Parents say

(out of 5 reviews)
age 17+
Review this title!
Adult Written byrussp April 9, 2008

I wish I had not watched it.

Had I read CSM's review first I probably would not have gotten it. I got this movie with a free coupon to purchase a previously viewed DVD. The coupon had limited movie choices. I picked one I was unfamiliar with. Bad mistake. I kept hoping the movie would have some reedeming value. It did not. CSM's review is accurate. I wouldn't want any 'kids' under 99 watching this. Dark. Humorless. Unhappy ending. I can think of a ton of ways to discuss the issues in this movie with our kids than by watching this. A movie that too closly depicts the actual evil in this world. - Parent of two teens.
Educator and Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byklittle April 9, 2008

Intense Adult Content

Excellent movie: moving, gripping, powerful. Very important and intense social content. Not appropriate for teen viewing unless very mature and when accompanied by a responsible adult.
Adult Written bygavin m. jackson April 9, 2008

Opposite of Kill Bill

Both Kill Bill and Mystic River deal with violence, but in very different ways. I think they are both amazing films, but it is interesting to see the exploitive blood spillage in Kill Bill and the few acts of violence in Mystic River contrast each other. Mystic River has one act of sexual violence that transcends generations and becomes part of a Boston neighborhood. The acts of violence in this film carry weight that is too much for these characters to carry in their hearts, and eventually their true colors are displayed. The metaphor for the River and the acts of human beings is strong and well displayed. The river runs always ahead, looking pretty much the same on the top. But under the surface are secrets, bodies, and murder weapons. Much as the way we see a normal Boston neighborhood, but under the surface characters show their weaknesses and strengths through acts of kindness, murder, and sorrow. Note: There can not be enough praise for Clint Eastwood in this film. He strips the story down to its bare essentials, and lets the actors dominate the screen. Every actor in this film is at the top of their game. This is Sean Penn's greatest performance.
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 March 11, 2015

Grim, somber story has definite flaws

Sean Penn and Tim Robbins both racked up Oscars for their performances in Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," a devastatingly grim tale about how one moment in childhood defined the lives of so many people in a small Boston town. Penn and Robbins have the juiciest roles out of the ensemble, Kevin Bacon is mostly confined to banter with Laurence Fishburne as his partner. But the story effectively shows how a few seconds as kids drips into their future lives, all broken men in some way. At times, you can definitely smell Penn and Bacon hamming it up, but they pull back before it gets too schmaltzy. Marcia Gay Harden is also fine as Robbins' wife who gets more and more suspicious of him as time goes on. As a mystery, you can't help but have to trudge through the "Law & Order"-esque procedurals of the genre, but it does have a great twist that makes it all worth it, and don't let anyone spoil it for you!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 17 year old Written byTsion December 31, 2012

Astounding Performances in Haunting Story

Mystic River is one of the most harrowing and powerful movies to come out of Hollywood in the past ten years. It offers no easy answers in its portrait of three (now adult and dissimilar) childhood friends in search of closure in the face of tragedy, and it is a thought-provoking study on the nature of humanity and all of its weaknesses. The story goes like this: Sean, Jimmy, and Dave are friends as kids, until Dave's kidnapping splinters their relationship. After four days in captivity Dave escapes, but the damage is done. The three men grow in opposite directions: Jimmy flirts with violence and power as he raises his precious family, Sean becomes a police detective, and Dave, haunted by his past, struggles for normality. After Jimmy's daughter disappears, the men see each other for the first time in years, and the way their stories connect send their entire community reeling. Violence and profanity in the movie are the major concerns. In the opening scene, a young Dave is kidnapped by two predators masquerading as policemen. We see him drive off with them, and later, through flashbacks, are shown that he was kept locked in a dark basement for days. Other than that, however, nothing else is shown, and his abuse is only discreetly mentioned in dialogue. Elsewhere, a man is seen in a car with a young boy, implying that earlier sexual abuse occured. The pedophile is brutally yanked out of the car, beaten, and presumably killed, and the kid runs away. A man is stabbed twice and then shot off-screen. We see the slightly bloodied body of a young murder victim, and we hear her murder described. The use of the "f" word is prevalent (around 50 times), and other harsh language is frequent as well. The movie isn't especially graphic, but the unsettling, adult thematic material is presented realistically and emotionally, making this a better movie for adults.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing