User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 416 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 93 out of 416
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  1. DayleH.
    Oct 5, 2003
    10
    Saw it at a preview last night and was blown away. I never read the book, but heard from comments by Eastwood, who spoke after the preview, that it was deliberately kept very close to the original story, feel, even dialogue. Just amazing acting jobs by a group of some of the smartest, best actors and actresses on screen today. Powerful, haunting story.
  2. CameronS.
    May 6, 2004
    10
    This is perplexingly appalling, my fourth favorite (of 180 films) of 2003 has a 4.7 average. This is beyond foolish, but the score is not my statement. Mystic River is a harrowing, well-performed drama. A film similar to classics because it is an emotional thriller. I say more things in a more organized manner but I'm just so struck by how many people hated this. With this and the This is perplexingly appalling, my fourth favorite (of 180 films) of 2003 has a 4.7 average. This is beyond foolish, but the score is not my statement. Mystic River is a harrowing, well-performed drama. A film similar to classics because it is an emotional thriller. I say more things in a more organized manner but I'm just so struck by how many people hated this. With this and the other two of the other four films that were nominated for best picture were excellent and both have scores pretty low. The browsers of metacritic have to be dumber than the ones of other sites. Expand
  3. MaryM.
    Jul 9, 2004
    10
    Loved this move. Everything seems to work. Plus the soundtrack really grows on you. A beautiful/haunting film.
  4. patrickd.
    Oct 30, 2005
    10
    5.1?????? Movie like Napolean Dynamyte got a better score than this?
  5. EricS.
    Mar 25, 2005
    10
    Coming from one who doesn't always enjoy Oscar-nominated films, I can tell you that you owe it to yourself to watch "Mystic River". Terrific acting, especially from Penn and Robbins. While the plot got a little confusing and cryptic at times, almost everything was answered in the end. "Mystic River" is one of those films that provokes a strong emotional response that doesn't Coming from one who doesn't always enjoy Oscar-nominated films, I can tell you that you owe it to yourself to watch "Mystic River". Terrific acting, especially from Penn and Robbins. While the plot got a little confusing and cryptic at times, almost everything was answered in the end. "Mystic River" is one of those films that provokes a strong emotional response that doesn't overshadow the plot. It left me thinking for a long time afterwards. The low metascore is probably due to the fact that many viewers can't stomach a serious movie (not to mention one un-PC enough to actually bring up priests and molestation in the same sentence). Not everything turns out fine in the end, people! If I wasn''t such a LOTR fan I would say this was the best film of 2004. Hats off to Eastwood! Expand
  6. ChadS.
    Oct 22, 2003
    10
    Celeste must be a Tammy Wynette fan. Apparently, Annabeth is not. The back-end of "Mystic River" inspired murmurs in the crowd, and it rubbed me the wrong way, too initially, but every person will emerge from the theater with the need for dialogue. Eastwood does something amazing here, albeit mysoginisitc. Our anger trickles down because Celeste's words acts as an elixir. Sean Penn, Celeste must be a Tammy Wynette fan. Apparently, Annabeth is not. The back-end of "Mystic River" inspired murmurs in the crowd, and it rubbed me the wrong way, too initially, but every person will emerge from the theater with the need for dialogue. Eastwood does something amazing here, albeit mysoginisitc. Our anger trickles down because Celeste's words acts as an elixir. Sean Penn, in one year, goes from "I Am Sam" to "I Am Good(Again)". The whole cast must've been on a mission to Make Clint Smile, because everybody is on their game. See it twice. It's a different movie the second time around. Expand
  7. CharlesD.
    Oct 27, 2003
    10
    Perfect.
  8. BiggieS.
    Feb 16, 2004
    10
    This was a damned good movie. And so was ROTK. So WOULD ALL THE RINGS-HEADS RESPECTFULLY STOP VOTING ZERO FOR EVERY OTHER NOMINATED FILM!! Appreciate your own movie, support it, but don't destroy everyone else's film. Trust me, I seriously don't think that Metacritic gets a vote at the oscars. Stop manipulating the user votes! Now back to Mystic River. I'd have to say This was a damned good movie. And so was ROTK. So WOULD ALL THE RINGS-HEADS RESPECTFULLY STOP VOTING ZERO FOR EVERY OTHER NOMINATED FILM!! Appreciate your own movie, support it, but don't destroy everyone else's film. Trust me, I seriously don't think that Metacritic gets a vote at the oscars. Stop manipulating the user votes! Now back to Mystic River. I'd have to say the the mood of the film is excellent, but this is a DOWN year for best picture. Probably the worst year in the last 20. Within this context, MR is certainly one of the top 5 or 10. Expand
  9. SeanM.
    Apr 9, 2004
    10
    Hey this movie was amazing and Tim Robbins blew down the house with his amazing performance which ups that of even Penn. Penn not so deserving of the best acting oscar due to Bill Murray's loss is still very good, but Robbins is absolutely incredible. The story is very compelling and powerful, at the end you actually feel something for the characters. I almost left out Kevin Bacon, Hey this movie was amazing and Tim Robbins blew down the house with his amazing performance which ups that of even Penn. Penn not so deserving of the best acting oscar due to Bill Murray's loss is still very good, but Robbins is absolutely incredible. The story is very compelling and powerful, at the end you actually feel something for the characters. I almost left out Kevin Bacon, just good acting all around surrounded by an incredible story with some good directing from Eastwood. I guess I should probably check out some more of his films if this is the level of quality on which he rests. Expand
  10. CameronS.
    May 6, 2004
    10
    This is perplexingly appalling, my fourth favorite (of 180 films) of 2003 has a 4.7 average. This is beyond foolish, but the score is not my statement. Mystic River is a harrowing, well-performed drama. A film similar to classics because it is an emotional thriller. I say more things in a more organized manner but I'm just so struck by how many people hated this. With this and the This is perplexingly appalling, my fourth favorite (of 180 films) of 2003 has a 4.7 average. This is beyond foolish, but the score is not my statement. Mystic River is a harrowing, well-performed drama. A film similar to classics because it is an emotional thriller. I say more things in a more organized manner but I'm just so struck by how many people hated this. With this and the other two of the other four films that were nominated for best picture were excellent and both have scores pretty low. The browsers of metacritic have to be dumber than the ones of other sites. Expand
  11. AricM.
    May 13, 2005
    10
    Eastwood directs this film with the skill of a master and in the hands of this more than able cast the film soars to the heights of one of the best pictures of the new century.
