Mystic River (2003) (mini-review++)


(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

The mini-review:

Mystic River

acting 9

directing 7

writing 7

effects 7

editing 7

SW score: 37

3.7 out of 5 octopi

++ I do love a good crime movie. I do not like a noir. So I was torn when I saw this film. Sure, Sean Penn deserved his Best Actor win. He’s had better roles but the academy rarely gives the Oscar for the right one. I get that life sometimes – oftentimes – sucks. I don’t need every movie I watch to be happy ending pablum. But noirs just sap me. I’m already a dark person and I don’t need any help slipping too far. I need a little help at the end of my films. Call me a sap. I don’t care. Despite my antipathy towards the genre, I will not deny that Mystic River was a well-crafted example. Clint Eastwood is an able director and he handles this story well. He does have the services of several stellar actors to help him: Laurence Fishburne, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. But many casts stellar casts have been led to the slaughter by incompetent directors (See the Star Wars prequels) so it’s still an accomplishment. I wouldn’t watch this movie again and I’m not sure I’ll ever watch a noir again. But if exploring the futility of human existence appeals to you, go ahead and take a dip.




(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 šŸ™, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feelingā€¦not that SW score is scientificā€¦but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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