» » Stoned (2005)

Short summary

Fact-based story about the drug-addled and sordid life of The Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones. Unfortunately the story moves so quickly into the sensationalized decadence and drug-induced state of Jones, that the unknowing viewer has to wonder why anyone would care. There are only a few framing sequences with members of The Stones, particularly Keith Richards, that show they had a great respect for him and tried to bring him back into the band as he drifted away. Mixed into the destruction of Jones is a common builder, Frank Thorogood, who is given the unenviable task of trying to please Jones by rebuilding his estate and to watch him per Jones' manager's instructions. Thorogood's life is so far removed from all of the sex and drugs that he sees, that he envies and desires the tawdry life as well, but never quite fits in. Unfortunately, at least according to this film and according to a supposed death bed confessional of Thorogood in 1993, it led to Thorogood's murder of Jones in a...

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Daron
    I actually read 2 of the 3 books written about Jones and his demise, and if nothing else, the film is an accurate portrayal of the books. If you want to know what the last few months of his life were like, and also get a brief overview of how he got there (via flashbacks), then this movie will do it for you. If you want something else, then perhaps not. I would rather see a film on a subject like this get made with a low budget than not get made at all. Yes, some of the acting is bad, but some is very good as well. My only strong complaint is that the editing -- especially the sound editing -- is really poor. Especially the cuts/fades/transitions.
  • comment
    • Author: Paster
    Being huge fans of the Stones - and Brian Jones in particular - my girlfriend and I eagerly anticipated the little publicised release of Stoned. We made the journey to our local cinema and sat side by side, hardly uttering a word throughout, and watched as the life of one of the greatest musicians our shores have ever produced, slowly ebbed away - we were not disappointed. Having read The Geoffrey Giuliano book documenting Brian's death, I felt the film offered an authentic portrayal of the weeks leading up to that fateful night when Brian Jones boarded a celestial plane to the other world – or in other words, was found face down in his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm.

    Leo Gregory put in a fine performance as Jones - cruel, paranoid, vulnerable, needy, flippant, kind, fickle, sadistic, brilliant - and Paddy Considine was great (as always) as Frank Thoroughgood, the builder/hanger-on, riding first class on the Brian Jones gravy train. As the relationship between the two main characters developed, I must admit that I found myself feeling a little sympathy for Thoroughgood (but then I reminded myself that this was the man who robbed us of the founding member of the Rolling Stones), having to endure Brian's unreasonable demands, mood swings, mind games and mental humiliations. Thoroughgood however, seemed quite willing to put up with such behaviour for the sake of his new lifestyle, away from the mediocrity of normal life. As the film progressed, we watched as Thoroughgood's resentment and jealousy consumed him, culminating in the cold-blooded killing of Brian Jones – thus creating a legend.

    The film is entertaining, well written and in my opinion, well acted. I was interested to read a previous review left on this site by an author who was rather disappointed with the film. Well, to counteract two of the author's points: 1 - This was not a film about the Rolling Stones, but a film about Brian Jones and the events that led to his untimely death. 2 - There was too much sex and nudity in the film? Nonsense! Brian Jones was a rock star who loved - and lived - the sex and drugs lifestyle, so much so, that his addictions and inability to cope with the trappings played a huge part in his eventual downfall. The sex/drug scenes were an integral part of the film and were undoubtedly there to show us the kind of lifestyle that Jones was leading at the time. I personally thought the scenes which showed Jones basking in the glory of his drug and sex fuelled existence were brilliantly done - hazy flashbacks, quick fixes and foggy mornings after.

    The ending is a little odd, showing the ghost of Brian talking to Tom Keylock, and the soundtrack could have been better, but apart from that, a thoroughly enjoyable insight into the life and times of a true rock legend, the inimitable Brian Jones. Rock on!
  • comment
    • Author: Adoraris
    Anyway another topic about films...saw 'Stoned' last night. A film about the life and death of the Rolling Stones member Brian Jones...The death of whom was quite a shocking event at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed it..

    Directed by Stephen Woolley, with Leo Gregory as Jones and Paddy Considine as the man who lived closely with him, Frank Thorogood..

    It was a very good surprise..

