The Stranger (2022) review: A slow-burning crime thriller based on true events

The Stranger (2022) is an Australian crime thriller movie that follows an undercover agent who builds a trusting relationship with a murder suspect in order to coerce him into confessing to his sinister crimes. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Mark is an Australian undercover agent working with the Covert and Special Crimes Unit to solve the kidnapping and murder of a young boy named James Liston.

He develops a trusting relationship with the case’s main suspect, Henry Teague, and starts to uncover several truths about his identity.

The detectives learn that Henry’s real name is Peter Morley, which helps the Australian police to discover more about his involvement in James’ kidnapping.

They get Henry to confess his sinister crimes and lure him to show them where he disposed of the victim’s remains eight years ago by tricking him into believing that Mark and his gang would take care of all of his problems revolving around his crimes.

The Australian Police force arrives on the scene and arrests Henry. With the help of an intensive and thorough search, the police were able to locate the victim’s remains within a few days of his conviction.

Performances

Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris are the two lead actors, and they both perform incredibly well.

With their bare, passionate performances, they have unquestionably brought their characters to life. The success of the thriller is enhanced by their on-screen chemistry.

Mark, an undercover agent played by Joel Edgerton, has a complex personality, which the actor has subtly revealed throughout the course of his performance.

The sequences where he is visibly flustered by his growing bond with Henry or when he is spending time with his son are particularly captivating to watch.

Sean Harris as Henry delves deeper into the character’s challenging persona, masterfully capturing all the nuanced emotional subtleties.

Positives

The constant sense of suspense and gloom throughout the movie is brought on by Mark’s deception of Henry in an effort to win his trust and get him to confess to his horrifying crimes.

Each scene is meticulously written to be realistic, and the film’s climax keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

The movie overwhelms you with its investigation of Australian crime and the bleakness of evil, all accomplished through powerful cinematic techniques without including a single frame of graphic or gory imagery.

Instead, it achieves this through haunting background music and tension that is rarely released.

In the beginning, this movie doesn’t reveal much and follows a typical thriller storyline, but as it goes on, events take place and the story starts to peel back layers until you are completely engrossed.

Negatives

There is a lot of tension that builds but never resolves; if you boil down every interaction to its barest essentials, you can pretty much predict what will happen next. As a result, the movie is pretty predictable and sluggish.

The scenes frequently jump from one frame to the next without providing much context or justification. One of them is when Henry abruptly disappears and then reappears. The scene is so hurried that it’s unclear whether it’s a flashback or a current-day scene.

Verdict

Violence is discussed but not frequently depicted in this slow-burning thriller.

It all depends on whether you like movies that take the scenic route because the majority of the information and revelations are expository in nature. However, it’s a thrilling watch for sure, which is based on true events.

The Stranger
The Stranger (2022) review: A slow-burning crime thriller based on true events 1

Director: Thomas M. Wright

Date Created: 2022-10-19 12:30

Editor's Rating:
3

Also Read: The Stranger (2022) ending explained: Does Henry confess to his crimes?