  12. BenS.
    Jul 31, 2005
    10
    If there's one thing that shakes my shackles, it is when people psychoanalyze and dissect a film to death. "Mystic River" was great filmmaking, and if Village Voice, of all publications, gives this one a "70", then it's got to be good. I loved it, and that's all that matters. So there.
  13. FrankO.
    Feb 9, 2006
    10
    One of Clint Eastwood's best movies, if not the best. Outstanding cast and direction. Eastwood did a great job with a dark story created by Dennis Lehane. Eastwood stayed true to the storyline.
  14. Steven
    Jul 7, 2008
    10
    Anyone who gave this movie less than a 6 needs to have their head scanned. This movie is truly epic, from the cast to the story. You will NEVER see a darker, or deeper story on film. This truly is Clint's masterpiece. I guess it doesn't have enough over-the-top gore or CGI to get a high score from the viewers here...... Pretty damn sad that Mystic River and There Will Be Blood Anyone who gave this movie less than a 6 needs to have their head scanned. This movie is truly epic, from the cast to the story. You will NEVER see a darker, or deeper story on film. This truly is Clint's masterpiece. I guess it doesn't have enough over-the-top gore or CGI to get a high score from the viewers here...... Pretty damn sad that Mystic River and There Will Be Blood don't get the credit they deserve from you unknowledgable hacks. Expand
  15. Orin
    Apr 26, 2010
    10
    This is one of the best movies I've seen in the last ten years. Sean Penn's performance is completely masterful, you feel his raw energy whenever it's called for.
  16. KenG.
    Dec 1, 2003
    10
    Eastwood's slow, deliberate pacing works to his (and the audience's) advantage in this gripping, sad, character-driven story of friends, revenge, morality and a horrific childhood event that haunts everything and everyone.
  17. Tina
    Jan 31, 2004
    10
    C.Meyer, with the Oscar nominations announced, Mystic River just became possibly the favorite film to beat ROTK for Best Picture. You know where the negative reviews are coming from. ROTK's obsessive and rabid fans. They'll go to ANY lengths, trust me. Whilst I didn't like this movie, it deserves higher than a 6.4 average, and so I'm giving it 10.
  18. ChanB.
    Mar 3, 2004
    10
    BEST MOVIE!!
  19. LilianT.
    Jun 25, 2004
    10
    I totally agree with Cameron S., the low average posted for this great drama is appalling. I only watched it recently on DVD, knew of all the critical aclaim and the Oscar nominations and wins, but not even my high expectations could prepare me for how much I liked the movie. Its not an easy film to watch, but is great human drama. Laura Linneys' speech at the end was marvelous, she I totally agree with Cameron S., the low average posted for this great drama is appalling. I only watched it recently on DVD, knew of all the critical aclaim and the Oscar nominations and wins, but not even my high expectations could prepare me for how much I liked the movie. Its not an easy film to watch, but is great human drama. Laura Linneys' speech at the end was marvelous, she at least deserved a nomination for it. For me this speech also explains how wives of gangsters, mafia bosses and such can not only agree with their husband's crimes, but also continue living with them. As human drama, this certainly is the best film in recent years. Expand
  20. TrevorB.
    Aug 12, 2005
    10
    Another Eastwood masterpiece. Ensemble acting doesn't come finer.
  21. MikeD.
    Nov 1, 2003
    10
    One of the year's best. Fantastic cinematography, holds true to the novel. Superb acting, not an academy winning picture, but critic's winning picture.
  22. BillF.
    Nov 12, 2003
    10
    The acting is nothing but magnificent. To get so many actors to rise to such a high level is a tribute to the director. I was riveted for 137 minutes and my adrenal glands shrunk 50%.
  23. JohnY.
    Nov 30, 2003
    10
    A masterwork filled to the brim with impressive acting and raw emotion.
  24. LiorC.
    Nov 4, 2003
    10
    Oh! What a movie!
  25. LaurenD.
    Oct 15, 2003
    10
    I loved this film. The acting gave me chills while the twists kept me guessing and in suspense. The subtle foreshadowing and symbolism added an artistic feel to the film.
  26. TerryD.
    Dec 15, 2003
    10
    This movie has something a lot of movies these days don't - a style. And its Clint Eastwoods style, understated yet deliberate - just like his acting. And it has worked in his favor in this film to an extent that is really breath-taking. I came out of the movie drained because I was right there with these amazing actors in this intense story realized by a brilliant director. Film This movie has something a lot of movies these days don't - a style. And its Clint Eastwoods style, understated yet deliberate - just like his acting. And it has worked in his favor in this film to an extent that is really breath-taking. I came out of the movie drained because I was right there with these amazing actors in this intense story realized by a brilliant director. Film experiences don't get any better. Period. Expand
  27. MaL.
    Feb 13, 2004
    10
    Pure genius. And the greatest acting in one film in the past decade!
  28. DeloresH.
    Feb 15, 2004
    10
    If there is any justice, this film should win Best Picture come Oscars. It wasn't the best film of the year, but it's the best from the nominated bunch. A lot better than that hyped up franchise with 11 nominations.
  29. RyanK.
    Mar 16, 2004
    10
    Best movie of the year. LOTR was good and visually stunning but when you have an endless budget and an entire country at your disposal of course that will be an impressive film. Sean Penn was absolutely brilliant. I thought that his performance was one of the most powerful I have ever seen. Tim Robbins might have even been better in this film. As far as Sean Penn winning best actor it was Best movie of the year. LOTR was good and visually stunning but when you have an endless budget and an entire country at your disposal of course that will be an impressive film. Sean Penn was absolutely brilliant. I thought that his performance was one of the most powerful I have ever seen. Tim Robbins might have even been better in this film. As far as Sean Penn winning best actor it was in the bag. The only other actor that came close this year was Bill Murray and lets face it. All he did was play Bill Murray in the movie. Its like giving Eminem and oscar for playing Eminem in 8 mile. Clint Eastwood's direction was great as well. This movie is on my top 5 of all time easily. Expand
  30. TonyB.
    Oct 26, 2005
    10
    This was the best film of the year, one of those all too rare examples of a work that deserves all of the praise bestowed on it. What Clint Eastwood has done here is show once again that understatement will win out over extravagance any time. The film doesn't have a single false note. Brilliantly acted by an ensemble cast who have never given better performances, Mystic River has a This was the best film of the year, one of those all too rare examples of a work that deserves all of the praise bestowed on it. What Clint Eastwood has done here is show once again that understatement will win out over extravagance any time. The film doesn't have a single false note. Brilliantly acted by an ensemble cast who have never given better performances, Mystic River has a deliberate pace that perfectly complements its narrative structure and style. It has been superbly designed, photographed, scored and edited, the result being the full realization of a classical tragic tale. Expand
  31. JackT
    Jan 16, 2007
    10
    I found this film to be one of the most spiritually profound works to come out of the Hollywood studio system in quite some time. Eastwood sorts through the rubble of his characters' lives with an assurance and patience that's reminiscent of his better works. The film has its ciphers (namely Laura Linney's Lady Macbeth) and its fair share of summarizing speeches
  32. Nov 24, 2011
    10
    I have watched this film countless times and I still love it. It has a great story, great acting, and its just an overall great film that I love. This is a must see.
