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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.66%
Worth A Look43.1%
Average: 11.21%
Pretty Bad: 16.38%
Total Crap: 14.66%

10 reviews, 56 user ratings

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Arlington Road
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by Erik Childress

"The Ending Will Blindside You"
4 stars

Arlington Road (***) – Some movies live or die by the strength of their ending. A bad ending can make the previous two hours feel like a waste of time while a movie like Arlington Road lives by its ending and lives very well, making its ride all the more worthwhile.

Granted this is a film that exists because of little coincidences in the plot that may have you thinking back into it once you’ve arrived at the conclusion – I still have questions about one aspect of the plot that leads to the jarring climax, but it’ll take a second viewing to verify it. Little coincidences have always been present in good thrillers though. Look at the film’s of Hitchcock and the way movies like Rear Window and Vertigo play out. Those films are full of coincidences, but it’s how they are handled that made those films the classics that they are. This film is very Hitchcockian in nature, full of paranoia and plot twists with everyday guys dealing with the nature of evil in the world. The film hooks you immediately with its pre-title sequence and never lets go, taking its time to set up its premise as well as its characters. Jeff Bridges gives yet another good performance as a man who’s been on the edge for a while, trying to convince himself unsuccessfully that he’s not. A few scenes are perhaps played a little over-the-top but they are countered by Tim Robbins mostly quiet performance as the mysterious neighbor. As the plot thickens, so does Robbins’ character. But the creepiest moments really come courtesy of Joan Cusack – some of them represented in her extreme hospitality and others come just from mere facial expressions. There isn’t a lot of her, but she’s so good in the time she has.

The movie has a lot more going on for it than just the mere mechanics of a Hollywood thriller. It’s raises a lot of good issues, some of which you’ll be discussing after you leave the theater – especially after its incredible ending, which really demands a second viewing. Arlington Road will not be remembered along with the great films of Hitchcock, but in the summer of 1999, it’s one of the most entertaining rides on the market.

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originally posted: 02/15/00 14:58:35
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell effective but routine 4 stars
3/16/15 Anne Could be a 5 star if less melodramatic. Dynamite ending, relevant today! 4 stars
11/03/14 Dan Worst ending ive seen in a while! While the movie was ok, the ending ruined it. 2 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner boring! couldnt watch the whole thing. 1 stars
9/21/07 amy i didnt understand realy probably becasue i missed some of it 3 stars
9/11/07 juice75 love the movie 5 stars
5/29/07 action movie fan great moive spies next door great thrills and action one of the best of ,99 5 stars
10/01/05 Adam Good acting but story a little weak in parts, ending is a bitch 4 stars
2/05/05 Jeff Anderson Tim Robbins' chilling, understated performance & Mark Pellington's stylish direction ROCK!! 5 stars
2/25/04 LIAM JACKSON Robbins' seemingly innocent neighbour hiding murderous intentions was chilling 5 stars
4/08/03 Mystique a great tim robbins 4 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Full-throttle, mesmerizing thriller. Bridges' and Pellington's work are outstanding. 4 stars
8/14/02 Ted V. stylishly creepy, Tim Robbins' acting was great 5 stars
8/01/02 Charles Tatum Seriously flawed story 1 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim Over-rated trash to give those paranoid among us another hive 2 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi good storyline, the ending is very unfortunate....all the actors do a great job... 4 stars
2/05/02 Aiken Drum These where the acts of just one man. I feel safe now. 5 stars
1/22/02 Mad Max FU, Bill head! 4 stars
9/15/01 palaboy after witnessing the events that happened in DC&NYC, u have got to see this movie! 5 stars
5/23/01 Bada Bing Crosby Fast forward to the last 20mins, that's the only part worth seeing at all 4 stars
5/03/01 Bueller The ending SUCKED! In the movies, all villans should die. Especially over the top villans! 2 stars
4/09/01 ChErRyRiPe Very excellent thriller which I enjoyed watching it over and over again! 5 stars
3/08/01 sanja I love to see the main role dead 4 stars
1/09/01 Sully Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Loved it. Disregard the moronic comments below. 5 stars
11/22/00 The Bill Head I would rather gargle pieces of glass mixed in with mutated baby chuncks than see it again! 1 stars
2/12/00 Richard Wright Over-the-top acting, an implausible plot... but gotta say, LOVE that ending! 3 stars
12/10/99 Starla Bad. Very disjointed and apparently pointless. The ending was a cop-out. 2 stars
12/10/99 JonnyAngel Worked for me. 4 stars
12/10/99 stuart buxton While unevenly paced, Arlington Rd remains one of the more chilling releases of the year. 4 stars
12/05/99 Eric S. Despite implausibilities, Jeff Bridges' performance and the ending make this film work 4 stars
11/20/99 George Nedelchev Intelligent, well-acted, well-shot. 4 stars
11/14/99 Matthew Smith an urban thriller with an ending that you haunt you for days to come 5 stars
11/02/99 Crikkit This movie really makes you think. A must see for Tim Robbins fans. 5 stars
10/30/99 Bozo Hey! Watch that "Yanks" shit! I thought it sucked too! Feel better? 2 stars
9/18/99 RelliK Sick Puppies(That's you, the Yanks) 4 stars
9/11/99 Timbo Annoying as a case of crabs 1 stars
9/11/99 Kevin Way Yet Another Conspiracy Movie. 3 stars
8/26/99 Sylvia phantastic thriller 5 stars
8/24/99 Pierce Lanson Bloody good film!!-Tense thriller, great performances! 5 stars
8/16/99 Brigid O'Connor Not as good as expected 3 stars
8/13/99 elizaveta Truly amazing film - Constantly on edge from the first scene to the devastating last!!! 5 stars
8/10/99 yoon ji -san f 4 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan Came in with no expectations...but was satisfied with what I left. Defn8ly an HBO flick 3 stars
7/27/99 David Kindred Some good points at beginning, but tried too hard to screw you in the end. 2 stars
7/23/99 Jo Jo, The Idiot Circus Boy Mmm.....feed me to Mystery Science Theater 3000 1 stars
7/23/99 Mr. Morden Wonderfully acted, but very poorly written. Hilariously bad at times. 2 stars
7/23/99 PhilmPhreak Just saw it and barely remember anything about it 3 stars
7/19/99 Malbert Pretty disturbing-Tim Robbins was incredibly creepy 4 stars
7/17/99 buddy Wow, great film, much better than that other thriller, Gen Daughter 5 stars
7/11/99 Majawat Well done character film, with a great trick ending. 4 stars
7/10/99 PurityJustBegs A very paranoid and dark thriller! Flawless acting, intelligent story..a superb thriller! 5 stars
7/09/99 Matthew Bartley Very chilling 4 stars
1/06/99 The Dude VERY COOL THRILLER Tim Robbins is fucking great. 5 stars
11/24/98 Johny Mediocre thriller until great ending. Intense direction. 3 stars
11/23/98 Chris Very Intense, Awsome Ending... Go see it. 4 stars
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  09-Jul-1999 (R)
  DVD: 26-Oct-1999



Directed by
  Mark Pellington

Written by
  Ehren Kruger

  Jeff Bridges
  Tim Robbins
  Joan Cusack
  Hope Davis
  Robert Gosset
  Mason Gamblet

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