(Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn / R / 137 mins / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Three childhood friends, Sean (Kevin Bacon), Dave (Tim Robbins), and Jimmy (Sean Penn), are reunited after 25 years by a police investigation into the murder of Jimmy's oldest daughter. Sean and his partner (Laurence Fishburne) are assigned to the case and discover that Dave, through a series of circumstances and secrets from his past, may be connected. Meanwhile, ex-con Jimmy wants to take the law into his own hands.
Verdict: Something must be said about the richness of 'Mystic River', which is at once a gripping psychological study, an astute piece of ethnography, and a bleak and ironic tragedy. It is the rare American movie that aspires to — and achieves — the full weight and darkness of tragedy. In fact, 'Mystic River' (directed by Clint Eastwood) could well be the most soulful, and most organic, movie of the year so far - for many a year even! This is a very powerful tale of crime, guilt, and punishment at its finest.