When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.
Billy Bob Thornton,
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
Michael Faraday, Jeff Bridges' character, was also the name of a real-life chemist and physicist who did pioneering work in the field of electromagnetism. Michael Faraday is also the name of a street in Reston, Virginia, in which the film takes place. See more »
When Oliver gets into the car in the garage and in every scene that you can see him driving, with Brooke following him, he is on the left side of the car. However, at the courier place, he gets out of the right side and there is a steering wheel on the right side which he uses to lift himself out of the car. See more »
The R-rated version is missing the graphic gore that was in the original shooting script of the film. The UNCUT bootleg of the workprint version is on some bootlegger's websites and has ALL the graphic gore cut to avoid the "X" rating. See more »
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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