Sunday, March 14, 2010

#70 Mystic River: He'll shoot you... and then he'll kill you

2003. dir. Clint Eastwood, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne.

Seen it before? No.

Hey, all you right-wing people who gave Sean Penn and Tim Robbins a hard time back in 2003 for criticizing the Iraq war? You've all apologized to them, yes? Because they were completely right?

Anyway, the actual movie. We open in 1970's Boston (a fact the movie announces right away by having two guys discuss Luis Tiant and Carlton Fisk) with three kids playing hockey in the street. They write their names in wet cement, but the third kid gets abducted by Major Rawls and held in a basement for four days.

These are for you, McNulty.

So leap forward to the present - the three kids have grown up to be Sean Penn (Jimmy, a convenience store owner and paroled felon), Kevin Bacon (Sean, a homicide detective) and Tim Robbins (Dave, the one who got abducted, and he's clearly still pretty messed up by the incident).

One night Dave comes home with stab wounds and someone else's blood on his hands, and then the next morning, Sean finds Jimmy's daughter murdered in a park. You can imagine where it goes from there. (He fixes the cable?) You're clearly meant to think things happened one way, so it's a surprise when it's revealed they didn't. Or at least it's supposed to be a surprise; my wife and I figured out who the real killer was pretty early on.

It's a good movie. It probably could have won Best Picture in another year, but 2003 was loaded (also nominated: Lost In Translation, Seabiscuit, Master and Commander, and the eventual winner, Return of the King).

Position on the list: 211
Most annoying part of the movie: Sean's wife. She keeps calling him up and not saying anything. It gets really tiresome.

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