1,051 user 236 critic

Mystic River (2003)

0:31 | Trailer
The lives of three men who were childhood friends are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy.


Clint Eastwood


Brian Helgeland (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)
763 ( 131)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 55 wins & 143 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Jimmy Markum
Tim Robbins ... Dave Boyle
Kevin Bacon ... Sean Devine
Laurence Fishburne ... Whitey Powers
Marcia Gay Harden ... Celeste Boyle
Laura Linney ... Annabeth Markum
Kevin Chapman ... Val Savage
Tom Guiry ... Brendan Harris (as Thomas Guiry)
Emmy Rossum ... Katie Markum
Spencer Treat Clark ... Silent Ray Harris
Andrew Mackin Andrew Mackin ... John O'Shea
Adam Nelson ... Nick Savage
Robert Wahlberg ... Kevin Savage
Jenny O'Hara ... Esther Harris
John Doman ... Driver


In the summer of 1975 in a neighborhood in Boston, three kids, Dave Boyle and two of his friends, Jimmy Markum and Sean Devine, are playing on the sidewalk when Dave gets abducted by two men and endures several days of sexual abuse. Eventually, Dave escapes traumatized throughout adulthood. Jimmy is an ex-con and a father of three, whose daughter Katie, is found dead, and Dave becomes the number one suspect. Sean is a homicide detective, investigating Katie's murder, ends up finding himself faced with past and present demons as more is uncovered about Katie's murder. Learning Katie had a boyfriend, ballistics later turn up a gun belonging to the father, which then puts her boyfriend as the suspect. Will Sean find out who killed Katie? Will Jimmy make it through the investigation? And will Dave ever find out what really happened when he was abducted? Written by michigans_finest

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


We bury our sins, we wash them clean. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Marcia Gay Harden was the only Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar nominee that year that was from a Best Picture nominated movie. See more »


The cross tattoo on Jimmy's back changes size from small to large. See more »


[first lines]
Radio Announcer #1: ...before the end of the season last year, and then re-injured it in spring training on a terrific game-saving play. You know, I was talking with...
Sean's Father: What time is this going on?
Jimmy's Father: 7:30 is the pre-game.
Sean's Father: Who'd you say was pitching tonight?
Jimmy's Father: Tiant's pitching.
Sean's Father: Goddamn Cuban, man. He can hurl it.
Jimmy's Father: I'd hate to be facing him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Logos at the beginning of the film are not animated. They are both colored grey and stay in the middle of the screen. See more »


References Deliverance (1972) See more »


Mystic River
Composed by Clint Eastwood
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User Reviews

A good film - but not the cinematic masterpiece or great moral challenge it maybe should have been
27 October 2003 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

Mystic River deals with three men, once boyhood friends, who all estrange the people closest to them. Their characters become flawed because of events, of how they choose to be, or their calling. It doesn't really say anything profound, but the acting and screenplay in the first half are quite good. Brian Helgeland, whose script writing seems to veer between brilliant (L.A. Confidential) and fairly abysmal (The Sin Eater), provides three quarters of sheer maestro, a story that unfolds with a growing sense of unease; characters that, as in real life, feel no need to state the obvious but let us piece together clues. But a gripping story of childhood bonds gone bad, murder, the frailty of human certainty and belief in flawed values – all wonderful elements that should offer a filmmaker so much – are stymied by flimsy resolutions and ultimately unlovable characters. An edge of the seat mystery builds to a limp climax that rather suggests they ran out of money, or film or ideas. There is no great moral dilemma as some critics have tried to suggest – all the characters try to do good in their own screwed up way, some with better intentions than others, and most of them fail.

Mystic River has a stellar cast – Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon to name a few – and there are some excellent performances. Penn, in the lead role, is sadly perhaps the weakest of these three as he is seems far too conscious of those ‘Oscar worthy moments', with the camera closing in for yet another close-up of his lingering, tortured, seemingly over-rehearsed expressions. Actors who go through this phase need a rapid infusion of French Cinema to correct their hyperbaric egos if they wish to ascend loftily and gracefully through stardom. Robbins and Bacon seem far more comfortable with their roles, without the need to be centre stage quite so much, and Marcia Gay Harden, who has already collected one Oscar for her role in Pollock, is quite superb, playing a long suffering wife with what seems like suppressed hysteria growing into panic. Mystic River is a good film and worth going to see - but such a shame it isn't another cinematic masterpiece we feel we can still hope for from director Clint Eastwood.

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Release Date:

15 October 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mystic River See more »

Filming Locations:

Massachusetts, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$640,815, 12 October 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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