Mystic River (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mystic River2003

Mystic River (2003)



Critic Consensus: Anchored by the exceptional acting of its strong cast, Mystic River is a somber drama that unfolds in layers and conveys the tragedy of its story with visceral power.

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Movie Info

Directed by Clint Eastwood, the mysterious drama Mystic River is based on the novel by Dennis Lehane and adapted by screenwriter Brian Helgeland. Set in an Irish neighborhood in Boston, Jimmy, Sean, and Dave are three childhood friends who are reunited after a brutal murder takes place. Reformed convict Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn) and his devoted wife Annabeth (Laura Linney) find out that their teenage daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) has been beaten and killed. Jimmy's old friend Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) is the homicide detective assigned to the case, along with partner Whitey Powers (Laurence Fishburne). Jimmy also gets his relatives, the Savage brothers (Adam Nelson and Robert Wahlberg), to conduct an investigation of their own. Jimmy and Sean both start to suspect their old pal, Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins), who lives a quiet life with his wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) but harbors some disturbing secrets. Clint Eastwood won a Golden Coach for Mystic River at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

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Sean Penn
as Jimmy Markum
Tim Robbins
as Dave Boyle
Kevin Bacon
as Sean Devine
Laurence Fishburne
as Whitey Powers
Marcia Gay Harden
as Celeste Boyle
Laura Linney
as Annabeth Markum
Kevin Chapman
as Val Savage
Adam Nelson
as Nick Savage
Cameron Bowen
as Young Dave
Matty Blake
as State Trooper
Andrew Mackin
as John O'Shea
Douglass Bowen Flynn
as Cop at Barricade
Cayden Boyd
as Michael
Jenny O'Hara
as Esther Harris
Charley Broderick
as Medical Examinder
Ken Cheeseman
as Dave's Friend
John Doman
as Driver
Brad R. Douglas
as Boston Police Officer
Celine du Terte
as Nadine Marcum
Bruce Page
as Jimmy's Father
Ari Graynor
as Eve Pigeon
Miles Herter
as Sean's father
Tori Davis
as Lauren Devine
Tom Guiry
as Brendan Harris
Lance Norris
as Bartender
Will Lyman
as FBI Agent Birden
Ed O'Keefe
as Priest
Celine Du Tertre
as Nadine Markum
Zabeth Russell
as Diane Cestra
Joe Stapleton
as Drew Pigeon
Anthony Taurasi
as Boston Police Officer
Brian Van Kay
as Police Detective
Jose Ramon Rosario
as Lieutenant Friel
Robert Wahlberg
as Kevin Savage
Tom Kemp
as CSS Tech
Jillian Wheeler
as Sara Marcum
Kris Rey
as Spectator
Lonnie Farmer
as Lab Technician
Susan Willis
as Mrs. Prior
Celeste Oliva
as Trooper Jenny Coughlin
Scott Winters
as Detective
Bates Wilder
as Loudmouth Cop
Douglas Bowen Flynn
as Cop at Barricade
Connor Paolo
as Young Sean Devine
Jason Kelly
as Young Jimmy Markum
Bill Thorpe
as Neighbor at Barricade
Thomas Derrah
as Headstone Salesman
Jim Smith
as Reporter
Patrick Shea
as Handcuffed Man
Duncan Putney
as Solicitor in Car
Dave Zee Garlson
as '75 Police Officer
Michael McGovern
as '75 Reporter
Bill Richards
as Helicopter Pilot
Michael Peavey
as Helicopter Pilot
Eli Wallach
as Liquor Store Owner [uncredited]
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Critic Reviews for Mystic River

All Critics (207) | Top Critics (58)

Eastwood and his actors create a brooding drama whose events and interrelationships seem surreally improbable yet painfully authentic.

November 12, 2018 | Full Review…

It is a film of magisterial, slow-burning power, one of the finest examples of recent American cinematic storytelling and certainly Eastwood's most mature film.

January 10, 2018 | Full Review…

Powerful performances in graphic story. Only 16+.

December 26, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Violence and revenge have been a staple of Eastwood's work from the beginning, but here he explores his subject from a new, more ambiguous angle, with no regard for macho titillation.

July 7, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

While not quite the equal of the novel, it's more complex, emotionally-charged and better acted than the average Hollywood thriller.

December 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It is in many ways Eastwood's tightest movie for some time, and certainly his darkest since Unforgiven; indeed, the ending offers as corrosive an assessment of the limits of American justice as anything in his career.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mystic River


Daniel J DeMersseman
Daniel J DeMersseman

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Three childhood friends who share the memory of a traumatic event are brought together once more when one of their children is murdered. Clint Eastwood once again proves he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood with this extremely well acted and written crime drama. The characters on display are far more sophisticated than those found in your average mainstream thriller, and the top notch cast all get to demonstrate their thespian chops with plenty of meaty dialogue as Clint cranks up the suspense with consummate skill. I personally have always found Penn a little unconvincing and his performance here is a little over-ripe as well, but he is a suitably intense protagonist. Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne are totally believable as the detectives on the case, very much in the tradition of The Wire and Oscar winner Tim Robbins is the stand out as the traumatized abductee who is beginning to fear for his sanity. My one criticism would be that I thought that the epilogue killed the mood somewhat, but as a whole it is head and shoulders above the usual cop thriller fare.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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