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Genre: Drama/Crime
Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Frances Conroy, Enver Gjokaj, Pepper Binkley
Director: John Curran
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes & Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2010







Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East




Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro and Oscar® nominee Edward Norton deliver powerful performances as a seasoned corrections official and a scheming inmate whose lives become dangerously intertwined in this “gritty and engrossing thriller” (Steve O’Brien, WCBS-FM). 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.


And we thought it was bad when veteran actor Robert De Niro played a granddaddy who had an erectile dysfunction in 2010’s Little Fockers. The Academy Award winner, who is also considered to be one of the greatest actors of his generation, must have lost quite a bit of dignity in that movie (which was considered one of the worst in 2010, actually), but wait till what he is up to in this John Curran directed movie, which never made it to local theatres.

De Niro plays a parole officer who has to look into the case of a convicted arsonist in his last days as a lawman. Mind games are played, dark pasts are revealed, and people are manipulated in the most unimaginable way. Now, imagine a sweet young thing like Milla Jovovich seducing De Niro in some very sexed up scenes – how can anyone not go open-mouthed watching at them?

The screenplay by Angus MacLachlan is based on a play he wrote in 2000. The story does play out like a stage production though, with its events unfolding through a series of quietly devastating affairs. Playing the convicted arsonist is the ever wonderful Edward Norton. Just his chilling voice alone is enough to make you sit up and watch his portrayal of a man who is determined by any means to assure parole. It is also interesting to note that his character’s name Gerald “Stone” Creeson plays a significant role in the symbolism of the film (hence its one word title).

De Niro effortlessly pulls off his role again, playing the correctional officer who is only weeks away from retirement. The events that take place will uncover some shady pasts, as well as bring him to places he never thought he would go. Without revealing too much, you can watch out for the seduction scenes to get an idea how far the acclaimed actor went to play this character. Jovovich is sexy as usual, and the sight of her topless is enough to make any male viewer go weak in the knees. Rounding up the wonderful cast is Frances Conroy as De Niro’s wife. Her performance in one of the final climatic scene (hint: it involves fire) is so unsettlingly distressing, you’d wonder what kind of trauma the character went through before crumbling to present state.

This 105 minute film is highly recommended, despite it being a difficult movie to sit through. There are some nice imageries and symbolisms which complement the characters’ personalities. There are great performances throughout. But the themes explored are sinister, and brings out the worst in human nature. However, if you think about it, without these ugly sides of the human race, how can we reflect on our present state?




The visual transfer of the movie is pristine and clear. It is presented in its original English audio track.



Review by John Li

Posted on 7 March 2011


Other titles from Scorpio East:

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. Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. The Child's Eye

. Kidnapper

. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

. The Fantastic Waterbabes

. Taipei Exchanges

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. Ip Man 2

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. Dear John

. Alice In Wonderland

. Sherlock Holmes

. Capitalism: A Love Story

. Universal Soldier: A New Beginning

. Love At Seventh Sight

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. Where Got Ghost?

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. Shinjuku Incident

. Hormones

. Elite Squad

. Boy A

. Bottle Shock

. The Promotion

. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

. The Tripper

. Trailer Park Boys The Movie

. Jack & Jill Vs The World

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. Stir of Echoes 2: The Homecoming

. Set Off

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. Beast Stalker

. My Best Friend's Girl

. The Reef

. Connected

. Painted Skin

. 12 Lotus

. The Coffin

. The Luckiest Man

. Forget Me Not

. The Black Swindler

. Rule #1

. Dance of the Dragon

. Money No Enough 2

. Chaos

. Midnight Eagle

. The Leap Years

. Ancient Chinese Sports

. There Will Be Blood

. The Nanny Diaries

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. Death Proof

. Dead Air

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Scorpio East


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