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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What's the story?
In ARLINGTON ROAD, Jeff Bridges plays Michael Faraday, a professor who specializes in terrorism, still grieving for the loss of his wife, an FBI agent who was killed in a Ruby Ridge-style shootout. He is befriended by a new neighbor, Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins). At first, Lang's family seems like an all-American family straight out of an "Up With People" concert, but Faraday begins to suspect that under their bright smiles and peppy friendship might be something very sinister. Faraday's friends think that he has become a little unhinged from his wife's experience. But as he continues to investigate, he discovers more and more disturbing information about the Langs.
Is it any good?
Arlington Road is a very scary movie about a very scary subject -- terrorism. Indeed, its release was delayed due to concerns about the sensitivity of the material. This movie will give thoughtful teens some things to think about -- balancing the need for security against individual rights, the difficulty of deciding whom to trust, and the factors that lead to hate crimes.
The references to acts of terrorism in the US are so close to reality that they make this thriller more thoughtful than standard films in the genre. The very first image, of a boy walking in an immaculate suburb, bleeding from an accident, sets the stage for the unsettling story, and the ending is not only scary, but hauntingly so.
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