    I had no expectations and was hooked from the start..The actors playing the young Stones were very good at creating the look, feel and attitude of the band and the design of the film, especially the make up of the women cast members, was just evocative of the time in the 60's..The music was excellent and the editing to the music was superb..Hooked me in from the word go...
  • comment
    • Author: Foiuost
    Powerful British producer Stephen Woolley (Scandal, The Crying Game, The End of the Affair) makes his directorial debut with a highly absorbing and accomplished tale of the demise of the Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones.

    I can imagine that some people may be disappointed when they see this - they might be expecting a traditional high octane bio pic of the Stones, which this film most definitely is not. Evenly paced and very well shot, Woolley has based this film on three books that allege Jones was murdered rather than the victim of an unfortunate accident. The film therefore focuses on the three months leading up to his death, utilising stylised flashbacks of his life to flesh out the character and motivation of Jones.

    He has cast newcomer Leo Gregory (who was outstanding in Out of Control) as Jones, and Paddy Considine as builder Frank Thorogood (the alleged murderer). Stoned is very considered and grown up. I liked it a great deal.
  • comment
    • Author: Celen
    It has taken Stephen Woolley ten years to get this on to the screen, which allowed him plenty of time to do his research. He began by acquiring the film rights to the book, 'Who Killed Cock Robin?' and added the rights to the deathbed revelations of Frank Thorogood; then the rights to the book by Anna Wohlin, one of Jones' two current girlfriends. He topped this by hiring a private eye to find Janet, the other girlfriend, to get her confirmation about the size of the Stoned lifestyle and some of the details of Jones' death. He was also able to find a few original cameras including a vintage Bolex, to match the ancient film clips slotted into parts of the story. Getting any film made has to be an obsession, and a major one at that, if it takes ten years. What kept Woolley going was having been too young to be a hippy, the realisation that he had bought (as we all did) the PR stunt depicting the leather-clad speed-freak drunk-rolling Beatles as nice fluffy chaps and the middle-class cricket fans from Kingston-upon-Thames as the evil and dangerous Stones, ' Jagger was at the London School of Economics', and seeing Brian Jones as the only band member who was a genuine bad boy; 'the missing link' to the decadent bohemian world. He links this to the dichotomy between Brian, the studiedly effete and spoiled brat, and Frank (Considine), a real bloke, an ex-soldier, with whom Woolley found himself identifying. He says he screened 'Performance' for the cast before shooting began, to get them into the zeitgeist, (We of the hippy generation realised that we could measure the effect of the encroaching years and our possible maturity by noting how we moved from identifying with Turner to 'being' Chas), and in fact the shooting of the gun scene from that gets a quote here. There are many little bits of contemporary reference intercut, and all so nearly subliminal that the audience could miss them if it were not well-acquainted with them from the first time round and/or didn't posses a certain amount of quick-fire intelligence. It's pleasurably flattering to be a member of an audience which is assumed to have these qualities. When you can say it in twenty frames, why milk it? The opening scenes establish Brian (Gregory) as the kingpin, getting a gig by phone while the rest of the band waits outside the red box. Although not much later Andrew Loog Oldham sells himself to them as manager, most of the subsequent story dispenses with a strictly chronological narrative. The general situation moves on, but in bunches of flash-back, present and flash-forward. Time's tooty-fruity. What happened after the Stones got Big was a gift to a film maker: Frank is taken on as a builder to tart up Brian's little mansion and, in spite of the huge gaps between their respective cultures, becomes part of the Stone's world. The parallels between this reality and the fictional scenario of the contemporaneous Cammell-Roeg film, are fascinating and should form the basis of a PHD for some 'sixties-fixated student sooner or later. For the camera-work, colour, montage, in purely visual terms 'Stoned' is worth seeing, although it would have been well worth Gregory putting on several extra pounds to cover his taut, well-toned musculature - Brian was quite chubby in real life - in fact all the band members could have added a little more puppy-fat. One obvious failing in 'Stoned' is its lack of bloody marvellous soundtrack; but there's hardly a film out now without a bloody marvellous soundtrack, and there are plenty of precedents; Orson Welles' 'Touch of Evil', for instance. For lasting power a film has to stand as a film rather than an extended marketing device. As a film, this cuts it. CLIFF HANLEY
