Around this time of year, select projects start entering theaters powered by an invisible yet completely tangible force known as Awards Buzz. Mystic River, Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s textured novel, enjoys such clout, and with good reason. For his 24th directorial effort, the Hollywood legend assembles an impressive cast and marries them to a hefty and literate screenplay by Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential). Then, in typical Clint fashion, he challenges his actors to claw out from underneath his heavy-handed direction.
Some manage, but most do not, and River drowns in tedium and cumbersome symbolism as a result. The 73-year-old Eastwood remains a meat-and-potatoes filmmaker. He’s not afraid to take chances when selecting material, but his no-nonsense approach regardless of the content dooms this and other projects to a static and mind-numbingly wearisome state.
See filmcritic.com for full review.