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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.
The New York Times
Mystic River is the rare American movie that aspires to -- and achieves -- the full weight and darkness of tragedy.
Clint Eastwood pours everything he knows about directing into Mystic River. His film sneaks up, messes with your head and then floors you. You can't shake it. It's that haunting, that hypnotic.
This full-bodied adaptation of Dennis Lehane's involved and involving 2001 bestselling crime novel about old friends in Boston's working-class Irish neighborhood finds Clint Eastwood near the top of his directorial game with a cast of first-rate actors.
New York Daily News
The white-knuckle center of the movie is Sean Penn, who gives an utterly raw performance as Jimmy, father of the dead girl. It's one of the few times that a parent's grief has felt real on the screen through all its ugly permutations.
River ranks with the best movies Eastwood has directed: "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Unforgiven" and "The Bridges of Madison County." But this time, the work is strong without his own on-screen presence -- a significant achievement.
This is a powerful tale of crime, guilt, and punishment -- a drama that incorporates elements of whodunit mystery/thrillers and police procedurals with a richly textured three-character play.
New York Post
One of those rare recent films whose emotional power resonates long after you've left the theater.
Wall Street Journal
If this death-obsessed drama is a classic, then give me potboiling life.
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.
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