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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense with a great but unexpected twist
Arlington Road is a thriller with a difference. For me, that difference was the fact that for the majority of the time it does not feel like much of a thriller. The first half of the film is spent reiterating what is already said on the back of the video box. Then the pace picks up and you're into your bog standard suspense action movie where if you've seen one, you've...
Published on 30 April 2000 by rockin@lineone.net

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good story. a bit OTT
The premise of the story is that US anarchists are a highly organized bunch but skillfully manage to pin the blame on lone eccentrics. Jeff Bridges plays an irritatingly emotional widower for whom every disagreement becomes an existential crisis as he bangs and crashes his way though every turn in the story like a mad elephant. Makes you want to support the cool bad...
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense with a great but unexpected twist, 30 April 2000
Arlington Road is a thriller with a difference. For me, that difference was the fact that for the majority of the time it does not feel like much of a thriller. The first half of the film is spent reiterating what is already said on the back of the video box. Then the pace picks up and you're into your bog standard suspense action movie where if you've seen one, you've seen them all and it's just a case of whether or not Jeff Bridges will work out what we've known all along- something is majorly dodgey about Tim Robbins- and if he'll get there in time. But don't be deceived... All the little snippets of seemingly irrelevant information used to bulk out the plot in the first half all work towards the ending. The previously straight forward plot takes you here when you expected to go there and as you learn more you realise that this film is not going to wrap everything up nicely like the viewer wants. Stick through the first hour of the film, although it might seem plodding and not anything special, the ending makes it all worthwhile. There's nothing else I can say without giving the plot away. It's a shock. I was stunned.
Jeff Bridges is on his usual top form and gives an excellen and sensitive performance as Michael Faraday, a man who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. Tim Robbins is superbly sinister as the seemingly average next door neighbour. Both the leads are excellent and with a great script and great action this is one amazing thriller.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undiscovered gem., 21 Jan. 2005
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This film seems to have gone under the radar somewhat, as tends to be the case with Tim Robbins and/or Jeff Bridges movies. Which is a shame because, in my view, this is one of the cleverest, most thought-provoking films made in the last few years.

Michael Faraday (Bridges) is a lecturer at a university, who teaches a class on FBI misgivings and conspiracies, since the death of his wife, herself an FBI worker, two years previous. He befriends his neighbour Oliver Lang (Robbins), a structural engineer, after an incident involving the two men's sons. At first, the two men get on great, but when Michael starts receiving Oliver's email from the university of Pennsylvania (Oliver claims to have gone to Kansas State), he starts suspecting Oliver's background. So much so that it takes over his life, and those of the people that are around him...

Impressively acted by two of Hollywood's more underrated actors, this is a movie that can only be done justice by being watched. The storyline is far-fetched but, vitally, it never seems unlikely or implausible. And the ending, which ingeniusly ties in with almost everything that has gone before it, is unforgettable.

Make sure this masterpiece doesn't carry on going unnoticed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suspends belief, 26 April 2010
By 
Will (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
A very enjoyable film, superbly acted by all and very gripping. However the outcome is hard to believe, the plot relies on everything working to perfection. Are they seriously expecting us to believe that the terrorists can control Faraday in such a pin point degree of accuracy? For their plot to work, Faraday has to do things that probably is a 1 in 10 chance at most. Highly unbelievable but still a very gripping and enjoyable film, just dont take it too seriously.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite believable, 11 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) lectures on terrorism. When he saves the life of Oliver Lang's (Tim Robbins) child, a friendship is formed between the two men. They start to see each other socially and their children hang out with each other. Is all as it seems....?

