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Overall Rating
3.27

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 13

"Schizo film that can't decide if it's a trite or taut thriller."
3 stars

Nosey neighbours and suburban paranoia, all very frighteningly close to home.

Arlington Road, starts off with a bang as Jeff Bridges character acts franticly to avert the ultimate surburban tragedy, the death of a child. Jeff's character, on his way home notices a boy staggering down the middle of the road. He stops and realises the kid is in pretty bad shape and perhaps in danger of losing his arm and/or bleeding to death. He rushes the young fella off to hospital, and it is this act of kindness (or sense of suburban moral obligation) which leads to him befriending the Lang's - the newcomers who's son Jeff has just saved.

Jeff would probably have been better off leaving the little fella to stumble home nursing his bloodied stump and just get on with his life.

The film now (after a great, if somewhat predictable credit sequence by the gentleman who did the titles to se7en) settles in to something of a leisurely suburban Sunday afternoon wane, when nothing much seems to be happening, except for Hollywood cliches (Jeff is lamenting his dead wife, his son's having trouble accepting daddy's new girlfriend - a grad student from one of his classes - cliche!, and the concerned (black) friend who used to work with his wife in the FBI). Although in this case, the cliche is used to effect, because is not suburbia the bland appropriation, and mass disemination/commercialisation of what once was regarded as interesting?!

In truth, Jeff, his son and girl friend are really quite boring, and I will avoid the subject of them as much as can from here on in, while the black friend I single out purely to highlight tokenistic intent behind the appearance of this character. The film makers probably realised that they were painting an extreme white version of America, and decided at the last minute to try and diguise the fact by having at least one black character.

Well now onto what was good about this film ... in a word (well actually two) Joan Cusack. Playing yet another supporting role (if I ever make it into the industry I want her as my lead!) relishes in the subtext of her role. Her pleasant demeanor as the suburban housewife is filled with seething malice ... so much so it makes my mouth water. Watch her subtlety in a key scene at a shopping mall, or her soliette in the party scene, or when she just gets back from the shops . . . chilly stuff.

Tim Robbins puts in a good walk in the park performance as your friendly neighbour/terrorist. It's all about appearing inconspicuous.

Aw, not bad for a free movie. Easily passable video fair. But Joan is great...

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1072&reviewer=146
originally posted: 09/18/99 15:51:23
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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
7/03/08 PAUL SHORTT WELL ACTED, OFTEN INTENSE AND CERTAINLY ATMOSPHERIC 4 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Jul-1999 (R)
  DVD: 26-Oct-1999

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Aug-1999


Directed by
  Mark Pellington

Written by
  Ehren Kruger

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



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