Arlington Road (1999) – Review

4 Stars

Arlington Road is a gripping thriller and the most overlooked movie of 1999. Here, is a film that almost nobody saw during its theatrical run nor during its long gestation period on home video formats over the last two decades. But, I implore interested viewers to give this overlooked edge-of-your-seat type flick a chance. Jeff Bridges brings intensity and fire to his role which is sublimely counterbalanced by Tim Robbins underplaying his character which gives the film’s conclusion even more authority. Arlington Road is a nearly perfectly executed genre film and should elicit serious discussion amongst audiences long after the film has ended.

Widowed when his wife is killed by a right-wing group, college professor Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) becomes obsessed with the culture of these groups-especially when his new neighbors, the all-American Oliver and Cheryl Lang (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack), start acting suspiciously. With each twist the mystery deepens and the question looms-is Faraday just consumed by fear and driven by paranoia, or has a lethal conspiracy been hatched next door?

Jeff Bridges does solid work in a role that is the polar opposite from ‘The Dude’ and he delivers another excellent performance, while both Cusack and Robbins deliver appropriately off-beat performances and all three hold the film together. Scripter Ehren Kruger has concocted a great script around an intriguing premise and the film has half a dozen gripping scenes. Arlington Road is a little-seen gem that was dumped into theaters during the crowed summer season and was never given a chance for success. Now, after you’ve run out of things to stream go back and re-visit this very satisfying thriller.

Director: Mark Pellington
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Hope Davis

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