100

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Clint Eastwood pours everything he knows about directing into Mystic River. His film sneaks up, messes with your head and then floors you. You can't shake it. It's that haunting, that hypnotic.
Full Review
100

San Francisco Chronicle

Chilling, superbly acted.
Full Review
100

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Eastwood directs Mystic River with an invigorated grace and gravitas. This is a true American beauty of a movie, a tale of men and their bonds told by and for adults who value the old-fashioned Hollywood-studio notion of narrative.
Full Review
100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
To see strong acting like this is exhilarating. In a time of flashy directors who slice and dice their films in a dizzy editing rhythm, it is important to remember that films can look and listen and attentively sympathize with their characters. Directors grow great by subtracting, not adding, and Eastwood does nothing for show, everything for effect.
Full Review
88

New York Daily News

By Jami Bernard
The white-knuckle center of the movie is Sean Penn, who gives an utterly raw performance as Jimmy, father of the dead girl. It's one of the few times that a parent's grief has felt real on the screen through all its ugly permutations.
Full Review
88

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
So incrementally does Eastwood's film build toward what seems like an inevitable resolution that when it concludes, you're sucker-punched. You haven't been watching a police procedural, but a Greek tragedy. You haven't been watching a drama about the catharsis of vigilantism, but sitting vigil for a community diminished, and permanently damaged, by violence.
Full Review
88

USA Today

River ranks with the best movies Eastwood has directed: "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Unforgiven" and "The Bridges of Madison County." But this time, the work is strong without his own on-screen presence -- a significant achievement.
Full Review
75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
This is at bottom a pulp thriller that strains -- sometimes pretentiously, at other times with gutter magnificence -- to reach the level of basic human truths.
Full Review
70

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
Arguably Eastwood's most ambitious film since his multi-Oscar winner, "Unforgiven." But it lacks the power and depth of that film's dynamic script by David Webb Peoples.
Full Review
40

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
If this death-obsessed drama is a classic, then give me potboiling life.
Full Review
84 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.