Magazine September 1, 2021, Issue

Stillwater’s Non-Ideological Take on Our Cultural Divides

Matt Damon in Stillwater (Focus Features)

Stillwater, starring Matt Damon as an Oklahoman father trying to free his probably wrongly convicted daughter from a French prison, deserves better than its meager box office to date. In an era when most movies are made either for adolescents or for a microtargeted art-house market, and when Hollywood’s engagement with the West’s roiling politics is either deeply partisan or entirely superficial, Stillwater stands out for its ambition and complexity, its attempt to weave together several very different kinds of contemporary stories into a single work of art.

The swing for the fences doesn’t yield a home run of a great

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This article appears as “Innocence Abroad” in the September 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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