East Coast Blues
Mystic River
Review by Ross Anthony

A moody blue tint permeates this moody blue production. Jimmy, Sean, and Davie play street hockey in an urban East Coast neighborhood, one of the three is abducted and assumedly abused.

Fast forward to present day. Jimmy (Sean Penn) is an ex-con now legit running a corner grocery and a family of 3 daughters and a second wife. Sean (Kevin Bacon) plays the homicide detective assigned to the murder of Jimmy's daughter, as Dave (Tim Robbins) tries to come to terms with what the tragic childhood event has done to his stability.

The performances are all good. Sean Penn filling out the production with a murky big-dangerous-hearted performance. Kevin Bacon anchoring with stability and level-headedness. Robbins performance is also good. However, the film experiences one coincidence after the other, manipulating its audiences rather heavy-handedly toward a rather predictable climax, and vague resolution. For just one example, isn't it rather surprising that for such a high profile case, the detective in charge just happens to be Jimmy's old friend?

The dialogue is strong, though two characters experience a breech in their otherwise believable demeanors. During interrogation by professionals these two otherwise somewhat bumbling, overtly nervous suspects give hard-nosed clever, calm-under-pressure testimonials that confound professional interrogators. The direction is steadfast with a careful melancholy mood maintained throughout and music (by Clint Eastwood) not half bad.

If you like Sean's performance here, check out some other great films of his, "Sweet & Lowdown," "I Am Sam" etc.

  • Mystic River. Copyright © 2003. Rated R.
  • Starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney.
  • Directed by Clint Eastwood.
  • Screenplay by Brian Helgeland.
  • Based on the Novel by Dennis Lehane.
  • Produced by Robert Lorenz Judie G Hoyt Clint Eastwood at Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/NPV.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:04:05 PDT