Clint Eastwood, 80, blew through the decade on a creative high, directing the diverse likes of Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Changeling, Gran Torino and Invictus. But the 2003 film that I believe stands with his 1992 Western masterpiece, Unforgiven, is Mystic River. Everything Eastwood knows about filmmaking and living is poured into this fierce drama about friends who grew up together in working-class Boston. Now, driven by guilt and anger, their bonds are severed. Tim Robbins and Sean Penn, at his brilliant best, deservedly won Oscars for their acting. But it's the startling power and intimacy that Eastwood invests in this tale that takes a piece out of you.
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