  33. Dec 30, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film blew me away. At first, you feel for Jimmy, then you slowly grow to hate him. Terrible events always seem to bring these three friends together and I felt like I had been punched in the face when it had finished. Sean Penn brings this energy that feels like the most powerful energy a man can emit. Tim Robbins made me feel so bad for the character of Dave. He did a great job of portraying the mentally deteriorated rape victim. Dave was the character that made me feel so sad. He is like the ultimate hero and ultimate victim of this whole movie. Jimmy's daughter may have been the one that was killed, but Dave was raped as a child, kills a pedophile in the act of molestation, is blamed for the murder of the daughter and is then killed by one of his childhood friends in an act of vengeance. I don't care how big of a stupid loose cannon Jimmy is. I felt like the death of his daughter was almost an excuse to get back into his old ways. I wish that Jimmy could get what was coming to him. Losing a loved one is painful, but this character has no excuse for murder. His accusations were purely based on blinding vengeance. I'm sure that several fathers would kill their daughters murderer which makes me feel like my incredible dislike for Jimmy is a little harsh. Look at this ramble! Eastwood just made me feel for his characters and got me emotionally indulged in his film. Such an accomplishment of acting by every character involved in this movie. Acted to perfection, directed to perfection and written to perfection, Mystic River touches on several issues of lost childhoods, loss and our relationships with others. I can't even think of better things to say about this movie, it was so good. Absolutely incredible film. Expand
  34. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    A mesmerizing experience as MR keeps you glued to your seat with a stimulating adventure, ideal character development, and epic performances. MUST WATCH!
  35. Dec 15, 2011
    10
    People are idiots, SImple as that. Mystic River is a great film - Great acting by the cast, Interesting story, and a very satisfying ending. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins are untouchable in this.
  36. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    First off, this is a 9.5 out of 10. Acting is amazing. Mainly Sean Penn and Tim Robbins. Score is good. Story is great. Real thrilling story. I agree a lot with what spadenx, except the ending. It's all right but he kills an innocent man and they just like " oh well". That makes me aggravated. Still a great movie. Overall, this is a great thriller. It'll keep you on guessing. Highly recommended.
  37. Oct 1, 2012
    10
    Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon, great actors .
  38. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    One of the most powerful American films of the decade, Mystic River is hypnotic and unforgettable.
  39. Jan 14, 2015
    10
    Mystic River is a great movie. It's that simple. Great directing by Clint Eastwood, wonderful acting, and overall a fulfilling and haunting story that leaves an impression on you forever.
  40. David
    Apr 9, 2005
    9
    One of the best movies i have ever seen. Eastwood is the last classic. Great casting.
  41. Baconboy
    Jun 14, 2004
    9
    The comment I wanted to make was to address this so-called "trying too hard" acting. Understanding Tim Robbins, I know he pulls off difficult roles easily, and so it was my thought this was another emotionally charged role that he can pull off with ease. My only disappointment was the ending plotline. It was weak, but the movie held everything I needed in a movie. If you want something The comment I wanted to make was to address this so-called "trying too hard" acting. Understanding Tim Robbins, I know he pulls off difficult roles easily, and so it was my thought this was another emotionally charged role that he can pull off with ease. My only disappointment was the ending plotline. It was weak, but the movie held everything I needed in a movie. If you want something that doesn't try too hard, go see crap like Triple X or Chronicles of Riddick, I guarantee there's no attempt to act in those. Expand
  42. DaveZ
    Jul 20, 2007
    9
    I should give this a 10, but there are two areas of a film that are most important... the beginning and the end. Great movie overall except the artist didn't know when to put down the brush. Sorry Clint, you should have cut out the last scene, we already got the feeling you wanted us to have and the feeling (of disgust) was wonderful. You pushed it farther than it had to go.
  43. StaceyG.
    Oct 18, 2003
    9
    In Mystic River Clint Eastwood takes us deep into the heart of man, here we see darkness and pain. One child tragedy can change three lives. When those lives are brought together love is thrown into the mix. At first glance Kevin Bacon seemed very uh, blah. As the movie went on it revealed that his character is supposed to seem this way. Bacon was very good and even better in the last In Mystic River Clint Eastwood takes us deep into the heart of man, here we see darkness and pain. One child tragedy can change three lives. When those lives are brought together love is thrown into the mix. At first glance Kevin Bacon seemed very uh, blah. As the movie went on it revealed that his character is supposed to seem this way. Bacon was very good and even better in the last thirty Minutes. Robbins was bloody awesome and he as well shined even more in the last 30. I see a best supporting acter nomination for Robbins. now, Sean Penn is PERFECT. he does everything right, in the sad scenes he is brilliant and in the evil ones... he is brilliant. Well, he was brilliant the whole movie. the acting and directing keep you in this movie, it is slow but its almost like reading a book. I could have heard a pin drop in the theatre, really. In the end you will leave the theatre depressed, but behind the darkness you may just be happy becuase Mystic River so amazingly crafted. Expand
  44. BitBurn
    Oct 30, 2003
    9
    A very good movie indeed! Tim Robbins was unrecognizable! I never saw him in such a dramatic role. Just awesome!! And the rest of the plot; Bacon, Penn and Fishburne were all great! The movie is intense, raw and suffocating at times... Go try it!
  45. DennisP.
    Jun 27, 2004
    9
    Intelligent adult movies are hard to come by these days. With "Mystic River", Clint Eastwood has made a great one. Great dialogue delivered by an extremely talented cast, keep me riveted to the screen for all 138 mins.
