Metascore
84

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

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 407 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. Negative: 36 out of 161
  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. 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 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
  5. 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-bestEastwood'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
  6. 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 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. Collapse
  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 161 User Reviews

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