#14. Mystic River : I could have easily placed at least three of Clint Eastwood’s movies from the past decade on my list. Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby were two of my favorite movies of recent years. Yet Mystic River is the best movie Eastwood has directed since 1992’s Unforgiven. Like Eastwood’s other gems, Mystic River is harrowing, suspenseful, well acted, and well written. The story focuses on three friends, one of whom (Dave played by Tim Robbins) is molested as a young boy. How this experience affects Dave and his two other friends looms large on the rest of the movie. The story then shifts to the three boys as men and how they are each affected by the murder of Jimmy’s (Sean Penn) young daughter. Circumstances lead Jimmy to suspect that Dave may have had a role in the murder. Sean’s role is that (Kevin Bacon) he is police detective charged with investigating the crime. It is classic Eastwood as the movie heads toward an ending that can only be characterized as inevitable.
As a testament to the strong acting performances, both Penn and Robbins were awarded with Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.