One day while the three boys are hanging out, one of them is abducted by two men posing as police officers. The boy escapes. They grow up and go their separate ways in life. The death of one of their daughters brings them back together years later. One of the men is the detective investigating the murder and the third is the prime suspect in the case. After all the dragging to build the history of these men, the case takes a twist. In the end the murderer is apprehended.
There's a side story about the detective and his wife that is never developed and you don't understand the relationship that is trying to be portrayed between the two. There is a scene at the end between Sean Penn's character and his wife, portrayed by Laura Linney that seems to have no relation to the story line.
The movie is based on a book by the same name. If the movie achieved anything, it is that I want to read the book so I can understand the depth behind each of the characters that was lost in transfer to the silver screen. The movie gives you a taste of the depth but doesn't develop it fully enough to hold your attention.
I fear I stand alone in my opinion of Mystic River. There is a story line that has potential, although it is very similar to an earlier movie called Sleepers. In spite of the excellent job of the director and actors, this is a movie that seems to have been lost on the editing room floor. Too much time is spent on telling the story of how the three men portrayed by Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon are related, which causes the first half of the movie to drag and this viewer to lose interest.
For a more developed (character limits hold me back) and favorable review click here.