  • comment
    • Author: Bradeya
    The opening shots of the film shows an early stones line up under the leadership of Brian Jones getting their first gig. It is stylishly shot in black and white and as they roll through little red rooster a camera takes stills of the action. Then from the slow blues rift you are suddenly thrust to the frantic end as Brian is found dead in the pool. It is the stark contrast that works well and shocks the viewer into the heart of scene. Then the incredibly tragic and eccentric life of Brian Jones is told in a heady mix of flashback drug trips and sly nods to 'performance'. Leo Gregory stumbles through the film as Brian much like Michael Pitt did as Kurt Cobain in Van Sant's 'last days', you already know the outcome but it's the road on which you get there that forms the backbone of the plot. As Jones becomes more estranged, paranoid, wildly extravagant and more drug fuelled it begins to rub off on frank the builder who is doing work on Brian's house. Brian being bored and in need of not only a nanny but a drinking partner takes frank under his wing to a certain extent. But Jones being the flamboyant pop star doesn't see frank as anything more than a builder and taunts him until its too late. Frank see Jones' world of excess and wants in, although when he finds it out of reach that want turns to anger and jealousy. If you approach this film looking for a story of the stones you wont find it, this film like last days is a film that shows one mans downfall and the lives of those around him who should have helped. Jones portrayed as never happier than when making music is rock and roll myth personified. Without the tragic end to his life, the question is posed, would anyone still remember the tortured genius behind the stones early formation? There is obviously a love for the era and Jones from director Woolley, who not afraid to show Jones' vulnerable side also tries to show the man behind the myth. Whether a fan of the band or not this is an interesting film full of directing techniques and skillful editing that blend into a heady mix of rock and roll excess which takes the viewer to the sixties and back through one of the most interesting stories of the time.
  • comment
    • Author: September
    Originally posted as a rebuttal to Peter Travers review in Rolling Stone magazine: Good times, bad times and very, very sexy! Oh, behave. Stoned is not an action film, nor is it dull, as Mr. Travers would suggest. It's also not a movie about the band, although they are an important part of the story. Woolley shows us the moments in Brian Jones' life that lead to his early death with beautiful, if sometimes awkward pace, great music, and quite a bit of good nookie and acid. Monet Mazur is breathtaking, Leo Gregory poses handsomely as Jones, and David Morrisey and Paddy Considine are worthy of more than just a mention. Yes, some early Stones tunes would have been a plus, but the White Stripes, The Counterfeit Stones and a hand full of others pull off a nice mix of devilish blues. After all, that's what Jones was into. The Rolling Stones did their best work immediately after his death, I'd love to see a movie that chronicles that period, as would Mr. Travers it seems. After several viewings, I'm as intrigued as ever about Brian Jones life and death. Go to your local video store and get Stoned. (Did anyone else not take into account the movie's title when preparing to watch it?)
  • comment
    • Author: jorik
    No, one should not expect a fictionalization of the Stones' story, but one does expect a reasonable attempt at a depiction of Brian Jones' time with them. As it is, the Stones are peripheral characters in the screenplay. Apart from a few bluesy jams, their own music is absent entirely. The story focuses on the relationships between Jones and his foreman/com-padre Frank Thorogood, out at the rock star's country estate. The large house is conspicuously the movie's prime set. Fine, 'Stoned' had a low budget. Then again, it's from a real-life story which was basically made up of people talking, fighting and falling over. Not so fine is that 'Stoned' had to be so bad. One of the hardest things to swallow about 'Stoned' was the casting of Leo Gregory as Jones. He does little characterization beyond a 'fatalistic' smile, and although 27 years old himself (Jones' age at the time of his death), on screen he looks ten years older and wears a risible array of mail-order hairpieces to represent the varying Jones eras. At times he looks like a young Jon Pertwee in a fright wig. The direction by Stephen Wooley is wildly erratic and at times laughable. Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' underscoring an acid trip scene is the hack cinematic equivalent of the 'city/pretty' hack songwriting rhyme. It took Wooley ten years to put this botch-up together? Looks more like it was desperately cobbled together late Sunday night and breathlessly handed in by the Monday 9AM deadline. Another Bad Movie Night contender.
