DVD - Image A Sound A Extras B
BD - Image B+ Sound A Extras B
starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne
screenplay by Brian Helgeland, based on the novel by Dennis Lahane
directed by Clint Eastwood
by Walter Chaw Opening like a Stephen King story of a group of friends falling from innocence into experience, Clint Eastwood's latest elegy for the myth of man strains at the edge of hysterical, offering up a testosterone-rich soup of In the Bedroom parental melodrama that compels for its pervasive doom, but disappoints for its didactic simplicity. Still, there's something to the tribal primitivism of the picture, the idea that man at his essence is composed of balanced portions of nobility and violence and that our society, perhaps, is no different: the past the muddy headwaters of the titular mystic river. The picture is a rhyme of Eastwood's A Perfect World, complete with spiralling shots of the sky through branches--the evocation of a Naturalism at war with any illusion of moral spirituality or humanism, with its heroes criminals shaded equally by the instinct to violence and the instinct to nurture.