Jeff Bridges was in one bomb of a terrorist movie, Blown Away, but in Arlington Road, he rectifies himself. Arlington Road is beautifully directed by Mark Pellington, superbly acted by Bridges and Tim Robbins, and contains one awesome ending.
I haven't seen Jeff Bridges in many movies, but the one that sticks in my mind is Blown Away. It was a bad movie and I thought that he didn't do that great of a job as the main character. Luckily for him, with Arlington Road, I realize that Blown Away was just a slip; he is a really good actor with great expressions and great emotions. He really knows how to move a scene. And co-starring as the film's bad guy, Tim Robbins delivers an equally exceptional performance. His facial features represent the character perfectly and his character's cold nature is drawn out excellently. Joan Cusack also has a major role as Robbins' seemingly normal wife, but she has much to hide, just like her husband. She is so subtle and believable, yet so cruel and wicked looking at the same time.
The opening sequence is only an introduction to the wonderful filming technique of Mark Pellington. His art direction makes a very confused look on screen, but only when it serves the scene for the better. Camera motion and scenery shots are crucial, and Pellington pulls them off very nicely.
As a hopeful writer (I have yet to publish anything, but maybe someday), Arlington Road is my idol. Arlington Road's ending is so out there and surprising that I can't see anyone else but myself writing it (yet, obviously, someone did). 1999 has been the year for shocker endings, and Arlington Road definitely fits in to the list of great, surprise endings. This has one of the coolest endings ever.
Arlington Road is a suspenseful and shocking film, without any kind of pathetic censorship that so many films have these days. It builds up the tension until the final, climatic scene, and explodes in to a great film.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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