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4.7 out of 5 stars86
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 27 June 2008
Stone Cold was the pilot tv movie in the series of adaptions of Robert B Parker's Jesse Stone novels. Thankfully it was good enough for a series of further tv movies (4 including this one to date) to be made. Tom Selleck (Magnum P I) is superb as Stone in a performance which is very different to his portrail of Thomas Magnum.

The basic plot involves a pair of serial killers who have set their sights on Stone. To complicate matters Stone is investigating the brutal gang rape of a young girl. The story movies at a nice easy pace with very little graphic violence which makes a nice change to most crime tv at the moment. There are also not annoying loud songs on the soundtrack just a nice music score which doesn't destract the viewer.

So all in all an excellent made for television movie. I would also recommend you pick up the other Jesse Stone movies Night Passage, Death In Paradise and Sea Change (this one is only available on region 1 dvd to date, the others are available on UK region 2 dvd).
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Jesse Stone: Stone Cold is directed by Robert Harmon and adapted to teleplay by John Fasano and Michael Brandman from a Robert B. Parker novel. It stars Tom Selleck, Jane Adams, Reg Rogers, Viola Davis, Alexis Dziena and Kohl Sudduth. Music is by Jeff Beal and cinematography by Rene Ohashi.

In the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts, world weary Chief of Police Jesse Stone (Selleck) is thrust into a twin investigation involving a high school gang rape and what appears to be a serial killer at large.

What a pleasant surprise! I'm not familiar with the Parker novels that feature the character Jesse Stone, nor was I aware that this was the first of many TV films to feature said character played by Selleck. In an undemanding mood and scratching around for something to watch before retiring to bed I gave this a spin purely because I have always found Selleck an immensely likable actor. What I got was a very well constructed thriller/crime TV movie led by an impressive Selleck.

"I hope you don't take this in any negative way, but you may be the simplest person I've ever met. You know what you know, and you do what you do, and you just keep doing it. Like a mule."

The story itself, with its double crime investigation core, is simple and nothing remotely mysterious. In fact the perpetrators are evident to us early in the piece. This is about introducing us to Jesse Stone the man, what sort of cop he is? Why does he drink so much? Will he ever let go of the emotional demons that haunt him? As written it's a standard "troubled copper" role, but Selleck elevates it to greater heights with a telling turn of emotional force. Such sadness resides in his face, even if he is just staring out at the ocean you can feel the world pressing down on his shoulders. He not only garners our sympathy, he has us firmly rooting for him for the type of policeman he is, his methods and way of handling tricky situations are cheer worthy. He may be damaged emotionally but this is one copper you want overseeing your town.

Obviously with it being a TV movie there's budget restrictions and the odd flash of amateurism, yet this never hurts the movie. The setting of small town Americana keeps things intimate, with director Harmon making sure we are part of the intimacy courtesy of the small handful of characterisations on show. There is no need for crash, bangs and wallops either, it's not that type of film, and the story is far better for it. The photography is of the misty lenses type, something that keeps the mood on the right side of ethereal and offers up a portentous cloak. While Beal provides a lovely musical score that could quite easily form part of a bigger budgeted picture. The acting alongside Selleck isn't all good, though the dog Reggie is marvellous (seriously), and the absence of depth for a couple of key characters is very much felt. But this is a little treat for Selleck fans and certainly enough for me to take more interest in his Jesse Stone series of films. 7.5/10
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on 17 July 2012
Tom Selleck as the quietly moral man, speaking only when he has something to say. Supposedly set in a New England fishing town, this has superb cinematography, poignant background music which is exactly that ... in the background ..... and an excellent story. Police Chief Jesse Stone is a no-nonsense policeman, definitely non-pc (which might have you cheering in some scenes) as he quietly rips apart a complacent community while dealing with his own personal issues.