  • comment
    • Author: Negal
    The turbulent life and mysterious death of Rolling Stones guitarist and founder Brian Jones has all the elements of a cracking thriller, and has already inspired at least three books prior to this film. "Stoned" concentrates largely on the relationship that developed between Brian Jones and Frank Thorogood, the building contractor hired to spruce up his dilapidated country pile, in the final, fateful months of the musician's life. While this bond strengthens and ultimately, inevitably sours, flashbacks tell the key events of Jones's earlier life – his disintegrating relationship with model Anita Pallenberg; his spiralling addictions to drink and drugs; and his increasing estrangement from a band he still thought of as his long after Jagger and Richards had wrestled the creative reigns from him. While the story of a working class outsider being inexorably drawn into the decadent demi-monde of a fading and reclusive rock star has already been told with far more style and imagination in "Performance", thanks largely to the talents of Britain's finest young actor, Paddy Considine, as Thorogood, it's not here that this film falls down. Rather it is director Woolley's inability to resist hackneyed clichés and ham-fisted symbolism that makes "Stoned" such a chore at times. For instance, when Jones takes a swing at Pallenberg in a Moroccan hotel room, inadvertently smashing a mirror, Woolley can't help but give us a shot of Brian's despairing reflection in the shattered glass; likewise, as Jones sinks to the bottom of his swimming pool in the final reel, a shooting star streaks across the night sky (no, really); while the decision to use Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" to score an acid trip is an 'idea' so trite that the screen practically groans beneath the weight of it's obviousness. And that's not the only soundtrack faux pas either – actual Rolling Stones recordings are conspicuous by their absence, while the use of music by The White Stripes and, of all people, Kula Shaker, jars like the sudden appearance of a digital watch in a Merchant Ivory period drama. That said, the action rattles along with gusto, and the non-linear narrative structure is confidently handled, meaning that, despite his best attempts, Woolley doesn't quite manage to make a complete pig's ear out of this silk purse.
  • comment
    • Author: Kelezel
    In retrospect a musician who did not compose the songs for which he/she is famous would not ordinarily be remembered 40 years after. However, if the musician started the greatest rock n roll band in the world, lived the life of their best songs and contributed immensely to the music of the sixties, mastering many musical instruments and styles as well as promoting them, they are not just an ordinary musician. Although the film documents Brian's fascination with the Blues in his early years and living a decadent jaded life in his later years it fails to impress on the uninitiated the sparkle of sitars, early synth work, recorders, etc, etc that Brian enhanced the pop charts with on his journey through the sixties. None of the original Rolling Stones songs are present and although the covers, etc, represent the decade they do not adequately represent Brian's gift to music. I believe this is copyright related but actually sums up the frustrations of his life that he was not allowed to share composing credits, etc and was basically conned out of ownership of the band in the process. Brian Jones's death was a tragedy but his life was marred by controversy balanced against fine work as a musician which should be remembered most and probably is a bit by the end of the film, though not as much as I would have liked to see.
  • comment
    • Author: Quashant
    I'm afraid that 'Classic Rockher' has completely missed the point! Director Stephen Woolley has spent well over 10 years researching this film so as to paint as accurate a picture as possible of the suspicious death of Brian Jones. I know it may be difficult for die-hard fans to accept, but The Rolling Stones was founded by Brian Jones!!! Keef and that art school student poser, Mick Jagger, were recruited into the band by Brian. Brian's love was for 'the blues' of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Elmore James ... and hence the lack of over played 60's Stones tunes in the film. Stephen tracked down the likes of Anita Pallenberg, Brian's ex girlfriend who had disappeared back to her native Germany many years before, to make a film about Brian's death NOT a film about the Stones. One theory is that he was killed by his builder/chauffeur/gopher, Frank Thorogood, who was sacked the morning of Brian's death and has himself since died in 1993. I believe this film portrays the most accurate view on the last sad days of genius Brian Jones. 'Classic Rockher' come on - wake up and smell the coffee!!! Bob the Binman
