Metascore
84

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

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 397 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Eastwood directs Mystic River with an invigorated grace and gravitas. This is a true American beauty of a movie, a tale of men and their bonds told by and for adults who value the old-fashioned Hollywood-studio notion of narrative.
  2. This kind of quiet ambiguity, avoiding easy answers to complex human conflicts, is all too rare in American movies.
  3. 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.
  4. So incrementally does Eastwood's film build toward what seems like an inevitable resolution that when it concludes, you're sucker-punched. You haven't been watching a police procedural, but a Greek tragedy. You haven't been watching a drama about the catharsis of vigilantism, but sitting vigil for a community diminished, and permanently damaged, by violence.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    For all its missteps, Mystic River gets the big things right: It turns you inside out with grief, and it builds to an act of vigilante murder that is nearly impossible to endure.
  6. The grandest presence here is Eastwood. His directing, like his acting, is minimal: unhurried, spare, unforced, rather somber.
  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 159
  2. Negative: 36 out of 159
  1. 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 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. Expand
  2. Jun 10, 2012
    10
    Great movieGreat movie . Expand
  3. 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.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
  4. 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 movieAbsolutely 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
    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 thatThis 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.
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  6. Dec 23, 2013
    5
    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 theMystic 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
    0
    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. 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 159 User Reviews

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