The Stranger movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This bleak drama based around the kidnapping of Daniel Morcombe is dark and definitely too heavy for the weak stomach. The Stranger is an excellently-made film, although it’s not for everyone.


For a sting operation, an undercover cop is tasked with forming an intense, close relationship with a murder suspect in order to gain his trust and eventually elicit a confession to the crime.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Thomas M. Wright
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Ewen Leslie, Jada Alberts
Writer: Thomas M. Wright
Release Date (Australia): 5 August 2022
Runtime: 117 minutes/1h 57m
Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller
Country: Australia
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film’s themes centre on an undercover cop forming a relationship with a crime suspect in order to elicit a confession. There are themes of and frequent references to the kidnapping and murder of a child.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film features use of the words “c**t” and “f**k”.

Drug Use (G)

The film includes very mild verbal references to drugs and drug use.

Sex (M)

The film features sexual references in the form of verbal references to pornography and a depiction of a man placing his hand on another man’s crotch.

mpaa rating

NR (Not Rated)

Aussie boy's thoughts

The Stranger is a darkly spoken and sometimes convoluted, yet an incredibly bleak and stomach-churning Australian true crime drama that’s tough to think about and not for everyone. A viewer doesn’t need to know or have even really heard about the Daniel Morcombe case, in which The Stranger is based on catching the child’s killer, to see the obvious strength and effort put into this movie, although it’s completely easy to see why the reviews are so mixed, and why others hated this movie and thought it was boring and dull.

Actors Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris both give equally as powerful performance throughout, following Edgerton as an undercover cop who is tasked with forming a serious relationship with Harris enrolling a murder/kidnapping suspect in order to gain his trust and elicit a confession. Despite this being a very slow movie that you couldn’t really call truly entertaining, you need to start off by paying attention, because the film dives into its plot without much character development, which considering it nearly reaches the brink of 2 hours, it could definitely use some backstory for the characters.

The colours and looks of every scene in this movie are just as dark and bleak as the subject matter. There’s no visual light where there’s no light side to the themes of child abduction and murder. A big turn-off for a lot of people will also be the dialogue, not only being slow, but with a very Australian accent and mumbled talking, which very much suits the tone and characters appearances, but you’ll need subtitles to not finish feeling completely muffled. The Stranger isn’t a film you can just watch when you’re falling asleep in bed, it demands your full attention and if you aren’t completely bored by the pacing, it’s worth sticking through to the end.

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