Screenwriter Brian Helgeland and director Clint Eastwood's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel sheds enough tears to fill a canal. On the surface, it plays like an episode of Law & Order written by William Shakespeare, but that's too glib a pronouncement for so deep-felt a movie about rage and retribution that will stick with you like a bad dream. It's a mystery and meditation on grief and loss -- of life and of innocence -- but it's also a ghost story in which old memories doom grown men who thought they could escape the wolves in the woods. Dave (Tim Robbins) was physically assaulted, Jimmy (Sean Penn) and Sean (Kevin Bacon) psychologically so. We're meant to think that a damaged Dave might have had something to do with the death of Jimmy's daughter, but it's not that simple, because everyone is guilty of something. The performances are uniformly remarkable, but none more so than the one given by Penn, who treats sorrow and rage as though they were the same blinding emotion.