Rating: Amazing! There’s something out there besides "Austin Powers," "South Park," and "Wild Wild West," and that’s "Arlington Road." This new thriller stars the always good Jeff Bridges as Michael Faraday and Tim Robbins as Oliver Lang, the next-door neighbor who is great at picnics but definitely has ideas of his own.
Bridges’ character teaches history at a Washington university, specializing in twentieth century terrorism. He has a girl friend and is trying to raise his son as a single dad because his wife, an FBI agent, was killed on a stakeout very much like the confrontation at Ruby Ridge.
The Langs are the people who live across the street in a typical up-market suburb of our nation’s capitol. Everybody has a cell-phone, and except for Bridges’ girl friend, everybody drives a great new car. The Langs seem to be a great American couple and Bridges meets them when he becomes involved in saving their son’s life after an accident with some fireworks.
Soon the neighbor’s son and Bridge’s son become fast friends but Bridges begins to notice some strange events going on across the street and the movie moves up another notch on the road to its terrifying--and terrific---climax. The last movie that I remember beginning in the innocent and off-beat way was "Rosemary’s Baby." That should give you a clue that we’re moving in the fast lane here.
"Arlington Road" was directed by Mark Pellington and written by Ehren Kruger, his first screenplay. Here’s a combination worth looking for in the future. And if you’re wondering why the trailers for this film have been around for a long time, the opening schedule of "Arlington Road" was postponed after the Columbine High School shootings, in an act of taste not often seen in Hollywood.
This is one of those movies that anything that I write will take away from the marvelous build-up of suspense and the completely unexpected--but right on--ending. So take some time off and visit "Arlington Road."