Although shunned by judges at the Cannes Film Festival for the grand prize “Mystic River” was by far the best film in the 2003 competition. Clint Eastwood directed this powerful and elegant drama with flawless performances by his entire ensemble cast including Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden. Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel, “Mystic River” is a psychological drama about three childhood friends (played by Penn, Bacon and Robbins) who grew up together in the streets of Boston and were split apart when one was abducted by pedophiles as the boys played in front of their homes. Now, thirty year’s later, the men are uncomfortably reunited when the murder of Jimmy Markum’s (Penn) daughter brings police detective Sean Devine (Bacon) onto the case to discover Dave Boyle (Robbins) as the crime’s prime suspect. American drama doesn’t get any more meaty and muscular than this.
Rated R. 137 mins. (A-) (Four Stars)