New On Netflix: Stone

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A methodical, moody psychological drama that both rewards and frustrates the viewer in equal doses, Stone stars Robert De Niro as Jack, an aging parole officer with more than a few skeletons in his closet whose final case before retirement is a convict who calls himself Stone (Edward Norton), a man who’s served eight years for arson. Stone enlists the seductive powers of his sexy wife, Lucetta (Milla Jovovich), to help convince Jack to give him his freedom, a plan that becomes complicated when Stone experiences a spiritual epiphany… or does he? Screenwriter Angus MacLachlan’s adaptation of his stage play is tricky, difficult and fascinating, and the three leads are excellent (particularly Norton, all subtle facial ticks and piercing eyes). John Curran (The Painted Veil, also starring Norton) directs (and sometimes over-directs) with a slow-burn intensity that’s only occasionally undone by MacLachlan’s heavy-handed symbolism (fire, buzzing hornets, you name it). A thought-provoking puzzle for those up for the challenge.

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