Cinema: A Dead-End Street

Kids with bombs, neighbors with secrets and a paranoid professor all get lost in Arlington Road

The thinly fictionalized references to recent bloody events--Ruby Ridge, the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, even kids playing with explosives--are transparent. (Release of the movie was delayed to separate it from the Columbine tragedy.) But Arlington Road is not a cheesy exploitation film. Nor is it a routine paranoid thriller featuring drooling perps of the easy-to-deny sort. It wants to be seen as a sober, thoughtful contemplation of domestic terrorism. It also wants us to think there is more of it around, and hiding in fairly plain sight, than we would like to believe.

How far one wants...

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