It's a good film but it has a few dodgy bits that suspend belief, eg, Brooke's (Hope Davis) inability to understand the bleeding obvious when Bridges is shoving loads of proof in her face. I was also confused as to the role of Cheryl (Joan Cusack) - innocent or evil? The film has a different outcome to what you would expect which would shock the viewer more if we could care about Jeff Bridges. Tim Robbins has a far more interesting role and he steals the acting honours. Special mention to Joan Cusack for being scarily mad, I think!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intense thriller that delivers more than you'd expect., 9 July 2000
This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Arlington Road has the virtue of being a film that you've probably never heard of and know even less about, both of which work in it's favour. Without giving the plot away too much, Jeff Bridges plays Michael Faraday, a University lecturer with an obsession with terrorism after the death of his wife in field of duty with the F.B.I. When his new neighbour, played by the increasingly sinister Tim Robbins moves in, Farady is quick to assume that there is more to his new best friend that meets the eye. Is it paranoia or is there a genuine reason for concern? Whatever you expect from Arlington Road, it will deliver. A well structured and clever film that always leave you second guessing, the lack of features is more than made up for with intense sound that really makes use of the rear speakers in surround sound systems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult not to give out spoilers., 13 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I think it difficult not to give out spoiles as to why I found 'Arlington Road' a rather disturbing picture. On the surface, AR tells the story of neighbours getting aquainted. The more they get to know each other, the more suspicious the actons of one neighbour seem to the other. The plots of many horror-movies have been based on this theme. I mistook AR for a horrormovie, bought it under the impression it was, and found out its storyline was no horror whatsoever. At first it seemed like your average action-thriller, with the occasional hit and run and shoot out thrown in. However, near the ending it took a nasty twist, spiralling this production out of the mediocore category I'd already placed it in. It left me wondering about the system we're living in. By what and by whom are we manipulated? Sufface to say it made me aware it's best not to take everything at face value. Four stars to writer and supporting cast. Didn't like the two leads, with Jeff Bridges annoying me the most. His drawl-like speech and his constantly rummaging through his hair got on my nerves. Nevertheless, this is one the most thought provoking films I've seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pass The Baton, 3 Mar. 2013
By 
G Dogg (Davis, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
*Spoiler Alert* The ending is similar to The Parallax View, a minimalist classic from the pre-Jaws era.

No, no, no: This is a new generation. Ratchet up the heat, enjoy the high production value, stunning camera work and soundtrack rattling the walls through the subwoofer.

Tim Robbins, as he did with Bob Roberts, plays a right-winger with malevolent glee.. so much so it's surprising that no one in the room says, "This guy's a bit off.. quite a bit off." Jeff Bridges anchors the movie brilliantly, movie acting where a look - including many close-ups of just the eyes - says it all. (Robbins initially considered playing the Jeff Bridges/Faraday role then thought better of it). The film is filled with cliché for good reason - from researching microfilm to discover..-violin shriek!... to the spouse who gets angry when the lead espouses conspiracy theories... and, of course, the shift of the film into Harrison Ford action mode. The standard buildup and action/chase scenes assuage the audience for the sting. You forgot that the players are so media savvy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars something very different, 21 Dec. 2001
By 
Michael Mcgoldrick (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I went to see this film with no expectations at all. It was one of those nights where there was nothing else on so we decided to give it a go.
I left the cinema in complete shock. I've never watched a film that builds up the suspense so much and delivers such an ending.
Jeff Bridges is excellent as the paranoid professor of terrosism at the local college who blames the FBI for the death of his wife.
Tim Robins delivers a menacing performance as the guy next door who slowly manipulates bridges.
The story gives a unique insight into terrorism and fanatism in the states and how the FBI's explanations of events sometimes simply don't fit.
The real star of the film though is the twist. Like all good endings - you'll be going back to see did it all fit together. This one does and its done very well.
Its a film that has a huge impact on its first viewing - subsequent viewings don't quite have the same value but its definetely worth a look
Mick
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual movie from Hollywood, 6 May 2012
By 
F. Panin "FabioStar" (Holland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
What is unusual in this movie is twofold: the view on terrorism (note the movie was years before the 9-11 tragedy) and the ending. I give it 4 star for this, even if overall one could say the movie is a collection of bits and pieces already seen somewhere else. Besides, the fast-paced last part does not go with the rest and is overdone, a-la-Hollywood (car chase on highway is included).
The ending will leave with a bitter taste: as action spins up one would tend to believe that as in all US movies the bad ones will perish or be caught, the good ones will win. The opposite here. Definitely one is left with a sense of emptiness, again considering this was years before the Twin Tower attack.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much underrated film, 15 July 2012
By 
R. Hughes "Grumpy Old Git" (Deepest Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I came across this gem of a film by chance and was absolutely captivated. It is a taut thriller where the tension is added, drip by drip. Are people what they seem? What are the people across the road really doing? Tim Robbins is utterly convincing as the chubby cheeked, affable family man. Jeff Bridges is the rather damaged widower who is a bit of a worry for those around him and is getting some really weird ideas. As the film develops you begin to question some of these assumptions but always, it is the neighbour who is kind and charming, while it is Jeff Bridges' character who is acting oddly and has developing paranoia.

Some big questions are being played out. What is the role of the State? Does the State have the right to poke and pry into everyone's affairs? But what if those fears are well grounded and there are people out there attempting to bring down society? Rather than go down the easy route of foreign terrorists, the film explores the fear of the enemy within. Of course, the USA had already experienced the Oklahoma bombing before the film came out but subsequent events in the USA and UK make the subject of the film as relevant today.

For all that, this is a thoroughly enjoyable, gripping film and not to be missed.
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Arlington Road [DVD] [1999]
Arlington Road [DVD] [1999] by Mark Pellington (DVD - 2008)
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