  • comment
    • Author: GODMAX
    I was looking forward to this one (despite the negative reviews it got) because of its subject matter - the mysterious death of Rolling Stones guitarist, Brian Jones. However, apart from good central performances - Leo Gregory (Brian Jones), Paddy Considine (Frank Thoroghgood) and David Morrissey (Tom Keylock) - and a couple of attractive females, I have to say I was let down by it. There really is little depth to the characterizations: Jones, especially, is portrayed as a pill-popping, egotistical snob who beats up his girl and enjoys needling the meek Thorogood but he is shown to lose interest in his band's activities far too early (in 1966!) which is negated by history given that he still exerted some control over the Stones' musical direction in unusual sounding songs like "Lady Jane" and "Paint It Black". First-time director Stephen Woolley (Neil Jordan's frequent producer) overdirects most of the time and, apart from Jagger and Jones, none of the rest of the Stones look anything like the real people. To add insult to injury, three of the classic songs of the era are only rendered via bland recent cover versions rather the originals which, at least, would have given it an air of authenticity.
  • comment
    • Author: Bodwyn
    After watching the film I really don't think the history told here was worth making a film, very few things happen and all of them can be deduced or were told in the trailer! The only reason of this film seems to be the fact that he once had been a Rolling Stone. It's quite difficult to like the protagonist, in fact I found myself hating him and sympathizing with Frank. The decadence of this character is just predictable and his "phases" shown during the film as scenes are too obvious and predictable from certain point of the film. The montages with the young Rolling Stones, the 60's ambientation and all that is quite well done, although some scenes with the band look so artificial that are impossible to believe. Quite an unnecessary film that can be ignored.
  • comment
    • Author: unmasked
    How does one cast a movie portraying at least three of most worshiped, admired, envied, charismatic people in the business? Add to that, two of them are still alive and performing, maintaining their persona quite effectively into their sixties. Perhaps if this all had occurred before high-quality film, video, and sound-recording was so easily available. As it is, any one from any generation can get a first-hand idea of how fascinating the Rolling Stones' entrance into the pop-music scene was. If you want to know all about the aspects of Brian Jones that really matter, listen to the music; his total immersion into whatever style he was interested in gave him almost instant ability on whatever instrument he wished to play; his knowledge of and ability at Chicago Blues guitar styles,(not the hot solos, but the foundational group styles), was unparalleled. If you want to understand why he was so adored; look at his pictures. You're not going to get the idea from this film, but it's almost not fair.
  • comment
    • Author: Araath
    I went into the theater very excited about 'Stoned'. I mean, come on- it's a film about The Rolling Stones, one of the greatest bands of all time. I left the theater completely disappointed and almost angry that I wasted almost two hours of my life watching this film. The acting is horrible, not believable at all. The sex and nudity is overdone. I understand the whole free love, yay sex, drugs, and rock n roll thing- but honestly, it's a little too much. The ending of 'Stoned' makes no sense either. And the most disappointing part was that there were only 3 Rolling Stones songs in the entire film, and it wasn't even them singing! That part I can forgive because of the whole copywrite issue, but it's still a big bummer. If you're a big Stones fan like me I would suggest skipping this one. 'Stoned' should be considered sacrilege!
  • comment
    • Author: Geny
    So the director had the cast watch Performance first, eh? Its a pity that none of the originality, menace, atmosphere or talent of that film rubbed off on the crew or cast involved in the making of this turkey. The story of Brian Jones has so much to recommend it to filmmakers. There is the journey of the middle class kid from small town England to international rock star, there is the story of the cultural changes that took place in the 1960's, there is the doomed love-affair between Brian and Anita, there is the story of the Rolling Stones themselves; how they changed the face of pop music and then there is the story of Brian Jones relationship with his gardener. All of them have the potential to make a great film. So how come Stoned fails on very single one of them?

