Boston has known it's a city of losers ever since they traded Babe Ruth away. The curse of the Bambino defines that whole place, not just because they haven't won a World Series in ages, but because they allow themselves to be cast in that role in the first place. I mean, what kind of city defines itself by its failure in one sport? Oh yeah, I forgot, it's got horrid traffic, the harbor is a sewer, and its lack of airport security really got the ball rolling on this whole Patriot Act thing, but other than that...
Consequently, the city is the absolute perfect setting for a story about three guys who can't escape their pasts. As kids, Jimmy (Sean Penn), Sean (Kevin Bacon), and Dave (Tim Robbins) were best friends, until one day Dave got picked up by some crucifix-wearing child molester and things were never the same. Thirty or so years later, all three are in predictable places in their lives. Jimmy is a scummy ex-con. Sean is a cop going through bad times with his wife. Dave is the suspicious, haunted former child molestee. Though they are no longer really friends, when Jimmy's 19-year-old daughter gets murdered, their lives intersect once again.
Since Dave wanders around the neighborhood like somebody who was disinvited to the "Bull Durham" tribute at the Baseball Hall of Fame, he's immediately a suspect. Jimmy, having the means to do a sort of hoodlum version of an investigation, begins enlisting his dirtbag buddies to shake up the neighborhood, which gets in investigating officer Sean's way.
Something has obviously crawled up Clint Eastwood's rear end, as he's been exploring themes of violence and its impact on people ever since "White Hunter, Black Heart". I think Clint might want to try lightening his mood, because I have the answer for him: It sucks.
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