careful attention thrown away.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jurgen Fauth
October 7, 2003
Despite the faultless execution, this ultimately unedifying story of pointless murder is ... hopelessly contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
October 19, 2003
Deeply serious, sombre, long and humourless, it reeks of integrity. Eastwood's best since Unforgiven? Maybe, but it's the one I'd least like to sit through again.
Mike Sage
Peterborough This Week
January 17, 2004
Less a taut whodunit than a dreary who-cares-it, Mystic River is muddy-swamp-slow and about as appealing to look at
| Original Score: 2/5
Dustin Putman
October 9, 2003
A melodramatic murder-mystery that is as uneven as its outcome is anticlimactic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal
October 10, 2003
There is a solid story here, but it's weakened by heavy-handed dialogue, strained symbolism and subplots that don't got anywhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
November 22, 2003
Fiction doesn't survive on believability alone. The unilluminating Mystic River offers depression without insight; drama without purpose.
Spence D.
IGN Movies
October 10, 2003
Despite all involved, Mystic River never quite equals the sum of its parts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum
October 8, 2003
There's no emotional connection to the characters. This is cookie cutter anguish meant to manipulate the gullible into believing that they're watching something meaningful.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Mark Dujsik
Mark Reviews Movies
October 19, 2003
An apprehensive cross between an elegiac tone poem of loss, an ever-twisting murder mystery, and a character study revolving around the regret of lost innocence, Mystic River tries to be all of these things and ends up falling short on all counts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Ross Anthony
Hollywood Report Card
October 6, 2003
The performances are all good. However, the film experiences one coincidence after the other, manipulating its audiences rather heavy-handedly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 17, 2003
February 7, 2004
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