    Brian's wig for starters. Brian's "acting". The clichéd, lazy script. The awful choice of music (lame cover versions for the most part). The underwritten characters. The complete absence of any sympathetic characters. Missed opportunity after missed opportunity. Stay away from this film.
  • comment
    • Author: Onath
    This is the first film directed by Stephen Wooley, who is better known as a producer, so I want to be kind, but I have to be honest as well. Interestingly, it was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who wrote a couple of the Pierce Brosnan, James Bond films. The movie begins with Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones being pulled out of his swimming pool having evidently drowned.

    The film then scatter shoots in all directions and styles. Black and white for flashback scenes in the sixties and color film for trips to Marrakech. But the narrative never congeals. Perhaps if I knew more about the real beginning of the Rolling Stones the film would have more meaning for me, but I never got invested in it. I found the film to drag and to only jump in fits and starts.

    There are some unmistakable elements of Nicholas Roeg's style here and that's not a bad thing. At least Wooley is copying from a good director, but the bottom line is he's just copying. It doesn't look like he's learned anything. Also, I found the performances in this film a bit lax and I don't know if that's the fault of the screenplay or the less than inspired direction.

    Paddy Considine, who is usually quite riveting is lost here as a handyman who is sent to do some refurbishing on Brian Jones house in the country, and little by little gets caught up in the drugged out world of Brian Jones. The film also shows his character murder Jones by intentionally drowning him in the pool and an end title tells us that on his death bed, the real James Thorogood who Considine plays admitted that he had in fact killed Jones, but there is obviously no way to confirm that now.

    The actor who plays Brian Jones has a nice androgynous quality and occasionally shows some creative spark, but again, he remains a total mystery. There had to be something about him that people liked. Damned if I can find out what it is from this film. Is it his musical ability? We don't see it. Is it his songwriting skill? We don't hear it. Is it his long schlong? That we see, but there has to be more to the guy than that.

    Is it just because he has lots of drugs around? Maybe, that we see also, but I never quite knew what to make of him and the house builder. Was there supposed to be some kind of opposites attracting kind of thing here? You know, the artist against the workman? I'm not sure, if that was in there, it was very faint. Stoned would seem like a better film if there weren't in fact many better movies about music stars crumbling under the pressures of the business.

    For a sublime look at that kind of story, you can't do much better than Gus Van Sant's Last Days about a Kurt Cobain like musician and Sid & Nancy about Sid Vicious and The Sex Pistols.

    I give the people who made this high marks for the attempt, but unfortunately the result was a film that dragged and made me feel very bored.
  • comment
    • Author: Fonceiah
    The worst thing about this film (and there are so many) is that Brian Jones is portrayed throughout as a snotty, drugged out loser.

    Yes, he was at the end...but there was so little insight about his prodigious musical abilities (beyond a cursory look via grainy flashbacks) that it is hard to be sympathetic to his plight, and unfortunate demise.

    (another curious point)

    Why, besides the ton of boobs shots, were there mostly frontal nudity of the male characters only? This has nothing to do with my main comments, but it is indeed curious why only male "members" are shown, and female genitalia were mostly hidden? It is usually the reverse in most films. I also now might add that I am no prude, but the gratuitous nudity seemed more for "show" then to further the idea that indeed... this was the swinging 60's.

    The scene near the end sums this movie up. Tom is telling Frank how he has to "clean up" everyone's messes including Frank's. Frank is about to confess to the murder, when Tom cuts him off, saying that he doesn't want to know how it happened. Tom's attitude mirrors my own.

    It really doesn't matter what the truth is/was, Brian Jones was dead..and who cares at this point? ..and that's exactly the biggest problem with this film.

    After making Brian himself and the viewer so desensitized to his life and accomplishments (and only belaboring the drugs, booze and sex) the movie at the end, tries to insert some meaning into it all by a imaginary meeting between Tom in his old age, and Brain's ghost. The scene might have been more poignant if the whole movie was a flashback through Tom's eyes, but it wasn't, so the scene plays out like one of Brian's drug hallucinations.

    Another way the film tries to patch things up is the statements on the screen before the credits, but it is too little, too late.

    My first thought when I turned off my DVD player was, "what a waste"..... and that goes for both Brian's beleaguered life, and this film...
  • comment
    • Author: Mora
    Considering that there are no other movies available that look into this particular subject, for those interested in the final days in the life of the brilliant Brian Jones this is the film you will have to see if the subject interests you as much as it does me.

    Having read all of the material available on the final days in Brian's life and being endlessly fascinated by all the mystery surrounding his untimely demise, I was impressed with impeccable way that it was presented in this film. Clearly the people associated with this film made a point of sticking to the established facts even if the existing evidence was contractive at times. Allowing scenes and accounts to be contractive from time to time is refreshing and considered taboo in presenting a film for entertainment.

    I was impressed with the acting, direction, dialog and portrayals in this film. All in all a fascinating character study. Brian Jones was a tremendously talented, gifted and complex human being who has become a bit of a mysterious "martyr" since his death in his early 20s. This film leaves one with a sense of just beginning to know him in a very human way. The good and bad.

    It is a genuine film that portrays Brian as a brilliant, sensitive yet confused, troubled artist. All true. Mistreated and yet capable of mistreating others. A complex person to be sure. And this film shows it all. Very competently. Leo Gregory's performance is top notch. The same can be said about Paddy Considine.

    Absolutely a film worth watching.

    That being said, I did have just a couple of issues with the film. And in all fairness I thought I would mention them here.

    First, Brian Jones' musical genius was given very short shrift here. Just a brief look into what Brian was capable of musically clearly shows that he was an absolute prodigy. Capable of picking up any instrument that he had never played before and becoming completely proficient in just an hour or so. This film does seem to gloss over this fact. This is unfortunate because this was so important to know about him.

