Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Arlington Road |
Actors: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Hope Davis
Director: Mark Pellington
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
A gripping contemporary thriller about the terrible truths that can hide behind everyday appearances, Arlington Road is an intense, edge-of-your-seat journey that reveals just how little we know about the world around us. ... more »
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CAUTION! This is a cautionary tale, not a "feel-good" movie
Lori L. Graham | Whittier, CA USA | 07/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one kept me riveted throughout; I swear I didn't exhale until the last five minutes. No, I didn't see the ending coming, but it makes absolute sense given the ficton created therein (Roger Ebert is full of PRUNES when he says that it "flies apart in the last 30 minutes;" it not only works, it's the only way the film CAN end and maintain its integrity). The performances are spot-on (including Joan Cusack; hello? The woman is allowed to do something other than "zany" roles-- especially when she does so damned well with a role like this one), the plot is complex and yes, far-fetched, but pulls you in and keeps you in a stranglehold. But as I titled my review, do NOT watch this movie if you have to see good conquer evil/hope springs eternal etc.-- you WON'T LIKE IT. It is good drama, an excellent thriller, and while the nods to Ruby Ridge (NOT Waco,as has been suggested) and Oklahoma City made it timely when it was released, the events of 9-11-01 make it even more disturbing now. Remember, when we believe these acts to be the acts of individuals, acting alone, it only helps us to regain our sense of security; the truth may be more than we can bear."
The scariest movie ever made in broad daylight
Jesse Kornbluth | New York | 10/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Noon. A suburb of Washington, DC, a street dotted with houses just a shade too small to be McMansions. No one is around.
Wait --- here comes someone. A boy. White, of course. About 9 years old. Dressed in jeans and high-top sneakers. Walking unsteadily in the middle of the street. Lurching, really.
And now we see why: blood dots his sneakers, makes a trail on the pavement.
Luckily, a resident comes along --- Michael Faraday (yes, he has the same name as the great scientist who experimented with electricity and magnetism). He scoops the boy up, rushes him to the hospital. Eventually, the boy's parents show up, grateful beyond measure that the rocket their son set off wasn't more powerful --- and that they have such a good neighbor.
And now we see the opening credits: distorted photos of suburban life. They look anything but peaceful. Clever movie lovers will recall shots like this in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet." Clearly, something evil thrives alongside the barbeques.
But how could that be? Faraday (Jeff Bridges) is a history professor who teaches college courses in terrorism. He's widowed --- his wife was an FBI agent, killed in a botched raid --- and only recently dating a graduate student (Hope Davis). All he wants is to raise his nine-year-old son and find some peace.
And the neighbors, Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins) and his wife Cheryl (Joan Cusack) couldn't be nicer. They sense Faraday's loneliness, and they take steps --- inviting him over, including his son in their family outings.
Until, one day.....right, the Langs are too perfect. Faraday senses that when a letter for Lang is wrongly delivered to his mailbox. It's forwarded from the University of Pennyslvania., Odd. Didn't Lang say he went to Kansas State?
And so it begins: a neighbor furtively investigating his neighbor. And finding that there's something wrong in his story, that he may not be who he says he is.
At the same time, Faraday is teaching his class. That bombing in St. Louis (really, the Oklahoma City bombing). Scary, wasn't it? But remember how much better you felt the next day, when the FBI produced a single suspect: "We want one man, one name, and we want it fast because we want our security back."
Here's the problem with Farraday: He may teach terrorism, but he's a lousy detective. That is, his suspect knows what's going on. And confronts him. There's a scene in Faraday's back yard that's as menacing as any conversation on film: Faraday looking at a college year book that proves Lang has changed his name, Lang sneaking up on him. And then the reversal of expectation: It's Lang who's mad. Because he has an explanation, a damned good one. And if Faraday only had the decency to ask....
What's happening? Faraday can't tell. Is Lang really a structural engineer working on a mall in Reston? Or is he a leader of a terrorist cell plotting mass murder in Washington?
Then Faraday's girlfriend sees....Then Faraday's girlfriend rushes to a pay phone...Then Faraday's girlfriend turns around....
The secret of thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock explained, is to give people a fear bigger than the fears they live with every day. Movies with special effects and ridiculous plots do this poorly. Movies based on brilliant "what ifs?" make you pee your pants. Like "Rosemary's Baby" --- what if a man makes a deal with Satan? Or "Arlington Road" --- what if your neighbor is Satan?
There are critics who have called "Arlington Road" overheated and improbable --- especially the end. Well, it fooled me. And terrified me. The cinematography, the music, the rising paranoia of Bridges, the spookily friendly Robbins and Cusack: all the elements work together to make you scared of parking lots, mini-vans, the repairman outside your house.
As for the end, it forces you to reexamine everything. Was it just good fortune that the Langs were Faraday's neighbors? That letter in Faraday's mailbox --- did the mailman do that? Hey, what about their injured son at the beginning --- could that be...? For God's sake, where did this plot begin?
When it's over, you'll sit in the dark and shake. "Arlington Road" is that good."
Ace of all thrillers!
- Kasia S. | New York City | 12/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie single handedly made me a huge Jeff Bridges fan. I have always loved the quirky Tim Robbins movies, so this was a double pleasure!
This is a suspencful, yet not pure eye candy thriller. There are a lot of reali life comaprisons to resistance groups spread all over the US ready to overthrow and show their disconent for the government while they end up punishing innocent people.
Bridges plays a College professor, who teaches a class on Terrorism, and little does he know that his own life is starting to follow the down spiral of the very bad things he teaches.
He becomes fast firends with the neighbours across the street as he saves their son one day. As he is enjoying the new friendship weird things keep occuring. There are suspicious things that they dont want him to see in the house, and when he tries to do his own spying to see what is going on, he finds out more than he can handle.
THis movie is really easy to spoil so I wont say any more, but it's a seat gripping thriller, that I am still pondering in my head.
The ending was incredible, and not a guesser. It left me with my mouth open, and my thoughts running.
Wonderful, well done and intelligent movie!"
Deeply disturbing, but well worth watching
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 06/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As another reviewer suggested, this is a movie that should be watched twice in order to catch all the nuances, but you may not want to watch it a second time. This is really strong stuff, especially after Sept. 11th and, before that, after the Oklahoma City bombing. It is, however, well produced and directed. It grabs us from the first with the neighbor boy badly injured by 4th of July fireworks....something symbolic about that. Along with college professor Jeff Bridges, we become better acquainted with the neighbors who reminded me, while there is no marked similarity between the two films, of Rosemary's neighbors in ROSEMARY'S BABY.This is a thriller, and during the final 20 minutes appears to be leading to a predictable though exciting climax. Don't be fooled, though.However, it did leave me with a question. As in many thrillers, the bad guys are right wing zealots. Aren't there any dangerous liberals out there?"