Have now purchased all in the series and each one has been a joy to watch.
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This was the first in a series of movies in which Tom Selleck brings to life Robert Parker's creation, Jesse Stone, and highly successful it is too.
Selleck brings to life this world weary and imperfect character - a moral man, full of imperfections but who wants to do the right thing and has the instinct to do it. He is an ex big city policeman, now a police chief in the sleepy town of Paradise, population 25,000. He is battling alcohol, and is unable to let go of the memory of his ex wife, who calls him regularly. All in all, a much more flawed character than we are used to seeing him play, but he does a terrific job, and brings his gravitas to create a character who, in spite of his flaws, we see as an upright man.
Trouble starts when an investigation into a murder quickly develops into a serial murder, with no apparent motive.. meantime, the investigation into the gang rape of a young teenager is ongoing, despite pressure to let it drop. None of it is anything new to the genre, but it is written with a satisfyingly slow burn approach, sucking you into the lives and characters enough to make you care what happens to them.
Although the subject matter sounds harsh, the telling of it is realistic, and relatively slow moving and subdued for a modern show. Frankly, for this viewer that was part of the appeal - no blaring soundtrack, no hyper fast edits - just good story telling. However, if it is an action movie you are after, best look elsewhere. This is a character piece, where the thriller elements are unsurprising, but the script and folks you meet along the way will take you willingly along for the ride.
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on 21 March 2012
This must rate as one of the best mini series to come from the U.S. Tom Selleck is excellent in his role as Jesse Stone, his personal problems and his demons don't get in the way of his professionalism as a police officer. I have bought all of the DVD's in the series so far.
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on 7 April 2015
Age and weight and his undeniable screen presence have added real gravitas Tom Selleck making him the ideal choice to play Jesse Stone in this series of tele-movies based on the best-selling crime novels. The whole series is fine with the concentration on character and local colour just as much as the solving of the crime and the ripples it has through the community. The whole series is recommended.
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on 21 May 2014
Tom Selleck is great playing this character! Nice, laid back story style but the story is still interesting with good characters and has some action. Also LOVE the views of the country! There are 4 of these Jesse Stone DVDs we can buy to play in this country, unfortunately the other 4 available will only play in the States.
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Well it's a made for TV film - and it shows.Tom Selleck is good and can act but the rest of the cast should stick to the local am-dram scene because they are as wooden and stilted as a timber merchants. Dialogue is, at best forced and at worst grim.

The story has the makings of a dark noire type thing, especially with the small town setting, but instead it becomes disjointed, rushed and frankly nonsensical. What I find particularly odd or in fact bad is the sub story of a young girl gang raped by some young men from her high school. In anyone's book this is a major and traumatising issue even when this film was made a few years ago, yet - and this is a slight spoiler - the youths are given a slap on the wrist and the girl gets a fatherly talking to by Selleck after which all returns to normal. It's frankly bizarre to say the least. There's more gravitas and sense of distaste in similar crime stories written and filmed 50 years ago not half a dozen.

As for the serial killers. What were the film makers trying to achieve? I guess they were aiming at normal but off kilt oddities with a sense of darkness when instead you get a couple of utter banal ham actors.

Now, in all fairness whilst there is a general sense of bargain bin garbage about this, if you suspend all sense of curiosity or critical faculties and concentrate on Selleck and the setting then there is small smidgeon of goodness about this when all you want to do is while a couple of hours away.

Overall though this should have been a freebie on Prime not a pay for view thing because when all is said and done it's a bit crap.
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on 2 July 2010
Just buy it and watch, be prepared to want more of the same. excellent
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on 9 June 2013
Recommend this to anyone who likes thoughtful, well acted and produced entertainment. These movies are very watchable, and I never miss them given the opportunity. That's why I had to buy the DVDs.

Tom Selleck is excellent in the role of Jesse, flawed but not your usual "loose cannon cop" feasible and sympathetic. He is supported by actors who play their parts seamlessly working to produce a well written, presented story.
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