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

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 386 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
    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
    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: 97 out of 157
  2. Negative: 35 out of 157
  1. Steven
    Jul 7, 2008
    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
  2. Apr 1, 2012
    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. Expand
  3. Dec 15, 2011
    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. Collapse
  4. Apr 5, 2012
    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, 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
  5. Mar 19, 2014
    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 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.
  6. Dec 23, 2013
    Mystic river has plenty of good acting but nothing interesting to say. The movies pace is too slow and in the end I felt empty because the film itself is empty; it's devoid of ideas, meaning, and purpose. Expand
  7. DaveW.
    Mar 21, 2005
    How can you make a movie like this and sleep at night. Clint Eastwood should be ashamed. Making a movie like this should bring him down. Clint Eastwood knows better then to show a movie that crap. I give this movie a 0. Expand

See all 157 User Reviews


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