Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) is a history professor with a specialty in domestic terrorism whose wife was killed in a botched FBI raid. One day he discovers a boy bleeding in the clean streets of his D.C. suburb. The kid's parents — who live next door to Faraday — explain the injury as a “failed rocket experiment.” The all-American Lang couple (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack) quickly befriend tightly wound Faraday. Was, Faraday wonders when disturbing details surface, the rocket story a cover-up? Do the Lang's harbor high-power explosives and terrorist intentions? Are issues of national security at stake or is he simply wrapped too tight?
The talented cast lives up to the subtleties required by the top-notch screenplay. Bridges' nervousness plays off exquisitely against Robbins' inauspicious affability. As Arlington Road twists and turns, the placid veneer of suburban calm disintegrates into thinly veiled hostilities, paranoia, and panic — a winning combination in a suspense movie.
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