Dark, well executed story... Mystic River is one of those movies that has a way of grabbing you right from the beginning and not letting go. It is the story of 3 men who were boyhood friends in Boston and are brought back together later in life by the murder investigation of one of their daughters. Jimmy, played by Sean Penn, is the father who has lost his 19 year old daughter. He is also a thug and if there is anything that Sean Penn can do, it is play an ill-tempered, ill-mannered thug. Jeff Spicoli has come a long way in his career. Tim Robbins plays the part of Dave, the second member of this threesome who has endured in his lifetime a traumatic 4-day abduction in which he was imprisoned in a basement and sexually abused. He escaped after 4 days but never really recovered from the ordeal. Robbins does an excellent job of portraying the this character - you get the feeling that he is just barely holding it together on the outside but the inside is just a chaotic storm of unthinkable suffering and heated rage at his captors and men like them. Finally, the third member of this clan is none other than Kevin Bacon. He had a third fiddle role in this one but did a good job in support of the Robbins and Penn.
This is not a happy movie, but it really does draw you in. So much that I would suggest you watch it twice in fact. I give it a good solid 4 because I only give 5's to movies I would buy.