Previously based in L.A., Jesse Stone was a homicide detective. After the unfortunate break-up with his wife, Jesse relocates to what seems like a quiet town called Paradise in New England. Now working as a Police Chief, we discover Jesse has a kind heart and ensures justice is correctly served each day. Jesse is thrown into a mysterious case when a body is discovered on a pile of rocks near the lake’s shore. Soon, more bodies are found, leaving Jesse and his department to continue looking for leads and evidence with hopes of cracking the case. Meanwhile, Jesse is also dealing with a young high school student who may have been raped.
Stone Cold and subsequent movies featuring Jesse Stone are based on the best-selling novel series written by Robert B. Parker. Nine subsequent made-for-TV films develop the character more, each following Jesse Stone, played by actor Tom Selleck. In each movie, Jesse tries to solve a disturbing crime or horrific murder, forcing him to confront personal matters as he deals with new threatening challenges as a Police Chief.
Tom Selleck is highly likeable as Jesse. He’s a quiet and calm character who speaks only when something needs to be said. I loved that he is firm and focused when seeking justice, always ensuring that others around him, including people within the community, are kept safe. Jesse Stone isn’t perfect, nor does he have everything figured out, especially in his personal life. He still wrestles with drinking heavily as well as romances and commitments. Not only is Jesse likeable, but he is surrounded by many other characters who are also likeable, such as fellow Police Officer Molly (Viola Davis). These side characters also have their own investigations and personal dramas at times, meaning they often require assistance, mentoring or compassion from Jesse.
As the first film in the series, Stone Cold takes off firmly. While the killers aren’t hidden, it is still exciting to watch Jesse investigate, trying to find a way to prove that his instincts are correct. It’s a fun cat-and-mouse chase with unpredictable moments (including character deaths) throughout the entire duration. By the end of the first instalment, I couldn’t resist; I had to begin the next instalment instantly as I was eager to see what would happen for our leading hero.
Overall, while I’ve never been familiar with Jesse Stone as a character or the well-known crime writer Robert B. Parker, going into this film was a pleasant surprise. It’s no wonder why this movie later spawned an additional eight films, with Tom Selleck returning for each one of them. The leading character is highly likeable and easy for audiences to feel invested in. Movie lovers who enjoy a fun cat-and-mouse thriller will undoubtedly enjoy the lead, supporting cast and the various plots that unfold in both Stone Cold and the following films. As the credits rolled on this first feature, I was passionate to begin the second instalment instantly, eager and excited to see what would happen next. Jesse Stone: The Complete Film Collection is Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD!
21st December 2022
Written by Peter Walkden
PODCASTS ARE AVAILABLE!
Our opinion on this feature has also been submitted to Rotton Tomatoes (Audiences Score*).