Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003

Mystic River

Director Clint Eastwood's best movies are always about people trying desperately to escape desperately fated lives, and this is one of his best. That's not only because of Brian Helgeland's impeccable adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel, or his perfect cast, headed by Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon, but because Eastwood casts such a knowing, sympathetic eye on their lower-class neighborhood, in which dim hopes are constantly battered by grim circumstances.