    Second, some may consider this a warning of sorts. This film does seem to contain what I consider to be a gratuitous amount of full frontal male nudity. Don't get me wrong, I am not a prude. It is just that it seems to be completely done simply for the "pleasure" of the director. Absolutely none of it is required to tell this story at all. One is left to wonder why the director felt it necessary to include these scenes. Perhaps it was done to create controversy. But all it really serves to do is take people's attention away from the story being told.

    If one was watching a film about John Holmes for example, then one would expect a glimpse or two of his appendage. There was just no point in doing that with this film. Personally I felt that the director was insecure about the quality of his film and included these scenes hoping that he would draw more viewers due to the controversy.

    Either way, this is a very good film and worth viewing. If you don't mind seeing a penis swing by from time to time.
  • comment
    • Author: Uranneavo
    Well, not that bad as I first imagined. THis 2005 production is fairly competent take on last days of Brian Jones' life and his tenure with the Stones. This is a very British film, but at times it draws too much from Oliver Stone and his The Doors or Nixon - the imagery, color scheme, sequence, plot, music, faces, blurred visions. Apart from that, Paddy Cinsidine is good as FRank, he did a marvelous job and showed his acting skills to the full. It is Not a movie about The Rolling Stones - well, they are here, you see all 5 of them, but Billy and Cahrlie never utter a single sound, and Mick is a bit detached. Keith is more prominent, but he is a bit too slow and languid. Anita is good, she is not very vivid here, but her drug-drenched life is shown well. What is great, is the excellent scenery of the park, and the excellent 60's soundtrack. Too much nudity is a bit embarrassing, and too many drug moments are a bit imposing. But that was part of life, just another faucet of that. All in all, a nice Brian biopic, with many good details and nice memos. Good for Stones fans, and a good word of warning - drugs do kill
  • comment
    • Author: Bloodfire
    Stoned tells us about the life and early death at 27 of Brian Jones who founded and actually named the group. I do remember it back in 1969, that there was such controversy around it I did not know. It seems as though the Stones went on without any pause or at least that's how it appeared in America.

    Part of the problem with this film is that Brian Jones is not presented as an especially likable figure. It seemed to me that his love of all kinds of hedonistic pleasure took over and ruled him. What started as creative differences between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and Jones just eventually came down to the fact that Jones would rather party than work. Not that those two guys ever lived like monks, but you do have to please the public with your music and that requires working on it and on a product to please said public. It's why the Rolling Stones are still a hot act in almost 50 years of performing and not on the nostalgia circuit either.

    Leo Gregory plays Jones and some really good casting was done with him and those who played the rest of the Stones. Paddy Considine is Frank Thorogood, Jones's estate builder and general factotum who was fired the day Jones was found in his pool. Whether he had help from Thorogood or anyone else is still fodder for speculation.

    I agree with another reviewer who said the sound was of bad quality. That that reviewer was from the UK says something because I would be tempted to blame it on their accents. I well remember when the Beatles first came to America they were unintelligible with their Liverpudlian speech pattern which was not something American ears heard that often. But here it's just bad sound recording.

    Maybe it was his hedonism over all way of life, but I could not develop a rooting interest in Jones as I could with say Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin and I'm not really into that music.
  • comment
    • Author: Umge
    Although STONED might not be a truly accurate representation of Brian Jones's last hours, it does demonstrate a plausible and more believable account than the more simplistic, "Death By Misadventure" hypothesis. The crux of the theory is propagated in Geoffrey Giuliano's book, THE WILD AND WICKED WORLD OF BRIAN JONES, but the conclusions of this book are still conjecture, and largely based on the deathbed confession of Frank Thorogood (played by Paddy Considine). However, in this film, Considine gives a tremendous performance as the blue-collar contractor who is strangely attracted, yet repulsed by the bohemian lifestyle of the most decadent Stone, Brian Jones. The chronology of the film documents the Stones trajectory from minor Blues Aficionados, through Teen Idols, and on to an exploration of Jones's inability as group leader, to stimulate the band in a revolutionary new direction. Although, the film doesn't mention it, Mick Jagger was an accounting major, and he clearly has never lost sight of the monetary value of things. I think that Jagger has always viewed Art as runner-up to Business, and his view has proved transcendent within the world of The Stones. STONED provides a fascinating portrait of a man utterly devoted to the indulgence of sensual pleasures above all else, and the dire consequences of cheating and exploiting those closest to him.
  • comment
    • Author: Adrietius
    'Stoned' is a Brit docu-drama in the mould of 'Scandal' or even '10 Rillington Place' about the final weeks of Stones founder Brian Jones' life - and it purports to give the explanation of how a strong swimmer who had been coming off drugs drowned, when he shouldn't have.

