Movie: Mystic River (2003)
Writer: Dennis Lehane (original novel), Brian Helgeland (screenplay)
If only Veena Sud, the infuriating creator of AMC's sluggishly paced and misleading murder mystery The Killing, had studied Clint Eastwood's adaptation of Boston novelist Dennis Lehane's Mystic River before mapping her series out. Both projects essentially cover the same ground: A teenage girl (played by Emmy Rossum in Mystic River) is found dead in the woods, and her grieving, mob-tied, ex-con father (Sean Penn's Jimmy Markum) dips back into his illegal connections to find out who killed her. And there's a do-gooder detective (Kevin Bacon) on the case, to boot.
Unlike The Killing, though, Mystic River climaxes in a satisfying and unexpected reveal: The primary suspect, formerly molested friend of Markum's, Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins), is innocent, and the real murderers are a pair of teenagers who've been on the story's peripheral edges the entire time, making Markum's anger-fueled killing of Boyle all the more upsetting.
The moral here: You're probably better off just re-watching Mystic River every Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST, rather than endure another prolonged hour of disappointment with The Killing.