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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 Chef ADogg

"So promising, and, yet, so lame."
2 stars

Arlington Road starts out so good, and then plummets so quickly. Somewhere in between the nausea-inducing (in a good way) camerawork of the opening scenes and the big blow-out finale, Mark Pellington's new movie loses its footing and becomes just another terrorist-next-door flick.

"But there's not too many of those," you say, and you know what? You're absolutely right. What a novel (high) concept! What, then, is it that makes this movie so disappointing? I would say execution, except for the fact that the film is rather competent technically. Maybe it's the mechanics of the plot - that must be it!

But the plot runs smoothly until the last fifteen minutes or so. And an hour and forty five minutes of good work certainly deserves more than two stars, especially this summer. But even the good parts aren't all that great. Underneath the shiny exterior of Arlington Road, there's a queasy layer of indecision. The film makers just can't seem to make up their minds in which direction (and how far) they want to take their movie, and that's a big problem.

In the simplest terms, Jeff Bridges plays a paranoid suburbanite who suspects his neighbor of being a terrorist. The neighbor is played by Tim Robbins, who seems to be focusing on something much more important than this movie (Robbins has been away from the screen for awhile, and it appears that he's not all back yet).

Now you must be thinking that this is an intriguing premise. How bad can it be? Pretty bad, which I realized as soon as the film started to move to the same paranoid rhythm we've seen in every conspiracy film since the beginning of time...or at least since they started making conspiracy films. The performances are good, the direction calm and collected, and the script functional. Then the movie hits the skids halfway through and proceeds to tumble through the motions of your average generic thriller.

The worst part of this movie is that even a hypercritical filmgoer such as myself can't get my Irish up enough to hate it. I can only be severely disappointed. And, believe you me, I'd much rather be enraged.

Sorry for the lateness of the review. I just got around to copying it from

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/23/99 05:08:02
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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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