Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. The screenplay by Brian Helgeland was based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. The film was produced by Robert Lorenz, Judie G. Hoyt and Eastwood. It is the first film on which Eastwood was credited as composer of the score.
The film opened to widespread critical acclaim. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. Sean Penn won Best Actor and Tim Robbins won Best Supporting Actor, making Mystic River the first film to win both awards since in 1959.
In 1975, three children, Jimmy, Sean, and Dave, are playing on the streets of Boston when a stranger approaches them. Since the stranger has a badge and is wearing a suit, the children assume that he is a police officer. The stranger orders Dave to enter his car, and Dave obeys, but this leads to him being sexually abused and locked inside a basement for four days, after which he manages to escape.
Twenty-eight years later, the boys are grown and still live in Boston, but they are no longer close friends. Jimmy (Sean Penn) is a former convict running a neighborhood store, while Dave (Tim Robbins) is a blue-collar worker. The two are still neighbors and related by marriage. Sean (Kevin Bacon) has become a detective with the Massachusetts State Police, but several months ago his wife left him for another man.
Jimmy's 19-year-old daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) is secretly dating a boy named Brendan (Thomas Guiry) and intends to run away with him to Las Vegas. One night Dave notices Katie dancing at a local bar, but later that night Katie is murdered, and for unknown reasons, Dave comes home with an injured hand and blood on his clothes, which his wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) helps him clean. Dave claims that he fought against a mugger and killed him.