Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (20)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (0)
| Rotten (20)
| DVD (1)
This gravely serious drama is as insular as a tomb with Muzak.
A leaden murder mystery with a clunky structure that swings back and forth between 1958 and 2008, Stolen wastes the talents of a reasonably good cast.
Not a masterpiece, perhaps, but technically polished, with inspired performances and enough suspense that by the time Mr. Hamm found the redemption that freed him from his own demons, I was so wired I needed a Valium.
No one is able to make much of the disposable script, but Hamm is so limited by the period trappings that it seems as if he simply wandered onto the wrong set.
Plays like a middling episode of Law & Order: SVU, drawn out an extra half-hour and embellished with pretentious literary and cinematic flourishes.
Though generally ham-fisted, Stolen may appeal to Hamm's more die-hard fans.
Unvarying in tone and style, it's a rough slog.
Hamm's and Lucas' performances are fine, but first-time director Anders Anderson is heavy-handed and overwrought, portraying emotional turmoil with clichés.
One poorly told story would be bad enough but with "Stolen" we have two.
Every bit the unpleasant slog one might expect, glum and murkily shot, wallowing in pedantic histrionics and badly lacking the breathing room it desperately needs.
Hamm himself is too smart a performer for movies like these, but let's write it off as a canny career move to take a vacation from Don Draper and his glumness.
Not pretentious in its implications, 'Stolen' nevertheless depends excessively on coincidence, on unlikely connections and not clearly differentiated characters.
When you watch a lot of independent and direct-to-video films, you see a lot of garbage, but occasionally you find a gem that makes it all worthwhile, Stolen, is one of those gems. This story was so intriguing and well written that I was absolutely blown away. The film is about a detective whose son went missing, without a trace, eight years ago. The trail is cold and he's beginning to accept that he will never find him, when a local construction crew finds a boy in a box. The body has been there for at least fifty years, but the case awakens something in the detective who has to learn the truth. From there, quite ingeniously, the film is divided into three different stories, the story of the boy in the box, the detectives investigation, and the story of his own child. It was seriously like watching three different movies at once, and they were all great! The cast was pretty phenomenal too, as this was a very hard thing to pull off, but they did it seemingly with ease. Josh Lucas just blew my mind, giving an unrivaled performance as the father of the other missing boy. I've seen him in things before, but nothing was as memorable as this. Stolen is a film that consists of three stories in once, that will pull on your emotions and have you on the edge of your seat. It's one of the best films I've seen all year and I can't recommend it enough!
It is 2008 and Detective Tom Adkins(Jon Hamm) is called to a crime scene at a building site with his wife Barbara(Rhona Mitra) to see if the body is that of their son who disappeared from a diner eight years previously. It turns out that it is not theirs since the body is fifty years old.
It is 1958 and Matthew Wakefield(Josh Lucas) has two days to make a payment on his mortgage or the bank will foreclose on his house. In fact, he does not even have that much time when his wife hangs herself. And then it turns out that his sister Coral(Kali Rocha) can only take in two of his sons, leaving John(Jimmy Bennett) in his care.
"Stolen" might possibly have had a chance at success if it had stayed mostly with solving the 1950's mystery in the present because all we need to know about Matthew is that he is a drifter with a son, along with Jon Hamm nailing the anguish of a grieving parent perfectly. That's not excusing the movie's predictability, rendering it pretty much routine anyway, as this is the kind of movie that is designed to get under the skin of parents by warning them never to turn their backs on their children for a second or else very bad things will happen.(Look, I hate kids, will never have any and frankly don't care.) But blinking is still okay.
Cast: Josh Lucas, Jon Hamm, Jimmy Bennett, Rhona Mitra, James Van Der Beek, Jessica Chastain, Beth Grant, Rutanya Alda, Morena Baccarin, Christian Bender
Director: Anders Anderson
Summary: Investigating the mystery behind the mummified, half-century-old remains of a young boy found in a box at a construction site gives a detective (Jon Hamm) key clues to his own son's disappearance eight years prior.
My Thoughts: "The mystery of the story is good and really keeps you at bay to who has taken/killed these children. But once he is shown, I was definitely surprised. The story unfolds in flashbacks. I found the Wakefield story more interesting then the present one. But there were character's and some scenes that just didn't need to be in the story or just didn't make sense. Like (a previous reviewer mentioned) the gas station couple. He was way to protective over his wife for her to be out late at a bar. Just didn't make sense. I will say the stories are both sad and you feel for the fathers. But Rhona Mitra gave a wooden performance and I found it hard to believe her as a mourning mother. Besides those bit of annoyances, it was a good suspense/mystery film."
Dark, grim, and emotionally gripping murder mystery that spans 50 years. From the onset the movie has a grim feel to it, and as it flashes back and forth between 2008 and 1958, you are slowly engrossed in a serial killer mystery. The performances by all are very good. The story is a very sad one, as any movie that revolves around child murders would be. Good movie, leaves you thinking.
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