  46. ChristianD
    Jan 29, 2010
    9
    This is hands-down the most depressing movie I've ever seen. Ever. That being said, though, it was really good. It was incredibly well-acted, the plot was great (albeit depressing, of course) and Clint Eastwood, as usual, put his directing talents to work. Although it was still really fucking depressing. Now that I think about it, and without trying to spoil it, the kids in this This is hands-down the most depressing movie I've ever seen. Ever. That being said, though, it was really good. It was incredibly well-acted, the plot was great (albeit depressing, of course) and Clint Eastwood, as usual, put his directing talents to work. Although it was still really fucking depressing. Now that I think about it, and without trying to spoil it, the kids in this movie will turn out like the adults in this movie, plagued by tragedy. Still. Depressing. Expand
  47. DavetheWave
    Nov 16, 2003
    9
    Perhaps there weren't enough kung fu scenes to please the naysayers, but this is great, intelligent filmmaking. I've never seen Penn or Robbins better. Ever. Marcia Gay Harden knocks it out of the park, too. Eastwood lets scenes unfold like he knows he's got a ringer. A great story with confident direction and powerful acting. That's why I go to the movies.
  48. JaneS.
    Nov 3, 2003
    9
    The cast did an exceptional job. it was very powerful and definitely one of the best films of the year. it was a movie we discussed afterwards because of the effect it had on us.
  49. EdwardL.
    Nov 7, 2003
    9
    Mystic River will receive a minimum of 5 Academy Award nominations. Clint Eastwood will win the Oscar!
  50. BenA.
    Dec 1, 2003
    9
    Mystic River never let me down. I heard great things, and they were all true. I was not disappointed by any aspect of the story. I'm glad they spent the extra money to shoot it in Boston instead of Toronto. I really liked the neighborhood they shot it in, it gave it such a human feel to it.
  51. BenA.
    Dec 1, 2003
    9
    Mystic River never let me down. I heard great things, and they were all true. I was not disappointed by any aspect of the story. I'm glad they spent the extra money to shoot it in Boston instead of Toronto. I really liked the neighborhood they shot it in, it gave it such a human feel to it.
  52. RachelH.
    Dec 18, 2003
    9
    I can't imagine how a suspenseful engrossing film such as this one could be boring. The acting drew me in. And I love seeing Boston on screen.
  53. ScottE.
    Dec 19, 2003
    9
    Clint Eastwood has broken new ground with this movie. With his deft ability at pulling the heartstrings of moviegoers, he has solidify his legacy as not only a great actor, but also one of the best directors to emerge within the past decade. This taut adaption of a superb novel allows us to experience the powerful emotions and conflicts of the story's three main characters, portrayed Clint Eastwood has broken new ground with this movie. With his deft ability at pulling the heartstrings of moviegoers, he has solidify his legacy as not only a great actor, but also one of the best directors to emerge within the past decade. This taut adaption of a superb novel allows us to experience the powerful emotions and conflicts of the story's three main characters, portrayed by Sean Penn (ex-convict trying to lead a legit life), Tim Robbins (the tormented friend) and Kevin Bacon (the by-the-book cop and childhood friend of both main protagonists). Rather than keep Penn's volatile emotions on a short leash, Eastwood has opted to let Penn snarl and bark his way through this performance as the grieving father who demands justice at any cost. And while the audience knows that Robbins' character cannot be the missing link to this crime drama, we somehow connect with his inner turmoil. There are no cut-and-dry endings to this tortured tale. What remain from this viewing are only the few loose strings that leave you musing about this human drama and the impact that violence has on our inner-city cultures. This film is definitely a heavy adult drama, and it deserves all of the Oscar recognition that will rightfully obtain. Expand
  54. PauletteT.
    Jun 27, 2004
    9
    Loved it...rented the DVD... watched it twice...still thinking about it. The only problem with the movie is that it leaves you with many unanswered questions: 1) Was Annabeth as psycho as her father and brothers? Why did Jimmy marry the manipulative, jealous, psycho Annabeth in the first place? What was up with Sean's wife and the recurring issue of being mute or unable to Loved it...rented the DVD... watched it twice...still thinking about it. The only problem with the movie is that it leaves you with many unanswered questions: 1) Was Annabeth as psycho as her father and brothers? Why did Jimmy marry the manipulative, jealous, psycho Annabeth in the first place? What was up with Sean's wife and the recurring issue of being mute or unable to communicate ones feelings? What happens to Jimmy? What happens to Celeste? I could go on...but I still loved the movie and the all around great acting. Expand
  55. DavidC.
    Jul 11, 2004
    9
    I see why this movie has a user average of 5, but the bad ending is greatly overshadowed by the powerful performances of this movie. I loved it! It does leave you with many questions, but it's no reason to give it a low mark.
  56. PepperJ.
    Jul 18, 2004
    9
    One of the best movies I have ever seen. Great acting. Great story. Just great.
  57. JoshB.
    Dec 22, 2003
    9
    Obviously the intelligence of a majority of the voters on this movie is not too high, for it to recieve an average rating of 6.7/10. If you want to see a more fair rating, then you should go to IMDB, and see how REAL movie fans have rated this amazing film. Clint Eastwood blows me away with his direction in this film. It is second this year to Peter Jackson's direction in "Return of Obviously the intelligence of a majority of the voters on this movie is not too high, for it to recieve an average rating of 6.7/10. If you want to see a more fair rating, then you should go to IMDB, and see how REAL movie fans have rated this amazing film. Clint Eastwood blows me away with his direction in this film. It is second this year to Peter Jackson's direction in "Return of the King". The acting is top-notch, with Sean Penn and Tim Robbins turning in powerful performances. Overall, this should be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, but lose out to the outstanding "Return of the King". Direction - 95/100, Writing - 85/100, Acting - 100/100, Overall - 90/100. Expand
  58. Apr 5, 2012
    9
    Absolutely fantastic! I don't understand why people find it bad! I don't often trust the 'Oscar winner' type of movies, but this movie deserved the award! The actors were all formidable! you couldn't ask for a better cast, because this film has a deluxe- cast! I think some people are usually biased thinking that a big Hollywood movie, is either 'bad' or 'overrated' and, quite frankly, thatAbsolutely fantastic! I don't understand why people find it bad! I don't often trust the 'Oscar winner' type of movies, but this movie deserved the award! The actors were all formidable! you couldn't ask for a better cast, because this film has a deluxe- cast! I think some people are usually biased thinking that a big Hollywood movie, is either 'bad' or 'overrated' and, quite frankly, that type of attitude doesn't help a person to appreciate a movie for what it is. I am sorry but I disagree...Hollywood has good and bad movies, same happens in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and my dear Australia! so just because this is a USA blockbuster it doesn't mean is a bad movie...and I am not American, but YEAH, I firmly believe this is an excellent movie! Expand
  59. Aug 25, 2014
    9
    Mystic River is haunting in absolutely every way. There isn't a human truth Clint Eastwood does not successfully touch on and move you with. It's thrilling... and certainly an ensemble to be remembered.
