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Jack Mabry (De Niro), a parole officer days away from retirement, is asked to review the case of Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton), in prison for arson. Now eligible for early release, Stone needs to convince Jack he has reformed, but his attempts to influence the older man’s decision with his wife Lucetta (Milla Jovovich) have profound and unexpected effects on them both. This tale of passion, betrayal and corruption skillfully weaves together the parallel journeys of two men grappling with dark impulses, as the line between lawman and lawbreaker becomes precariously thin.
Robert DeNiro plays Jack, a parole officer about to retire and Edward Norton is cast as a convicted arsonist, Norton's character, Stone attempts to manipulate the tough parole officer into giving him a favorable review. Stone even goes as far as asking his wife to seduce Jack but the plan only creates more problems. Jack and Stone both have their own demons to face, you get an idea of how tough Jack's wife's life has been with him from the opening scenes when we get to see the two of them much younger and how Jack threatens to drop their child from a window if his wife leaves him. You immediately feel sympathy for Mrs. Mabry, as for Jack and Stone you feel none because behind the lawman Jack is very much like Stone in many ways. The two seem to be looking for some sort of religious forgiveness for the things they have done. "Stone" has complex characters and both Norton and DeNiro bring their best to the table and Milla Jovovich is great also as the wife who must seduce Jack. The story looks like a prison drama from the outside and it is to an extend but it is also a look at guilt, forgiveness and enlightenment, not everyone is going to take away from the film the same feelings which to me is a sign of some great writing, I can't sit here and say everyone out there is going to look deeper and enjoy the film as much as I did but the cast alone at least warrants a watch. The film isn't all that mainstream which is why some people get it while others don't, the film wasn't given great reviews when it opened either but don't let that stop you from watching it.
"Stone" requires an open mind to fully appreciate the story. The story is slow but deliberately so and the acting is top notch from everyone involved. Different is a good way to describe the film but that isn't a bad thing, in fact it makes for a highly entertaining and thought-provoking piece of cinema that I believe will gain a lot more respect in years to come. The DVD and Blu-ray both come with Special Features that include:
Making Of Stone
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment
**** Out Of *****