Arlington Road

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Arlington Road is a 1999 neo-noir thriller film directed by Mark Pellington and starring Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, and Hope Davis. The film tells the story of a widowed George Washington University professor who suspects his new neighbours are involved in terrorism and becomes obsessed with foiling their terrorist plot.


Michael Faraday is a widower and college history professor at George Washington University with a 10-year-old son named Grant. One day, Michael encounters a boy, Brady, stumbling in the middle of a road in his neighbourhood with horrific injuries to his hands. Michael takes him to hospital and meets the boy’s parents Oliver and Cheryl Lang, discovering they are his neighbours. They soon become friends, and their sons join the Discoverers, a Boy Scouts-style group.

Actions of the Langs arouse latent suspicion in Michael. Michael sees blueprints in the Langs’ house which are not for the building project Oliver, a structural engineer, claims, and a wrongly delivered letter suggests he lied about where he attended college. When Michael laments the FBI’s lack of contrition after his wife Leah (Laura Poe), an FBI agent, was killed in the line of duty, Oliver states that the government should be punished for its mistakes. Michael’s girlfriend, Brooke, and Leah’s former FBI partner, Whit Carver, dismiss Michael’s concerns as paranoia.

Arlington Road is the nineties version of The Parallax View.

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