Review: Matt Damon's performance makes Stillwater worth seeing

In Stillwater Matt Damon is Bill Baker, an oil rig roughneck taking work on construction sites wherever he can get it, saving enough money to go back and forth from Oklahoma to France.

His daughter is in jail for murder - a murder she claims she's innocent of.

Bill's an American fish out of water. He doesn't speak the language, he doesn't understand the system and all he wants is to try and be the father to Allison he never really has been.

His friendship with local woman Virginie and her young child Maya changes his fortunes, as they help him navigate the insular Marseilles community - but Bill will still find himself lost in translation as he does everything he can to help free his only child.

I'd like to say all it took was a goatee to sell Damon's Midwest everyman but his performance is so much more than just facial hair - there's a gruff broken tenderness steeped in authenticity which binds this together.

While the film as a whole didn't entirely work for me, it's worth the ticket price for Damon. 

Three-and-a-half stars.