The Stranger

Two strangers strike up a conversation on a long journey. One is a suspect in an unsolved missing person’s case and the other an undercover operative on his trail. Their uneasy friendship becomes the core of this tightly wrought thriller, which is based on the true story of one of the largest investigations and undercover operations in Australia.

  • Released: 2022-10-06
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • Stars: Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Jada Alberts, Fletcher Humphrys, Mike Foenander, Steve Mouzakis, Simon Elrahi, Alan Dukes, Ewen Leslie, Matthew Sunderland, Lucinda Nicholas, Peta Shannon, Thibul Nettle, Melanie Munt, Anni Finsterer, Patty Glavieux, Adam Morgan, Stephen Leeder, Andreas Sobik, Nick Buckland
  • Director: Thomas M. Wright
  • jayjay-02928 - 19 March 2024
    Needed an assertive producer
    An interminable film, I watched to this to the very end, but only because I'd already invested too many precious minutes in it (sunk-cost fallacy).

    This is a prime example of a film without an assertive producer: someone who could discipline the director and prevent him allowing what should have been a gripping story from degenerating into a turgid mess. A pity, because there are some talented performances, striking cinematography and a good atmospheric score. It reminded me of The Irishman- another film that also appeared to lack a decent producer.

    As with Scorsese, someone needed to tell this director to can the boring scenes: long ones when the the two main characters sit beside each other in a succession of cars; dull tracking shots of Australian roads: and frequent non-sequiturs that break the narrative flow.

    This is a film where nothing appears to happen, but the end comes and you realise lots actually has. And it feels far too long (nearly two hours but feels like three).
  • deloudelouvain - 29 September 2023
    Disappointing considering the good actors.
    The only thing I am after watching The Stranger is disappointed. Considering de good ratings and reviews it got I had high expectations but it turned out to be boring, slow paced and not very suspenseful. Joel Edgerton has been in some really good movies like Thirteen Lives, Midnight Special, Star Wars II & III, Black Mass and others, all movies I scored eight or plus so you could say I like watching him act. He didn't act bad at all, on the contrary, and so did Sean Harris, but the story was just not that well told and shot. An original idea though, but a weak unfolding of the story. I can't say it rocked my boat, nor my wife's. Disappointing!
  • lmrk5705 - 3 June 2023
    I knew going into The Stranger that it was about the police undercover sting operation to get a confession from the suspected murderer of Daniel Morcombe, one of the most widely known Australian murders in the last 20 years. I wish I hadn't known what it was about, as it would've made this movie all the more impactful than what it already was.

    What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the extraordinary performance of Sean Harris. He is an exceptionally fine British actor and I have enjoyed his performances in Macbeth and Southcliffe. But he really ramps it up in The Stranger. I don't think non-Australians appreciate just how difficult it is to perfectly execute an Australian accent, but Harris absolutely nails it. He is dead eyed performance is enthralling and repugnant at the same time, and that is acting genius.

    I don't generally care for Joel Egerton. Actors who mumble, to my mind, are not fulfilling their role as an actor and Egerton is a dreadful mumbler. Nevertheless, he is also absolutely fantastic in The Stranger. I watched it with subtitles on, even though I am Australian as I sometimes found it difficult to understand what they were saying.

    I have read a number of criticisms about the pacing of this movie, but I had no issues with it. You know from the get go that something sinister is brewing and the tension expertly escalates. Once it gains momentum, the story moves very fast.

    I know the Morecombe family were not happy with this movie being made, and I don't blame them. However, The Stranger is a fantastic piece of Australian cinema and something to be proud of.
  • gliderguy - 18 December 2022
    Worst movie I have seen in a long time
    I was 90 minutes into the "The Stranger" when I realized I had just wasted 90 minutes of my life (to paraphrase another pointless review). I had to turn subtitles on because the OZ accents and soft talk are very hard to understand. Basically, an ex-con (Joel Edgerton as Mark Frame) is recruited to do some less than legal chores which don't get adequately explained. The film is about the massive real-life manhunt for the killer of 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe in Queensland in 2003. It is tedious and boring to the extreme, and there is but the most subtle of final reveals at the end, leaving you to question WHY you have wasted TWO HOURS of your time getting to this point.

    Well, DON'T waste your time watching this DOG!
  • tommdennehy - 6 December 2022
    Slow burn
    The Stranger is slow in parts and a little confusing too. It's not the kind of film you can dip in and out of. Settle down and immerse yourself.

    It's dark, bruising and uncomfortable. Sean Harris is as menacing as ever. The film is beautifully constructed. Cinematography is great and the soundtrack is incredibly unsettling.

    While there isn't too much plot going on, the edit is clever in that it provides some narration at certain points to help further the story. It unfolds quite a simple story really well. The criticism is that it is slow.

    It's well acted to the point that you really aren't sure who is who. And are people really who they say they are.

    This is a good film but is no Sunday evening watch.
  • leetaylor-74057 - 13 November 2022
    For full & fabulous impact of the film, PLEASE DON'T READ THE SPOILERS!
    So glad I stuck this one out as it begins at a pretty slow pace. My opinion was that the film was rather dull especially for Edgerton. The conversations between the two lead men are odd and disturbing, especially on the plane. I'm left wondering if Mark is a really bad judge of character thinking that this seemingly incompetent man was a recruit candidate for his drug smuggling ring. I was about to look elsewhere for film entertainment when the plot is revealed and I sat up in my chair! At that moment I realized just how subtle and truly talented these two actors really are!!

    I found it difficult to review this film without giving it away.

    Don't miss it!!
  • Dr_Eye_In_The_Sky - 9 November 2022
    Turbo slow, but ... clever poster shot
    Note: Review is based on the PORTRAIT shot of the movie poster. The app might be showing a different one.

    The poster shot is really cleverly produced. When glanced normally its looks like either Sean or maybe Joel

    BUT that shot is actually very artistically made of Sean's left face and Joel's right face.

    Look at again but a bit more with intent and you might be amazed to see that combination. Clever lighting, precise alignment of facial features and dimension of both superb actors. But is there something more than that?

    Perhaps its 'lighting' the window into the psyche of the characters, you just never know who to trust.