The floodgates have been opened… Matt Damon stars in the latest criminal thriller from Hollywood.
Stillwater is more than just another star vehicle about an American action hero seeking justice in a foreign place, as the trailer suggests. In this unique criminal thriller, modeled loosely on the Amanda Knox case, Matt Damon’s Oklahoma roughneck Bill Baker wants to be that kind of man.
Allison (Abigail Breslin), Bill’s daughter, was convicted of murdering her girlfriend while studying in Marseilles five years ago.
Allison is in prison when she learns that a young guy has confessed to the murder at the party.
She asks Bill to deliver a letter to her lawyer appealing for assistance during a visit.
However, she avoids directly involving her father. She writes, “I can’t trust him with this – he’s not capable.” When his daughter’s lawyer refuses to act on rumors, Bill sets out to prove her incorrect.
Bill, on the other hand, may have seen too many Liam Neeson films.
He expects the residents to comply when he arrives in Marseilles’ sketchiest neighborhood to ask risky questions.
Bill finally realizes he lacks the “certain set of talents” required for this daughter-saving quest after a violent beating.
Director Tom McCarthy heightens the suspense as the bumbling American tries to solve the murder on his own, ignoring local sensibilities and making some rash decisions.
But Damon makes Bill sympathetic, especially when he takes a detour into personal drama with single mother Virginie (Camille Cottin) and her nine-year-old daughter Maya (Lilou Siauvaud).
The picture returns to Liam Neeson territory thanks to a ridiculous twist. While the plot isn’t particularly intriguing, the human drama is. Bill is a different kind of all-American hero, violent but sympathetic.