Stillwater (\N)

Abigail Breslin, Matt Damon,
A father travels from Oklahoma to France to help his estranged daughter, who is in prison for a murder she claims she didn't commit.
  • 6.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2019-08-01 Added:
  • Thomas Bidegain, Noé Debré, Writer:
  • Tom McCarthy, Director:
  • Liza Chasin, Jonathan King, Producer:


6 / 10

Fails to stick the landing

Matt Damon is excellent and thoroughly convincing as Bill, an unpolished roughneck from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Essentially, this is a fish out of water story, when he finds himself on a prolonged stay in Marseille in southern France, trying to prove his daughter innocent of the murder of her girlfriend. This, right here, is the movie's weakest link: Abigail Breslin is completely unsympathetic as the daughter Allison. When you should be rooting for our hero to succeed in his mission, you really don't care one little bit whether she rots in prison or not. Conversely, Bill's relationship with local woman Virginie and her adorable daughter Maya is when this movie is at its best. Their Franco-American culture clashes also provide all of the humour. I also liked how no effort whatsoever was made to show either Marseille or Stillwater in a good light. Both are portrayed as gritty, shabby and uninviting. Sadly, for all it's promise and tension, the ending feels rushed and unsatisfying.

6 / 10

Had potential to brilliant.... but ultimately disappointed.

Matt Damon is excellent as the widowed dad determined to prove his estranged, ungrateful and imprisoned daughter innocent. Stillwater has it's moments with splashes of much needed humour, but ultimately the film felt like it failed to achieve it's potential due to a 2 hour runtime of character development and relationship building let down massively by botched and rushed ending!

9 / 10

This is Why I Love Movies

No spoilers here. Go see this movie before reading about it. This is a very interesting, well written, directed, and acted movie. It is well worth the time and price of admission. Ignore the critics who nibble at the edges of this fine piece of cinema. The audience in the theater indicated that we were all enjoying it. This is why, pandemic or not, I love watching movies at the theater.

9 / 10

An Excellent Character Portrayal

I've read several reviews that said Matt Damon was boring and inhibited. The truth is that he portrayed Bill Baker perfectly. It was not meant to be a John Wick stunt festival. Instead, it displays the actions of a typical southwestern father in a perfectly believable manner. Bill Baker may be too dull for east and west coast audiences, but he is adequately representative of many Oklahoma/Texas citizens.

The storyline was criticized as not demonstrative of the real life story upon which it was based. That may be, but as a fictional story it stands on its own merit. You see a father's love for his daughter and the choices he makes to redeem her.

I do agree that it was a bit lengthy. There were multiple scenes that could have been trimmed without sacrificing the story.

And Hollywood scriptwriters? Not everybody in life uses profanity like that all the time.

7 / 10

Great story, but too long and too slow.

I agree with most reviewers that Damon's performance was excellent and convincing, and a accurate portrayal of Bill Baker as an Oklahoma oil roughneck.

My main and only issue was the unnecessarily long 139 min runtime and slow pacing by writer and director Tom McCarthy. There was too much filler added that just made the film drag on, from a screenplay that already was leaden.

Otherwise, it's a great story that is very loosely based on the Amanda Knox story. It's a decent one-time watch. It's a generous 7/10, mainly for the excellent performances.