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Tom McCarthy follows up his Oscar-winning Spotlight with a bland, generic and predictable drama about an American father trying to free his daughter from a Marseille prison.

With his previous film Spotlight writer-director Tom McCarthy won two Academy Awards, including the biggest prize of the evening. The odds that he'll repeat that trick with Stillwater appear pretty slim however.

An uninspired narrative - about an American father in search of the clue that might free his daughter from a Marseille prison - is muddled even further by plot conveniences and out-of-character actions that sap the drama from this overlong film.

And that's even before a final act twist that is handled so utterly preposterously you start scratching your head about how McCarthy can go from writing a nuanced Oscar winner to this kind of bland, generic and predictable slug.

If you're looking for positives, lead actor Matt Damon is in okay form and the cinematography does a decent job in establishing the city of Marseille as an interesting character in its own right, but you'd be hard-pressed to find any other reasons to recommend this near-total misfire of a movie to anyone.

release: 2021

director: Tom McCarthy

starring: Matt Damon, Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin, Deanna Dunugan


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