  60. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    Friggin' yes! A mid-tempo and ominous thrill ride, overcast from beginning to end by a shadow of dark things to come. Also, one of the best acting ensembles I've seen. Clint Eastwood is the man, and Mystic River is just another sparkling example.
  61. Jul 26, 2013
    9
    It's funny, because a lot of times you'll hear people say "I didn't like that movie because I couldn't root for any of the characters." A lot of people feel that way about this film. All of the characters, in their own way, do bad things. Some are worse than others, yes, but there is no one who you want to "win," because this is a movie where no one wins. The ending is terribly sad, andIt's funny, because a lot of times you'll hear people say "I didn't like that movie because I couldn't root for any of the characters." A lot of people feel that way about this film. All of the characters, in their own way, do bad things. Some are worse than others, yes, but there is no one who you want to "win," because this is a movie where no one wins. The ending is terribly sad, and you walk out of the movie so shocked and dismayed at what happened, because even if you don't root for anyone, you still care so deeply about the characters. You still want the best for them, even if you can't root for them, if you can't stand beside them and say "I stand for the same ideals that this person stand for." You want to know who killed Katie, and you don't want it to be Dave, but do you root for Dave to win? Do you root against whoever you think killed Katie? No. This is an incredibly difficult film to watch, and it will not make you smile. It will make your heart sink, and your eyes tear up. It is so very powerful, and delivers such a strong message, it remains impossible not to watch. The acting is phenomenal, and while both Penn and Robbins won Oscars, the show is stolen by Robbins, who turns in one of the best supporting performances I've ever seen (on par with something out of the Godfather). From the opening scene, with those 3 boys playing hockey in the street, until the closing credits, it is relentless. But it is phenomenal. Expand
  62. Dec 2, 2013
    9
    Absolutely massive movie.With the right collaboration.The movie makes another space in the mind to think about misunderstanding. Awesome directing by Clint Eastwood.
  63. GustavoH.R.
    May 29, 2004
    8
    Yet another movie that was light-years ahead of LOTR in quality. It's a rather difficult and bitter film to watch, but the actors are great and so is Clint Eastwood directing.
  64. BarryR.
    Oct 18, 2003
    8
    "Mystic River" is a movie I went to see expecting truly great acting, directing and writing since the professional reviewing groups raved about the directing of Clint Eastwood and the picture generally. This is without reservation an interesting and good movie to see. Is it great or the best work Mr. Eastwood has produced....I doubt it. The movie is simple and, unfortunately, in many "Mystic River" is a movie I went to see expecting truly great acting, directing and writing since the professional reviewing groups raved about the directing of Clint Eastwood and the picture generally. This is without reservation an interesting and good movie to see. Is it great or the best work Mr. Eastwood has produced....I doubt it. The movie is simple and, unfortunately, in many parts, contrived. Sean Penn plays a role that perhaps chronologically fits his real life age but on screen, he just appears too young for the family head he portrays. Laura Linney does a good job but you get the feeling she is in the wrong movie. In keeping with our tradition of not discussing or revealing the plot of films reviewed, suffice it to say that this is a good effort gone somewhat astray by the extended length of certain scenes which could have done much better on the cutting room floor. Also, the acting at times, although of a high calibre, appears forced. Tim Robbins deserves special praise for playing a most difficult role and well and Kevin Bacon, in an understated manner, adds to the positive aspects of the film. This work gets an 8. Better editing and smoother segways could have caused it to reach a higher number. Enjoy the film and the interesting Bostonian accents everyone tries to adopt...which you are very conscious of throughout your time in the theater. Expand
  65. C.Meyer
    Jan 30, 2004
    8
    I just don't get the negative reviews from people who saw this movie. YES, it's a slow paced movie that focuses on ACTING ability and subtlety, rather than a WHAM BAM approach to storytelling. I can't see though why so many moviegoers were dissapointed! If you don't throw them eye candy (ie..visual effects), the left side of their brains shut down and they lose the I just don't get the negative reviews from people who saw this movie. YES, it's a slow paced movie that focuses on ACTING ability and subtlety, rather than a WHAM BAM approach to storytelling. I can't see though why so many moviegoers were dissapointed! If you don't throw them eye candy (ie..visual effects), the left side of their brains shut down and they lose the ability to see TRUE art and creativity in filmmaking! But hey ... how about some big budget, high action, dull dialogue films!! Say ... any of the Star Wars movies ... how about a TRULY boring film ... Tomb Raider 1 ... or 2!!! But, if you want to see a good movie that showcases some great talent, see Mystic River. A job well done. Expand
  66. BenZ.
    Jun 12, 2004
    8
    Well... i do have to agree that this movie isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Nonetheless, it is still a very good film. Unlike what i was expecting, this movie is really a murder mystery disguised under an excellent cast, some way above-average acting, and nice character development. Although Sean Penn was great in this movie i don't necessarily think he deserved an Well... i do have to agree that this movie isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Nonetheless, it is still a very good film. Unlike what i was expecting, this movie is really a murder mystery disguised under an excellent cast, some way above-average acting, and nice character development. Although Sean Penn was great in this movie i don't necessarily think he deserved an oscar for it. Tim Robbins, on the other hand, was fully deserving of his. There are some very powerful scenes in this movie. I especially liked the way Kevin Bacon's relationship with his wife is resolved at the end of the film. One other note, there is a pretty cool twist at the end of this movie that i wasn't expecting. Expand
  67. DavidW.
    Nov 13, 2003
    8
    Fine, troubling, complex movie that continues to work long after one has left the theater. Subtle and intelligent, the fine performaces, deliberate pace, coherant and telling cinematography, restrained script and clear direction make this an unusual and wonderful film. Not a single scene in the movie exists as external landscape--the worlds on display are ancient, inner, and the real Fine, troubling, complex movie that continues to work long after one has left the theater. Subtle and intelligent, the fine performaces, deliberate pace, coherant and telling cinematography, restrained script and clear direction make this an unusual and wonderful film. Not a single scene in the movie exists as external landscape--the worlds on display are ancient, inner, and the real stuff of life... Expand
  68. Triniman
    Oct 16, 2003
    8
    This is not a crowd-pleasing, happy film, but it is a very fine drama and is rightly winning many accolades for the cast and Clint Eastwood's directing. Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Marcia *** Harden are very convicing and give among the best dramatical performances that we have seen this year and of their own careers. Laurence Fishburne is his usual cool and intelligent This is not a crowd-pleasing, happy film, but it is a very fine drama and is rightly winning many accolades for the cast and Clint Eastwood's directing. Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Marcia *** Harden are very convicing and give among the best dramatical performances that we have seen this year and of their own careers. Laurence Fishburne is his usual cool and intelligent self. What little violence there is in the film is never gratuitous. The film is more focused on the consequences of weakness and the vulnerability of human nature when facing injustice and devastation. Eastwood's direction combined with the screen play, which was based on Denis Lehane's novel, results in genuine tension, atmosphere, and subltety, expertly weaved and balanced together. These are all hallmarks of fine film making that we don't often see today in a single film. I'm not sure if the performances are truly Oscar worthy, when I think of last year's nominees and winners like Adrien Brody and Daniel Day-Lewis. The story doesn't seem ingeniously original but is rather familiar. One critic has compared it to a Greek tradgedy. While this isn't a brilliant film, it's a very good one. Expand
