Film

Stone,’ starring De Niro, Norton and Jovovich, is unusually bracing

Image
Norton’s got cornrows. That’s reason enough to see this film.

The Details

Stone
Three and a half stars
Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich
Directed by John Curran
Rated PG-13
Beyond the Weekly
Stone
IMDb: Stone
Rotten Tomatoes: Stone

At a glance, Stone looks like a fairly straightforward Hollywood movie. You’ve got Robert De Niro in crabby, scowling mode as a parole officer on the verge of retirement; Edward Norton as a cornrowed convict desperate to get back on the street after doing eight years for accessory to murder; and Milla Jovovich as the prisoner’s hotcha wife, who’ll do absolutely anything for her man. We all know where this scenario is most likely headed.

Well, no, we don’t. Not that there’s some big twist or anything—you just wouldn’t expect this kind of high-concept, star-driven American film to be so relentlessly interior. Stone means to do nothing less than paint a portrait of a man who turns out to be quietly, literally irredeemable. This ambitious effort doesn’t quite work—director John Curran (We Don’t Live Here Anymore) is a bit too enamored of clunky visual metaphors—but it’s unusually bracing all the same.

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