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Arlington Road

>Mature 17+ | 0 % Say It's Worth Your Time

Arlington Road is a 1999 American drama/mystery film, which tells the story of a widowed George Washington University professor who suspects his new neighbors are involved in terrorism and becomes obsessed with foiling their terrorist plot. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, and Hope Davis and is directed by Mark Pellington. Ehren Kruger wrote the script, which won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) Nicholl Fellowship in 1996. The film was to have been originally released by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, but was sold to Sony Pictures Entertainment before it opened. The eventual release was the first title for Screen Gems while PolyGram (now part of Universal Studios) handled foreign rights. Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) is a college history professor at the George Washington University who has been raising his nine-year-old son, Grant (Spencer Treat Clark), since the death of his FBI agent wife, who was killed in the line of duty in a scene loosely based on the real-life Ruby Ridge incident. Somewhat of a specialist regarding American terrorism due to teaching a class on terrorism at the university, Michael starts to become suspicious of

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Genre: Thriller

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Mature for ages 17+ . What would you rate it? ?

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Rated R

  • 2 of 10 Sex & Nudity
  • 7 of 10 Violence & Gore
  • 5 of 10 Profanity

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  • (Male)

    Mature 17+ | Not Worth Your Time

    I found the opening credits to be brilliant. It gradually introduces a major plot point from a fog of white, resulting in an adrenaline shock of a scene of startling realism. Unfortunately, the next hour and a half is a slow, painful slog of dialog that thinks it is smarter than it is. It does a good job of riding the line between uncovering a conspiracy and descending into paranoia, but utterly fails to make the possibility of conspiracy interesting or entertaining. The last 15 minutes or so return to entertainment and, indeed, to adrenaline intensity. But the entertaining joy of the beginning and end is not remotely worth the drowse-inducing endurance test that forms the majority of the film. The violence, the hard truths of parenting and adult life, the potential danger of violence inherent to living, and the internal conflict between obsession and vigilant responsibility make this film inappropriate for viewing by children. The utter failure to engage or entertain for the vast majority of the film make it inappropriate for viewing by anybody.


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  • (Male) Deseret News Critic

    No Maturity Rating | Worth Your Time

    In spite that it involves many twists and turns, a trip down "Arlington Road" is little more than a cinematic dead-end. It's not as if the parts aren't in place for this long-delayed thriller to be worthwhile: the cast is good and the premise is intriguing. But it's done in such a brain-dead and surprisingly exploitational way (there are nods to the Ruby Ridge siege and the Oklahoma City bombings) that the movie ultimately crumbles under the weight of its many contrivances. Also, the film starts so slowly — and not in a good way — that you might be asleep by the time something significant finally happens. That's the fault of filmmaker Mark Pellington, a former music-video director who'd rather capture an eye-popping visual than concentrate on telling a story. And he's unable to coax completely believable performances from his cast — even from such fine actors as Tim Robbins and Jeff Bridges. Bridges stars as history professor and terrorism expert Michael Faraday. A widower whose FBI agent wife was killed during a botched siege, Michael is just starting to rebuild his life when he meets his new neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang (Robbins and Joan Cusack). Seemingly an all-American couple, the Langs quickly win over both Michael's son (Spencer Treat Clark) and his former-graduate-student-assistant-turned-girlfriend Brooke (Hope Davis). They also try to befriend Michael, but something about Oliver rubs him the wrong way. So he begins to investigate Oliver's past. But when he finds some incriminating evidence, he's unable to convince anyone that Oliver could be up to no good — even when suspicious things start happening. Where Ehren Krueger's story goes from there is exactly where you'd expect it to go. But the script also has its share of preposterous plotting, with a series of inconsistencies and illogical moves, especially in the character motivations. Pellington is so concerned with flashy camera tricks that he doesn't even seem to notice that his performers are lapsing into caricatures. As Michael, Bridges is a little too paranoid to be believable, and he's surprisingly unlikable, while neither Robbins nor Cusack is subtle enough to make you wonder about their characters. "Arlington Road" is rated R for violence, including gunplay, explosions and a brutal beating, gory makeup and scattered profanities.


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Okfor ages12+