  69. MarkB.
    Oct 21, 2003
    8
    Pretty true to the mythic working-class Boston zietgiest and very true to the book. All three lead actors offer solid performances conveying greater than normal emotional depth. The movie gets caught up on the same thing the book does - trying to explore the complex and profound reactions to tragedy while at the same time trying to keep the contemporary detective mystery going.
  70. GregA.
    Mar 15, 2004
    8
    Mystic River left me unsettled but also thinking after the end. The acting was great and Robbins was outstanding as an abused man 25 years after the fact. The story behind Bacon and his wife, though initially obscure, was necessary to the plot. It was a fine movie and if you don't see it in the cinema it's definetly worth a look on DVD.
  71. MooCowMoo
    Dec 30, 2003
    8
    Superior small film from Clint Eastwood comes as a sort of anti-epic, cowpared to the scope of some of this year's entries(Master and Cowmander, Return of the King). Mystic River is a great film because it is good in all the elements that used to make up great moovies before we were clobbered over the head with lasers from a galaxy far, far away: writing, acting, and direction. The Superior small film from Clint Eastwood comes as a sort of anti-epic, cowpared to the scope of some of this year's entries(Master and Cowmander, Return of the King). Mystic River is a great film because it is good in all the elements that used to make up great moovies before we were clobbered over the head with lasers from a galaxy far, far away: writing, acting, and direction. The story is grounded in the real, projecting a verisimilitude of mood that is hard to shake. No fancy camera tricks, no cgi monsters, just a great story and solid performances by all(esp. by Sean Penn). Tough, gritty, and forboding, let's hope Mystic River get lots of Oscar attention. :=8) Expand
  72. PeytonW.
    Dec 6, 2003
    8
    An excellent movie, that only receives an 8 because of its unfortunately long ending, and some scenes that are repetitive or go on too long. Overall, fine acting and a good movie though.
  73. YoonMinC.
    May 25, 2004
    8
    Eastwood goes strangely mystic in the milieu of working class america. yet, noir was always a kind of pulpy peering into the irrational abyss, beyond the border where rules of conventionality broke down and an occultish set of rules took over. we feel as though drained of usual moral categories and expectations and infused with something alien.
  74. GregT.
    Jun 18, 2004
    8
    This movie was interesting and well acted. I figured out who the killer was half way through the movie but it was interesting nonetheless. I like Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. They are all diligent actors.
  75. S.Finn
    Dec 12, 2003
    8
    Well made, great acting and a worthy topic.
  76. Oct 29, 2010
    8
    Clint Eastwood promises a lot but does not deliver what he would have wanted to.Sean Penn & Tim Robbins steal the show by portraying their well written roles like only they can .Though the film does haunt you ,it leaves a lot of loose ends.That said, one cannot take any credit away from Eastwood who manages to deliver yet another rewarding experience though this is obviously not evenClint Eastwood promises a lot but does not deliver what he would have wanted to.Sean Penn & Tim Robbins steal the show by portraying their well written roles like only they can .Though the film does haunt you ,it leaves a lot of loose ends.That said, one cannot take any credit away from Eastwood who manages to deliver yet another rewarding experience though this is obviously not even anywhere near his best. Expand
  77. Jan 1, 2013
    8
    Absolutely loved this movie. Well acted, Kept you interested from start to finish, and it was really good. I am suprised that users have rated it so low.
  78. Mar 19, 2014
    8
    This one is tragically beautiful. What this one did really well is instill the dark mood as loss in many different ways acts like a fog that covers the entire film. Overall, the story is really interesting. On the surface, it is simply a crime thriller where they try to find out who did it and what not, but it is also a representation of human suffering and tragedy. In many ways, it showsThis one is tragically beautiful. What this one did really well is instill the dark mood as loss in many different ways acts like a fog that covers the entire film. Overall, the story is really interesting. On the surface, it is simply a crime thriller where they try to find out who did it and what not, but it is also a representation of human suffering and tragedy. In many ways, it shows how these three troubled boys are not unscathed by the things that have happened to them and how all of them have suffered and will suffer profound losses that consume them entirely. I think the script by Brian Helgeland was fantastic and the direction from Clint Eastwood was really good as well. However, the real star is Sean Penn. I thought Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon were pretty good in their roles here, but Sean Penn stole the entire show. His performance was absolutely marvelous and he really drew you into him, which makes his role in the film all the more believable. It is not surprise that he won for Best Actor.

    In terms of complaints, I see a lot of user reviews calling this one boring and slow, ham-handed, pretentious, and predictable. The only one I can sort of agree with is predictable, though I did not figure it out until the people in the film did (well, part of it, I figured out one part of it early on, but I think we were supposed to). Plus, I do not have a problem with predictability. In addition, this one was anything but boring. It is slow, yes, but it was a perfect showcase of acting and script-driven film. The intensity and sadness of this one were also top-notch and really helped quell any boredom that may set in. As for it being ham-handed or pretentious, no. I honestly do not understand that criticism at all. At no point did I ever find it to be either of those things. It tries to tackle bigger purposes, yes, but that does not mean it is pretentious, especially when it covers it well.
    Expand
  79. May 8, 2014
    8
    Eastwood's Mystic River haunts you for days, it just breaks your heart in half. Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon put on career-best performances.
