Three childhood friends who share the memory of a traumatic event are brought together once more when one of their children is murdered.
Clint Eastwood once again proves he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood with this extremely well acted and expertly written crime drama. The characters on display are far more sophisticated than those found in your average mainstream thriller, and the top notch cast all get to demonstrate their thespian chops with plenty of meaty dialogue as Eastwood cranks up the suspense with consummate skill. I personally have always found Sean Penn a little unconvincing and his performance here is a little over-ripe as well, but he is a suitably intense protagonist. Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne are totally believable as the detectives on the case, very much in the tradition of The Wire and Oscar winner Tim Robbins is the stand out as the traumatised abductee who is beginning to fear for his sanity.
My one criticism would be that I thought that the epilogue felt somewhat at odds with the mood of the rest of the story, but as a whole it is head and shoulders above the usual cop thriller fare.