Mystic River (2003)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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.

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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 Bacon) is the homicide detective assigned to the case, along with partner Whitey Powers (Laurence Fishburne). Jimmy also gets his relatives, the Savage brothers (Adam Nelson and Robert Wahlberg), to conduct an investigation of their own. Jimmy and Sean both start to suspect their old pal, Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins), who lives a quiet life with his wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) but harbors some disturbing secrets. Clint Eastwood won a Golden Coach for Mystic River at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
Rating:
R (for language and violence)
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$88,800,000.00
Runtime:
Studio:
WB

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Cast

Sean Penn
as Jimmy Markum
Cayden Boyd
as Michael
Marcia Gay Harden
as Celeste Boyle
Laura Linney
as Annabeth Markum
Kevin Bacon
as Sean Devine
Tim Robbins
as Dave Boyle
Eli Wallach
as Liquor Store Owner [uncredited]
Emmy Rossum
as Katie
Tom Guiry
as Brendan Harris
Laurence Fishburne
as Whitey Powers
Bruce Page
as Jimmy's Father
John Doman
as Driver
Ari Graynor
as Eve Pigeon
Kevin Chapman
as Val Savage
Lonnie Farmer
as Lab Technician
Robert Wahlberg
as Kevin Savage
Will Lyman
as FBI Agent Birden
Jillian Wheeler
as Sara Marcum
Ken Cheeseman
as Dave's Friend
Jenny O'Hara
as Esther Harris
Spencer Treat Clark
as Silent Ray
Duncan Putney
as Solicitor in Car
Patrick Shea
as Handcuffed Man
Adam Nelson
as Nick Savage
Michael McGovern
as '75 Reporter
Tom Kemp
as CSS Tech
Matty Blake
as State Trooper
Bates Wilder
as Loudmouth Cop
Scott Winters
as Detective
Cameron Bowen
as Young Dave
Jose Ramon Rosario
as Lieutenant Friel
Jim Smith
as Reporter
Jason Kelly
as Young Jimmy Markum
Connor Paolo
as Young Sean Devine
Brian Van Kay
as Police Detective
Kris Swanberg
as Spectator
Tori Davis
as Lauren Devine
Lance Norris
as Bartender
Bill Richards
as Helicopter Pilot
Susan Willis
as Mrs. Prior
Charley Broderick
as Medical Examinder
Celine Du Tertre
as Nadine Markum
Andrew Mackin
as John O'Shea
Miles Herter
as Sean's father
Shawn Fitzgibbon
as Mr. Reed
Zabeth Russell
as Diane Cestra
Joe Stapleton
as Drew Pigeon
Celeste Oliva
as Trooper Jenny Coughlin
Douglas Bowen Flynn
as Cop at Barricade
Bill Thorpe
as Neighbor at Barricade
Thomas Derrah
as Headstone Salesman
Ed O'Keefe
as Priest
Dave Zee Garlson
as '75 Police Officer
Michael Peavey
as Helicopter Pilot
Andrew Blesser
as Sibling
Douglass Bowen Flynn
as Cop at Barricade
Brad R. Douglas
as Boston Police Officer
Celine du Terte
as Nadine Marcum
Anthony Taurasi
as Boston Police Officer
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Critic Reviews for Mystic River

All Critics (195) | Top Critics (44)

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 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Works as a straight-up detective story, and the acting is often breathtaking.

November 14, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

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… | October 24, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | October 17, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Contains so many layers that you'll want to see it more than once. It's one for the memory books.

Full Review… | October 17, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mystic River

 

   
   

Super Reviewer

½

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

½

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
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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