Arlington Road
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Ok. You are writing an action thriller. What plot elements do you include? How
about the hero grieving over his newly dead wife, his new girlfriend killed by the
bad guys, his son taken hostage to force him to cooperate and why not top it all off with a big car chase? Didn't Last Action Hero teach us anything? It's so predictable. I'd worry about revealing all this stuff but as I said, you'll see it coming a mile away. What's the plot?  Well, Jeff Bridges is the hero, a History professor specializing in terrorism. His neighbor across the street (Tim Robbins) is, you guessed it, a terrorist! You know he's the bad guy because right from the first scene, his appearances on screen are accompanied by foreboding music in the background. He is the typical bad guy, calm and polite while Jeff Bridges is the typical good guy, so nuts that no one will believe him when he finds out that Tim Robbins is a terrorist. Tim Robbin's wife is played by Joan Cusack. She is always good and this movie is no different. She plays the part straight which makes her role as evil wife to the evil genius quite scary. The only thing not predictable is the ending which is very surprising. Part of the reason that it is so surprising is that you can't actually figure out how it was set up from what you saw on the screen. I love Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins. They have been in some of my favorite movies. They work hard here and make this a watchable movie but you will feel like you've seen it all before.