“Stone” could have been some sort of a procedural, a straightforward crime movie, but it’s too complex for that. It is actually interested in the minds of these characters, and how they react to a dangerous situation. De Niro is so good at playing a man who has essentially emasculated himself because of fear of his anger, so that sex and anger may be leashed in precisely the opposite way, as in “Raging Bull.” And Norton, the puppetmaster — it may not even be freedom he requires, but simply the pleasure of controlling others to obtain it.
The Village Voice reviews Stone (Review #1)
The closest Stone gets to directly tying itself to the times comes through its soundtrack, which layers excerpts from conservative talk radio (bombastic hosts bitching about Obamanomics, listeners calling in to discuss “this angst that a lot of people are feeling in this country”) onto the score.
The Village Voice reviews Stone (Review #2)
Jack’s failing is nominally one of the flesh, yet it’s spiritual and moral deep-rot that truly plagues him, with AM-dial Christian radio blather providing an incessant backdrop for both Jack and Stone’s dual quests for deliverance.