  80. Apr 21, 2015
    8
    Mystic River is an excellent movie based on the novel of the same name. The film is anchored by a strong cast containing some of the best actors of he past 20 years. Sean Penn delivers one of his strongest performances and wins his first Oscar. Really the early 2000'sare the years where Sean Penn could do no wrong. Tim Robbins also shines as a mysterious character who was also worthy of anMystic River is an excellent movie based on the novel of the same name. The film is anchored by a strong cast containing some of the best actors of he past 20 years. Sean Penn delivers one of his strongest performances and wins his first Oscar. Really the early 2000'sare the years where Sean Penn could do no wrong. Tim Robbins also shines as a mysterious character who was also worthy of an Oscar for best supporting actor. It was the first time since 1959 that the winners of Best Actor and Supporting Actor were in the same film. The cast is rounded out by Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne and Marcia Gay Harden. Mystic River is a dark story and a dark film but it could not be displayed any other way. Clint Eastwood who was on the top of his game in the directors chair at this point in his career as well shows that he is a jack of trades in film. Expand
  81. Apr 17, 2015
    8
    Impressive! I love Sean Penn, he's one of the most incredible actors and directors in hollywood. This movie is like a virus. You have to see it over and over again. Brilliant!
  82. GaborA.
    Dec 1, 2003
    7
    Each character's issues start from different points but head in the same direction. The optimal outcome is that they all collide in the middle creating a breath taking climax. Instead they divert at the last second all exploding on their own. The force of these explosiosins is more than enough to entertain and emmit emotion, but not sufficient to captivate the imagination and mesmerize.
  83. MysticMurtha
    Jun 17, 2004
    7
    [***PLOT REVELATIONS***] Great movie up until the end. Yes, Linney's speech was very poorly scripted/motivated. Someone please explain the ending to me. What was Bacon doing with that little gun move, and what was Sean Penn's reaction supposed to signify? And what was the motivation for Bacon to let things go?
  84. PatC.
    Jul 26, 2004
    7
    Pulls the viewer in many directions, all of them valid and touching on many levels, but then lets go, leaving one uncertain of where to drift. Seems logical as Irish angst where redemption is a mere distraction, but the concluding parade and explanatory dialogue doesn't quite wrap up the thorough exposition of the plot development. Overall though, realistic and thought-provoking. The Pulls the viewer in many directions, all of them valid and touching on many levels, but then lets go, leaving one uncertain of where to drift. Seems logical as Irish angst where redemption is a mere distraction, but the concluding parade and explanatory dialogue doesn't quite wrap up the thorough exposition of the plot development. Overall though, realistic and thought-provoking. The premise that life has an unalterable dark side is valid but not particularly enlightening. The actors were obviously forced to play their characters rather than themselves, which they did very well. Penn's oscar-winning performance is slightly over the top, but is certainly unique and intense. Mystic Murtha (see below) sums up the ending well. It all struck me as ironic, considering how Massachusetts courts in particular are hostile towards fatherhood. People all over wrestle with the demons of child abuse and look for answers to overcome them. This film presents the dilemma well but does not provide any useful answers. Expand
  85. MarcK.
    Oct 23, 2003
    7
    Definitely worth seeing, but does not deserve the critical slobbering delivered by Ebert, Denby, etc. Loved the whole Bostonian setting. Thought that Penn and Marcia Gay Harden had the best performances, but also thought Bacon did a good job. Completely unimpressed with Robbins, and not because of his off-screen politics.
  86. StephenS.
    Dec 4, 2003
    7
    I think we should keep this one in perspective. Especially when compared with Arnie, Clint is a hero, anyone can see that, but ?Mystic River? is a fine police procedural, not Sophocles. ?Unforgiven? will remain as Eastwood's masterpiece. Penn (Jimmy), Bacon (Sean) and Robbins (Dave) are great as the adults who?ve never got over the boyhood rape of one of their number. Boston is I think we should keep this one in perspective. Especially when compared with Arnie, Clint is a hero, anyone can see that, but ?Mystic River? is a fine police procedural, not Sophocles. ?Unforgiven? will remain as Eastwood's masterpiece. Penn (Jimmy), Bacon (Sean) and Robbins (Dave) are great as the adults who?ve never got over the boyhood rape of one of their number. Boston is great, and Eastwood?s direction is more supple and imaginative than most directors half his age. When the murder of Jimmy?s daughter reactivates all the childhood demons, he delivers a nuanced and compellingly original version of parental grief. It?s hard to dislike Sean as the detective, or Dave as the weirdo suspected of the murder. I suppose what holds this film back from true greatness are its sheer length, which probably results from script misjudgment, adapting a few too many side-stories from the novel. Sean?s phone conversations with his estranged wife, coy as a novelistic device, are quite distracting in the movie. Expand
  87. JusticeT.
    Oct 8, 2003
    7
    While I give this film a "7", I am still wondering if this should not be rated lower. Everything on the surface is great. But then you start thinking about it and you are left to wonder if this weren't some of our best offering some of their worst. Except for Sean Penn, the actor, and Clint Eastwood, the musician. Their contributions are what maintain my rating. Having not read the While I give this film a "7", I am still wondering if this should not be rated lower. Everything on the surface is great. But then you start thinking about it and you are left to wonder if this weren't some of our best offering some of their worst. Except for Sean Penn, the actor, and Clint Eastwood, the musician. Their contributions are what maintain my rating. Having not read the book, after viewing this film I am left with too many questions. Interestingly, I kept thinking about Eastwood's "The Unforgiven". The darkness, the truth present in that film is here. But the almost accepted dysfunction of every family in today's society hurts the story. This story is nothing new. And yet, I was there watching every frame wondering what would come next. Waiting for the next chord of the score or for Penn's presence. Like "The Film Threat" review, I feel I have been taken. Much like Dave was when he was younger. Maybe that was the point? Expand
  88. Jun 30, 2013
    7
    Mystic River is a very good film but is let down by a story-line that appears to be slightly all over the place and a couple of plot-holes (just my opinion). However, it is a solid, powerful movie and hats off to Clint Eastwood. The actors play their characters very well, especially Kevin Bacon, I really like his character. Definitely worthy of a Best Picture Nomination.
  89. BuckF.
    Aug 5, 2005
    6
    Predictable, stilted, and way over-acted. Not to mention that not a single "great actor" in the film managed an even halfway believable Boston accent (though all tried- Fishburne, Penn, Bacon, Robbins...) Their buffoonish attempts to mimic the Beantown dialect were distracting and laughable- in fact they ruined what could have otherwise been a pretty decent 2-hour episode of "Law and Order."
