Arlington Road (1999)
Fear Thy Neighbor
IMDb Rating 7.1 (30,262 votes)
Front Cover Actor Back Cover
Jeff Bridges Michael Faraday
Tim Robbins Oliver Lang/William Fenimore
Joan Cusack Cheryl Lang
Hope Davis Brooke Wolfe
Robert Gossett FBI Agent Whit Carver
Stanley Anderson Dr. Archer Scobee
Mason Gamble Brady Lang
Lee Stringer Orderly
Spencer Treat Clark Grant Faraday
Viviane Vives Nurse
It's easy to understand why Arlington Road sat on the studio shelf for nearly a year. No, the film isn't awful; rather, it's an extremely edgy and ultimately bleak thriller that offers no clear-cut heroes or villains. In other words, Hollywood had no idea how to sell it. Director Mark Pellington's underrated directorial debut, Going All the Way, suffered the same fate, essentially because the filmmaker's presentation of suburban America often shifts dramatically within the same film. Characters are usually miserable and bordering on meltdown, no situation is straightforward, and things usually end badly. Arlington Road begins as an astute study of suburban paranoia. Michael Faraday (a face-pinched Jeff Bridges, who spends most of the film on the brink of tears) is a college professor who teaches American history courses on terrorism. He's been a conspiracy freak since his wife, an FBI agent, was killed during a botched raid that feels like a thinly fictionalized reference to the Waco tragedy. After saving the life of his next-door neighbor's child, he initially befriends the family (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack), but soon believes the husband is a terrorist. The first half of the film mocks Faraday: he has no real evidence and is not the most stable of protagonists. Despite the fact that it was government paranoia that got his wife killed, Faraday repeats the same type of behavior. Pellington shifts gears in the second half, however, and for awhile, it seems that the film has simultaneously sunk into a cheap, high-octane brand of Hollywood entertainment and undermined its own point. Arlington Road, though, possesses a stunning ending that's a real gut punch, one that may leave you needing a second viewing to catch all of its smartly executed setup. --Dave McCoy
Movie Details
Genre Crime; Drama
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Movie Release Date 7/9/1999
Country   USA
Language English
Audience Rating R (Restricted)
User Text 1 Violence and some language.
Running Time 119 mins
Color Color
Features Interactive Menus
Scene Selections
Production Notes
Audio Commentary: Director & Jeff Bridges
"Making of" Featurette
Alternate Ending
Talent Files
Theatrical Trailers
Director Mark Pellington
Writer Ehren Kruger
Cinematography Bobby Bukowski
User Credit 2 Jennifer Barrett Pellington
Producer Tom Gorai; Marc Samuelson; Ellen Dux; Peter Samuelson
User Credit 1 Conrad Buff IV
Musician Angelo Badalamenti; tomandandy
Edition Details
Edition Special Edition
Region 1
Screen Ratio 2.35:1
Format DVD
Layers Single Side, Dual Layer
Barcode 043396039261
Chapters 28
Release Date 3/23/2004
Subtitles English
Packaging Keep Case
Audio Tracks English Dolby Digital 5.1
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 241
Collection Status In Collection
Tags Cult Favorite, Eavesdropping, Widower, Bomb, Conspiracy
Also Known As:
Arlington Rd. (USA) (alternative spelling)

Filming Locations:
Houston, Texas, USA (more)

The car crash during the climactic chase scene was unplanned; the plan was for the car to duck behind the oncoming bus and complete the left turn. When the collision occurred, the car trunk sprung open, revealing the bright blue sandbags that had been placed there to allow certain stunts. The quick cuts following the collision are necessary to avoid showing the sandbags. Subsequent shots including the car had already been filmed, and show a markedly less-damaged car. (more)

Continuity: The spots of blood on Brady's shoes and pants in the opening scene changes. (more)

[last lines]
Oliver Lang: Where do we go from here?
Cheryl Lang: Someplace nice.
Oliver Lang: I hope so.
Cheryl Lang: Someplace safe.
Oliver Lang: Definitely.

5 nominations (more)

Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Hole (2003) (V) (more)

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