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Arlington Road (1999)

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A man begins to suspect his neighbors are not what they appear to be and their secrets could be deadly.

Director:

Mark Pellington

Writer:

Ehren Kruger
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Michael Faraday
Tim Robbins ... Oliver Lang
Joan Cusack ... Cheryl Lang
Hope Davis ... Brooke Wolfe
Robert Gossett ... FBI Agent Whit Carver
Mason Gamble ... Brady Lang
Spencer Treat Clark ... Grant Faraday
Stanley Anderson ... Dr. Archer Scobee
Viviane Vives ... Nurse
Lee Stringer Lee Stringer ... Orderly
Darryl Cox ... Troopmaster
Loyd Catlett ... Delivery Man
Sid Hillman Sid Hillman ... Phone Technician
Auden Thornton ... Hannah Lang
Mary Ashleigh Green Mary Ashleigh Green ... Daphne Lang
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Storyline

In suburban Reston, Virginia, George Washington University American History professor Michael Faraday is still mourning the death of his wife, FBI agent Leah Faraday, after three years. His inside knowledge of the agency colors what he teaches in his classes. Although on good terms with Leah's ex-partner, Whit Carver, and the agency in general, Michael wants the agency at least to acknowledge their responsibility in her death in the line of duty. Michael is moving on with his personal life, he being in a serious relationship with his former teaching assistant Brooke Wolfe. Although he likes Brooke, Michael and Leah's nine year old son, Grant Faraday, may not yet be quite ready for Brooke to be a permanent part of their lives. It is only in helping adolescent Brady Lang who he sees in medical distress that Michael meets his new neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang, Brady's parents. In the process, Michael and Brooke becomes friends with the Langs, as Grant and Brady become friends. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There goes the neighborhood! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arlington Rd. See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Bend County, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,515,145, 11 July 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$24,362,501, 26 September 1999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$41,067,311, 26 September 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sixth film appearance of Mason Gamble. See more »

Goofs

The red Ford Contour changes from a '97-98 to a '94-96 model and back to a '97-98 during the chase scene. See more »

Quotes

Michael Faraday: You can't ask government to be infallible, but you can ask it to be accountable.
Oliver Lang: I can ask it to be honest.
Michael Faraday: You know, when Leah died, all I wanted was someone to tell me, "We made a mistake." You know? "We made a mistake. Your wife suffered for it, and we'd take it back a hundred times if we could." But they don't say that. She would've.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release contains an alternate ending showing Grant and Oliver having a conversation that hints that Grant may know the truth about what happened to his father. See more »


Soundtracks

Do the Country Cha-Cha-Cha
Courtesy of MasterSource Music Catalog
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User Reviews

Paranoia at its finest
24 August 2000 | by TC FenstermakerSee all my reviews

Maybe I'm very easily amused, but I thought this was one of the best movies I've ever seen about the sinking abyss of paranoia. I think it's very difficult to make a believable movie about paranoia, and 'Arlington Road' is very believable--as least, while you're watching it.

Admittedly, after you've seen it, you'll see the holes, and how you've been manipulated--but while you're watching it, you'll be just as confused as Bridges' character, wondering, "is he right? Or just a nutcase?"

This movie operates entirely on the psychological plane. There aren't lots of cool explosions (well, OK, a few) and there isn't an expensive car being smashed every five minutes or someone's head being blown open with a handgun. Yet it leaves you breathless, panicked, scared, and disturbed. How easy is *that* to do without endless special effects?

Some have complained that the timing of Robbins' character catching Bridges red-handed over and over was lame and unbelievable. I think they've missed the point--it adds to the confusion, the paranoia, and the madness of Bridges' character, and to ours also.

In fact, the entire movie is structured this way. Just when the plot seems predictable and we think we can settle back and watch it follow a familiar formula, the rug is yanked away and we don't know what to believe. This happens not once, but constantly.

If you have to categorize it, think of it as 'The Sting', with a dastardly political agend--in other words, the gentile crime of that 1920's piece fast-forwarded into the dismal world of moral-less America, circa 1999.

The ending was extremely un-Hollywood, and left me angry, disturbed, and unsettled. And this, friends, is why Hollywood doesn't make movies like this. All anyone has complained about is how unsettling it is. Well, the next time you watch a movie end in a boring, predictable way, remember that it's probably making more money and wooing more critics and fans than 'Arlington Road'. (Reminds one of what they kept saying in 'The Player': "because *that's* reality!")

As an aside, the opening credits were the spookiest I've ever seen. They set the tone perfectly for a movie that reflects the existential, empty, lonely, scary, frightening world that may or may not be right out our very door.

If you enjoy watching a movie that will cause you to slam your fist on the arm of your chair, put you in a bad mood for the next day, make you yell at the news "YEAH RIGHT!" and wonder if you'll ever know "The Truth" about ANYTHING, this is your flick. I recommend it to anyone who wants some vinegar to balance the sugar of everything else made by Hollywood, and a reminder that things are rarely what they seem.


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