Widowed when his FBI agent wife is killed in an operation against suspected terrorists, a college professor becomes increasingly obsessed with the culture and sub-society of these dangerous groups. The arrival of new neighbors, gives him new spirit, as they are gregarious and friendly, with a ten-year-old boy that his son can be friends with. He is even beginning to see another woman. However, he begins to suspect something is odd about the neighbors, something about the way they don't want him to see certain parts of the house, or a set of blueprints they have there. Are his neighbors terrorists... or is the stress of losing his wife merely driving him past the point of paranoia? Written by
The car crash during the climactic chase scene was unplanned; the plan was for the car to duck behind the oncoming bus and complete the left turn. When the collision occurred, the car trunk sprung open, revealing the bright blue sandbags that had been placed there to allow certain stunts. The quick cuts following the collision are necessary to avoid showing the sandbags. Subsequent shots including the car had already been filmed, and show a markedly less-damaged car. See more »
Towards the end when Michael is driving toward the U.S. capital building on Pennsylvania avenue the capital building is approximately 4 blocks away. In the next shot it is approximately 8 blocks away. See more »
Never wiser than when we're children. They say it and it's true. We'll never see things that clear again.
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It seems like every year, there's one or two films which are far from perfect but nonetheless shake us up in ways better films don't quite do. Last year, it was BULWORTH, and this year, it's ARLINGTON ROAD. Obviously, after all that's happened this decade in America, from Waco to Oklahoma City, the time is ripe for a movie to explore the cracks in the American dream which brought about events like those. This film ultimately asks more questions than it answers, but that may just be a condition inherent to this type of film. More troubling is two things: (1) Though I agree with those(and I'll try not to give away too much here) who theorize the ending changes the whole perspective of the film, there are still too many key narrative cheats(a conversation Robbins supposedly had with Bridges' son seems unbelievable, and the traffic light scene near the end also is) to make it fully effective; (2) The film seems a little confused of what it's about; it is a study of one man's psyche, or the nation's?
Still, ARLINGTON ROAD shouldn't be dismissed. There are troubling questions explored, and you don't have to be a conspiracy nut to believe those so-called "fringe" hate groups are entering the mainstream at a frightening rate for a so-called "civilized" society. The ending is also powerful, and though I understand it, more than anything else, was responsible for the delays, I applaud whoever was in charge for not changing it(though again, how they got there is another story). Bridges' performance is another thing which makes more sense once you look back with the ending of the film in mind, and it doesn't seem like over-acting. Robbins is a little more problematic; there are scenes where he's convincing, and then scenes where he goes over-the-top and shouldn't. Hope Davis doesn't have a big part, but she injects a lot into it as usual. But the biggest surprise here is Joan Cusack. Anyone who thinks of her only as a (good)comic actress will be in for a shock; there's one scene involving her which is the scariest in the film.
Again, ultimately, while it leaves you with nagging doubts about the quality, ARLINGTON ROAD makes you think enough to recommend it.
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