Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 378 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. 100
    A major American motion picture, an overpowering piece of work that involves some of the most basic human emotions: love, hate, fear, revenge, despair. Directed by Clint Eastwood with absolute confidence and remarkable control.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    Perhaps the greatest, most affecting articulation of the theme Eastwood has been exploring since 1990's "White Hunter Black Heart": how violence--real violence, not movie violence--perpetrated and experienced, can erode and/or obliterate the human soul.
  3. 100
    Clint Eastwood pours everything he knows about directing into Mystic River. His film sneaks up, messes with your head and then floors you. You can't shake it. It's that haunting, that hypnotic.
  4. 88
    Deals with themes Eastwood has often explored before, but never so delicately or with as much sad wisdom: The way in which our past haunts our present, the lasting repercussions of violence and the cruel inexorability of fate.
  5. 80
    Echoes Eastwood’s previous exploration of true-life violence, “Unforgiven,” by tracing how death and depravity stain one’s life for generations, leaving seeds to take root in each branch of a tainted family tree.
  6. The acting throughout is exceptional, rooted in observed realism, but suggestive of more mythical agents at work through the lives of human beings.
  7. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    30
    The new bad movie from Clint Eastwood which takes Dennis Lehane's best-selling thriller and turns it into an inert mess that clocks in at 137 minutes but feels like 137 hours.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 158
  2. Negative: 35 out of 158
  1. 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. Expand
  2. Jun 25, 2012
    10
    My favorite movie . Expand
  3. Oct 1, 2012
    10
    Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon, great actors . Expand
  4. 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, 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
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. Mar 4, 2011
    2
    It was on TV recently and talk about not able to hold my attention. I popped in now and then to see if I could stand it as there was nothing else on. Bad. Expand

See all 158 User Reviews

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