  90. RodP.
    Nov 16, 2003
    6
    Well I'd psyched myself up for a great flick. Genuinely wanted Mystic River to be something very special - it was not. I find the "the much loved director, local film" thing fascinating. If Mystic is an almost cert for best film oscar nomination then this year aint a strong one. Imagine if Lord of the Rings had been made by James Cameron - he would have been gonged with best film 3 Well I'd psyched myself up for a great flick. Genuinely wanted Mystic River to be something very special - it was not. I find the "the much loved director, local film" thing fascinating. If Mystic is an almost cert for best film oscar nomination then this year aint a strong one. Imagine if Lord of the Rings had been made by James Cameron - he would have been gonged with best film 3 years running simply based on the colour of his passport. Expand
  91. BillyC.
    Dec 6, 2003
    6
    I thought the twist was pretty good although the scene with the brothers in the kitchen wasnt clear.Tim was pretty believable, sean was given too much cool that he could handle. Fishburn did an honorable job with what they had written for him, he clearly has skills. The speech by penns wife in the end was weird to the point of going, huh?The whole deal with bacons mystery lady on the I thought the twist was pretty good although the scene with the brothers in the kitchen wasnt clear.Tim was pretty believable, sean was given too much cool that he could handle. Fishburn did an honorable job with what they had written for him, he clearly has skills. The speech by penns wife in the end was weird to the point of going, huh?The whole deal with bacons mystery lady on the other end was not slick at all. It does have a lot to think about and our predjudices. Expand
  92. KEV
    Oct 29, 2003
    6
    Overrated movie. Not bad in the acting department with the all-star cast. However, if the ozone layer had holes as large as this plot did, we'd all have died years ago.
  93. ChrisP.
    Oct 16, 2003
    6
    Maybe I don't "get it", but Mystic River seemed like it could just as easily have been a made-for-TV movie. Good performances but the plot has so many "why the hell would you DO that" moments that the whole thing was pretty unsatisfying.
  94. UnbearableLightness
    Dec 16, 2003
    6
    I have very mixed emotions about this film. Robbins was great, Penn was amazing. The plot was interesting. Unfortunately I found the ending to be absurd and the "twist" predictable. I was also very confused by the sub-plot of Bacon and his wife. Completely pointless.
  95. J.RyanG.
    May 26, 2005
    6
    Clearly overrated, this film has a lot to sink your teeth into, but it fails to avoid the problems you run into when a bunch of big stars come together to make a great movie. I can imagine Penn, Robbins, and company doing a group reading of the script, each commenting on how monumental it will be, each nervously plotting how they'll make it a great movie. The thing is, the material Clearly overrated, this film has a lot to sink your teeth into, but it fails to avoid the problems you run into when a bunch of big stars come together to make a great movie. I can imagine Penn, Robbins, and company doing a group reading of the script, each commenting on how monumental it will be, each nervously plotting how they'll make it a great movie. The thing is, the material is compelling enough to just let the movie happen, and then surely it would be superb. Sean Penn especially tries too hard, so hard that I was sure he was pushing for the Oscar--and he's not supposed to be that kind of person. Marcia Gay Harden pushes too hard too. Tim Robbins pushes, as he always does, but I got a lot more out of his performance than anyone else's. Laura Linney may be the calmest party here, but she is underused. As usual, Kevin Bacon is the most undervalued asset. The flashback scenes are basically useless, using stock child actors who may have looked like their adult counterparts but did not share their essence. And finally, the film has too much of a good thing, too much of everything. Eastwood clearly was trying to make the great movie of his career, but instead, he made one that was only marginally better than "The Rookie." He'd have to wait a year before finally making that movie. Expand
  96. BrianG.
    Oct 18, 2003
    6
    Why does every movie that takes place in Boston always seem to have a really dark look? As far as the movie, Tim Robbins and Marcia Gay Harden are amazing and about the only reason I rate the movie this high. This is far from Sean Penn's best performance. Kevin Bacon is solid but not extraordinary. I think the movie's slooww pace is to allow us through it's characters to Why does every movie that takes place in Boston always seem to have a really dark look? As far as the movie, Tim Robbins and Marcia Gay Harden are amazing and about the only reason I rate the movie this high. This is far from Sean Penn's best performance. Kevin Bacon is solid but not extraordinary. I think the movie's slooww pace is to allow us through it's characters to smolder with pain and anguish. Instead, it almost put me to sleep. I also have issues with speech given by Laura Linney late in the movie to her husband. There is nothing previous in the movie that leads one to believe her. That being said, I think this movie proves Tim Robbins' ability as an actor, He moved me and I believed his fears and confusion. Harden establishes her brilliance as one of the best character actresses on film. Expand
  97. DanO.
    Oct 21, 2003
    6
    I have to agree with Brian G. The final speech by Laura Linney late in the movie ruined this movie for me. In general I liked the movie's complexity, but I did think they were trying too hard with the dialogue. That speech put me over the top. These people are all supposed to be working class Bostonians, not 1st year philosophy majors. There are some twists here, but I did see the I have to agree with Brian G. The final speech by Laura Linney late in the movie ruined this movie for me. In general I liked the movie's complexity, but I did think they were trying too hard with the dialogue. That speech put me over the top. These people are all supposed to be working class Bostonians, not 1st year philosophy majors. There are some twists here, but I did see the end coming early on. Eastwood should watch a film like "The Usual Suspects" if he wants to do this type of a movie. That is not to say this is a bad movie, but it does come across as trying to force a film noir atmosphere rather than letting it honestly happen. Expand
  98. AMovieCritic
    Oct 26, 2009
    6
    I'm a bit surprised to see the praise this movie's gotten, to be honest. I remember being furious that Sean Penn beat out Bill Murray for the Oscar that year but after finally seeing the movie I can admit that he did a fantastic job certainly worthy of an Academy Award. But the movie itself I can't understand the praise for. There's plenty of gritty and realistic I'm a bit surprised to see the praise this movie's gotten, to be honest. I remember being furious that Sean Penn beat out Bill Murray for the Oscar that year but after finally seeing the movie I can admit that he did a fantastic job certainly worthy of an Academy Award. But the movie itself I can't understand the praise for. There's plenty of gritty and realistic dialogue here and all of it very well-acted but. Expand
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    This is at bottom a pulp thriller that strains -- sometimes pretentiously, at other times with gutter magnificence -- to reach the level of basic human truths.
  2. 100
    To see strong acting like this is exhilarating. In a time of flashy directors who slice and dice their films in a dizzy editing rhythm, it is important to remember that films can look and listen and attentively sympathize with their characters. Directors grow great by subtracting, not adding, and Eastwood does nothing for show, everything for effect.
  3. Mystic River is classic Eastwood, classic noir. If there is still some doubt about whether this one-time macho star is actually a world-class moviemaker, Mystic River should end the argument for good. One of the best American movies of the year, crisply well-crafted and beautifully acted.