The Squid and the Whale (2005)

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Follows two young boys dealing with their parents’ divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s. (IMDb)
The anti-climactic ending feels inconsequential and insubstantial, which is frustrating because the bulk of the film is anything but: Literally every scene is loaded with subtle meaning as a fantastic script teases out all the interesting nooks and crannies of the tragic and often disturbing dynamics of the broken family under study. Superbly acted, with a great stop-and-go soundtrack that adds distinct flavours throughout the sharply edited (any longer and it would have been too painful) drama.
8/10 (Great)
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The Truman Show (1998)

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An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a T.V. show. (IMDb)

A compelling intro here (with the beginning of a great score) sets up a fascinating premise and an instantly endearing lead: A man born into a TV show, unknowingly living a fabricated life. His journey of self-discovery is as tragic as it is thrilling, as his whole world turns against him in his attempts to escape, and while the plot is not without its holes (like a lack of moral questioning), it has more than enough affecting moments (“The last thing I would ever do…”) to make up for them.

8.0/10

#7 on my Top 10 Best Opening Credits/Sequences list

Mystic River (2003)

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With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy. (IMDb)

Fantastic turns from Robbins (the troubled childhood victim), Bacon (the steady cop), and Penn in particular (the tough but broken dad) headline this dark-toned, grungy suburbia-set film that fleshes out its tense murder mystery plot with torturous character drama surrounding three old friends brought together by ugly tragedy. The final twist is a little jarring and unconvincing at first but it sinks in with further thought, and its agonizing emotional aftermath solidifies it within the script.

8.2/10