The best thrillers on Netflix available in May 2021

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Sean Penn

Sean Penn
Screenshot: the mystical river

Director Clint Eastwood’s film adapts a novel by Dennis Lehane, keeping special attention to how place, family, and local customs shape personalities – and how a moment can change all of that. Another unspeakable incident, the brutal murder of Sean Penn’s 19-year-old daughter, reunites childhood friends as men. Leading the investigation, Kevin Bacon discovers that a number of locals have no alibi for the night of the crime, but none are more suspicious than Tim Robbins, whose natural sweetness is starting to look a lot like de guilt. On the main lines, the mystical river is little more than standard police procedure, but Eastwood and screenwriter Brian Helgeland follow Lehane’s lead, letting the action unfold at a pace that reveals the murder as a community tragedy that crushes the past against the present. . The cast match the gravity of their surroundings, with Robbins balancing barely concealed anger with undisguised pain, Penn beautifully capturing a man who’s made his way to goodness, and Bacon finally finding a role that makes the most of it. his gift for understatement. It works so well as a showcase for their performances (and those of supporting players Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne and relative newcomer Tom Guiry), and as a study of their world alongside Aluminum, that the inevitable revelations of the mysterious plot almost hijack a film that deals more with fragile lives than clues and twists. Eastwood knows this, however, and he ultimately lets the observations of the character, community, and tidal patterns of tragedy carry a burden that an ordinary murder mystery never could. [Keith Phipps]

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