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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.66%
Worth A Look43.1%
Just Average: 11.21%
Pretty Crappy: 16.38%
Sucks: 14.66%

10 reviews, 56 user ratings

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Arlington Road
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by Cochise

"Arlington Road” is a film that is not afraid to break convention."
4 stars

“Arlington Road” is a one of the best films I have seen in years. To get the best out of this excellent film, more than one viewing is a must.

This is a film about terrorism, the kind of terrorism that does not come from overseas, but originates from within. The story is about the problems that can arise from combating it. We see the awful reality that can hide behind appearances. In the film it is the seemingly innocent and nice neighbors who are actually evil. Suburbia is apparently not as safe as it seems, or as we would like it to be.

WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.

College professor Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) teaches a history class about terrorism at his university. His wife, who was an FBI agent, was killed in a tragic FBI bungle. Michael believes that the FBI is not infallible, and can make mistakes that can cost the lives of their agents. When Michael’s neighbor, Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins) starts acting strangely, Michael begins to check him out. What he finds out about that neighbor drives the plot.

The film needs two viewings, not because it is a poor film, but because there are many subtle nuances in the film that may not be picked up on the first time around. For example, in one scene, Oliver is wearing a small cross around his neck. It is hardly noticeable, but it reinforces one of the film’s ideas that right-wing political activists can consider themselves wholesome, Christian family people.

The brilliant acting of all the leads makes the themes and concepts in the film very grounded and realistic. Jeff Bridges is especially good in the way he underplays scenes in a way that his totally true.

The film does have its stereotypical moments (the standard car chase), and I was disappointed the chase sequence was not handled better. However, it is the conclusion of the film where the true creativity of the filmmakers shows. In the end, after the car chase, the audience is still expecting that the hero will win in the end. Instead, the film takes an unusual and original turn and does not end the way you might expect It closes with a re-iteration of one the film’s main ideas, which is actually stated by Jeff Bridge’s character in the beginning.

If you want to buy this film, get the region 1 Dvd. It is loaded with special features, including an especially useful commentary by Jeff Bridges and the director.

Watch this film. It is a lot better than you may have heard.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1072&reviewer=228
originally posted: 07/31/02 09:20:39
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell effective but routine 4 stars
3/15/15 Anne Could be a 5 star if less melodramatic. Dynamite ending, relevant today! 4 stars
11/02/14 Dan Worst ending ive seen in a while! While the movie was ok, the ending ruined it. 2 stars
8/28/08 Shaun Wallner boring! couldnt watch the whole thing. 1 stars
9/20/07 amy i didnt understand realy probably becasue i missed some of it 3 stars
9/11/07 juice75 love the movie 5 stars
5/28/07 action movie fan great moive spies next door great thrills and action one of the best of ,99 5 stars
9/30/05 Adam Good acting but story a little weak in parts, ending is a bitch 4 stars
2/04/05 Jeff Anderson Tim Robbins' chilling, understated performance & Mark Pellington's stylish direction ROCK!! 5 stars
2/24/04 LIAM JACKSON Robbins' seemingly innocent neighbour hiding murderous intentions was chilling 5 stars
4/07/03 Mystique a great tim robbins 4 stars
3/02/03 Jack Sommersby Full-throttle, mesmerizing thriller. Bridges' and Pellington's work are outstanding. 4 stars
8/13/02 Ted V. stylishly creepy, Tim Robbins' acting was great 5 stars
7/31/02 Charles Tatum Seriously flawed story 1 stars
7/26/02 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
1/21/02 Mad Max FU, Bill head! 4 stars
9/14/01 palaboy after witnessing the events that happened in DC&NYC, u have got to see this movie! 5 stars
5/22/01 Bada Bing Crosby Fast forward to the last 20mins, that's the only part worth seeing at all 4 stars
5/02/01 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
3/07/01 sanja I love to see the main role dead 4 stars
1/08/01 Sully Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Loved it. Disregard the moronic comments below. 5 stars
11/21/00 The Bill Head I would rather gargle pieces of glass mixed in with mutated baby chuncks than see it again! 1 stars
2/11/00 Richard Wright Over-the-top acting, an implausible plot... but gotta say, LOVE that ending! 3 stars
12/09/99 Starla Bad. Very disjointed and apparently pointless. The ending was a cop-out. 2 stars
12/09/99 JonnyAngel Worked for me. 4 stars
12/09/99 stuart buxton While unevenly paced, Arlington Rd remains one of the more chilling releases of the year. 4 stars
12/04/99 Eric S. Despite implausibilities, Jeff Bridges' performance and the ending make this film work 4 stars
11/19/99 George Nedelchev Intelligent, well-acted, well-shot. 4 stars
11/13/99 Matthew Smith an urban thriller with an ending that you haunt you for days to come 5 stars
11/01/99 Crikkit This movie really makes you think. A must see for Tim Robbins fans. 5 stars
10/29/99 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
9/10/99 Timbo Annoying as a case of crabs 1 stars
9/10/99 Kevin Way Yet Another Conspiracy Movie. 3 stars
8/25/99 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
8/12/99 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
7/31/99 Obi Wan Came in with no expectations...but was satisfied with what I left. Defn8ly an HBO flick 3 stars
7/26/99 David Kindred Some good points at beginning, but tried too hard to screw you in the end. 2 stars
7/22/99 Jo Jo, The Idiot Circus Boy Mmm.....feed me to Mystery Science Theater 3000 1 stars
7/22/99 Mr. Morden Wonderfully acted, but very poorly written. Hilariously bad at times. 2 stars
7/22/99 PhilmPhreak Just saw it and barely remember anything about it 3 stars
7/18/99 Malbert Pretty disturbing-Tim Robbins was incredibly creepy 4 stars
7/16/99 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
1/05/99 The Dude VERY COOL THRILLER Tim Robbins is fucking great. 5 stars
11/23/98 Johny Mediocre thriller until great ending. Intense direction. 3 stars
11/22/98 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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