Tim Robbins Weekend – Arlington Road (1999)

logoDirector: Mark Pellington

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Hope Davis, Robert Gossett, Mason Gamble, Spencer Treat Clark, Stanley Anderson

Plot: A college professor begins to suspect that his neighbour is a terrorist.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Socking Thriller

Story: Arlington Road starts when Michael Faraday (Bridges) finds a young boy walking down the street servilely injured before rushing him to hospital. The boy Brady (Gamble) lives across the street from Michael but as the family has only recently moved in he hasn’t got to know them. The parent Oliver (Robbins) and Cheryl (Cusack) show their gratitude for saving their son opening up a friendship between the two families.

We learn that Michael lost his wife who working for the FBI and that he along with his son are still coming to terms of losing her, Michael is a lecturer who has started with a new relationship with Brooke (Davis). Michael also teaches about terrorism where he preaches about how the effects of certain crimes including the one that saw his wife die, he doesn’t believe the story he has been told.

When Michael starts questioning certain details about the Lang’s he doesn’t know what he will find but what when he does discover the truth he will be left shocked while trying to find a way to spread the truth.

Arlington Road is a film that plays along the idea of conspiracy where our lead thinks something is going on but no one wants to believe him. I do like the idea that this film give us because just because we think someone might be up to something doesn’t mean they are. With the ending being one of the most shocking in modern film I think this is a stand out film that isn’t afraid to go where other films wouldn’t dare. (9/10)

Actor Review

Jeff Bridges: Michael Faraday is the widowed single father who lost his wife in a terrorist attack, he is still dealing with the consequences of her death while trying to move on with his life. When he befriends the new neighbours he thinks it is a chance for his son to make new friends, but when certain things come up between him and Oliver about stories Michael starts investigating the truth. Jeff does a great job in this role showing just how desperate he is to make sure his son is safe going through to the completely on the edge by the end of the film. (9/10)michael

Tim Robbins: Oliver Lang is the neighbour across the road, everything comes off very friendly but when Michael digs into his past he learns that he might be a very different person than he is letting on to be. Tim does a good job keeping everything calm and calculated through the film. (8/10)lang

Joan Cusack: Cheryl Lang is the wife of Oliver also comes off very friendly but is she helping cover up the truth about Oliver or just as involved in what is going on. Joan does a solid job but doesn’t get the screen time required. (6/10)

Hope Davis: Brooke Wolfe is the new girlfriend of Michael, she is just started the relationship so isn’t trying to replace his late wife but is trying to build the bridges with his son. She thinks Michael is getting paranoid while he looks into the truth about the new neighbours. Hope does a solid job but doesn’t get on the par as the leading males. (6/10)

Support Cast: Arlington Road has a supporting cast that includes the kids from both family’s as well as the FBI friend who tries to keep Michael’s feet on the ground.

Director Review: Mark PellingtonMark gives us a thriller that isn’t afraid to shock us and for that he deserves all the praise. (9/10)

Crime: Arlington Road lets us know early on that this will be about a terrorist crime but just what the plan is remains the question. (8/10)

Thriller: Arlington Road keep you on the edge of your seat until the credits because you will be shocked with how the film ends. (10/10)

Settings: Arlington Road creates a normal suburban neighbourhood for the setting which only adds to the shock value. (10/10)

Suggestion: Arlington Road is a film that must be watched mainly just for how shockingly it ends. (Watch)

Best Part: The End.

Worst Part: When you think about what has happened at the end.

Oh My God Moment: The End

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $24 Million

Budget: $21.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: How well do you know your neighbour?

Trivia: The script for “Arlington Road”, written by Ehren Kruger, was discovered when it won the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting competition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This film is only the sixth winner of the competition to actually be produced.

Overall: Truly shocking, stunning thriller


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