8:00 PM, 29th April, 2004
Dark film, reminiscent of Stephen King's works. Traces lives of three boys in a Boston working class suburb, from childhood into adulthood, covering the catastrophe to one who is abducted and abused by paedophiles and which plagues his life as an adult. The murder in the neighbourhood of the daughter of one of the three, now ex-convict and corner storeowner Penn, brings the three back together: Bacon, now a police homicide detective (partnered by Fishburne) investigating, and Robbins, his life shattered by his childhood trauma.
The story plays out as a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions as fear, doubt and suspicion tears at the fabric of the neighbourhood, the friendship of the three protagonists and their marriages. It is quite long at 137 mins, continuing beyond the climax, where it might have ended, into an epilogue which compounds the darkness of the film's message, and is somewhat predictable in its latter half. Excellent performances, especially from Robbins and Penn, and their characters' wives, played by Harden and Linney, with credible performances by Bacon and Fishburne make this definitely worth a look.