    Good points: It's very low budget, but for all that never feels set-bound, and the main location is fantastic; the sixties feel is authentic, and the use of contemporary cameras to film the flashback scenes works. The feel of how Brian alienated himself from the band, and how he was both exploited by and dependent on hangers-on like Thorogood and Keylock is well expressed. I didn't find it boring because maybe I am aware of the background - 'Stoned' starts with a fair amount of exposition of who Jones actually was, which must be news to those who discovered the Stones after 'Angie'. The relationship between Jones and Thorogood is the key, and 'Stoned' makes this completely credible.

    Not so good points: I'm afraid that Leo Gregory never persuades me that he is the super-charismatic Cheltenham boy who founded the world's greatest rock'n'roll band. I kept thinking he was supposed to be Peter Frampton. Brian Jones was one of those people whose sexy, defenceless smile made people forgive him just about anything - Leo Gregory never captures the vulnerability or the extreme arrogance that would have driven Thorogood to murder. He seems to leave it to the script. I would also have liked more about how Thorogood allegedly 'confessed on his deathbed'. This is left as a footnote at the end, which kind of dilutes the fact that this was a big mystery at the time, and is actually the whole point of the film. It's what we want to know.

    If you like docu-dramas, 'Stoned' is an unusual one and definitely worth your time if you know anything about the early Stones. If you don't, it won't tell you much, and in that it falls short. I've given it a nine to balance the unreasonably low scores given elsewhere by Mick Jagger fans. It's an intelligent film, but not over-intelligent.
  • comment
    • Author: Barinirm
    The movie portrayed the good and the bad side of Brian Jones, which is always great, because both sides of the story are needed for the viewer to get the whole image. The part that did not agree with me about this movie is the fact that it barely showed any of Brian's childhood life and hat happened in between the making and meeting of The Stones. I am fully aware that this movie is to focus on the murder of Brian Jones and after the Stones, but I feel to actually be there with him, you've gotta live his childhood. There were also some scenes that were badly portrayed and give the viewer a fuzzy image of what is happening, but still not the full understanding. But even with these misunderstandings it still gives you a satisfactory in depth look at a true musicians life and all the problems he went through to give you music.
  • comment
    • Author: Pedora
    Most people would have expected this film to be an insight in the life of Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones whom met his mysterious death in his own swimming pool and in more recent times lead to theories that he was murdered by builder Frank Thorogood but with hindsight, much of these theories that Brian was murdered were based on the opinions of girlfriends like Anna Wohlin so who cares? My own theories about this film is that it is really poor and is one of director Stephen Woolley's near-miss yet he had spent a decade trying to piece together this rubbish hence to such wasted effort and is also one to miss for it provides far too little fact about the life of Brian. Get real, folks! Nobody should take those theories about Brian Jones being killed by Frank Thorogood seriously as fact because little or maybe no real evidence exists and deathbed confessions from Thorogood were nothing more than incoherent ramblings. Brian Jones has been dead all those years. His bizarre lifestyle and unpredictable mood swings coupled with his asthma were the only known contributing factor to his short life. Save your money.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Leo Gregory Leo Gregory - Brian Jones
    Paddy Considine Paddy Considine - Frank Thorogood
    David Morrissey David Morrissey - Tom Keylock
    Ben Whishaw Ben Whishaw - Keith Richards
    Tuva Novotny Tuva Novotny - Anna Wohlin
    Amelia Warner Amelia Warner - Janet
    Monet Mazur Monet Mazur - Anita Pallenberg
    Luke de Woolfson Luke de Woolfson - Mick Jagger
    David Walliams David Walliams - Accountant
    David Williams David Williams - Speecy
    Gary Love Gary Love - Jeff
    Johnny Shannon Johnny Shannon - Landlord
    Melanie Ramsay Melanie Ramsay - Mrs. Thorogood
    Rüdiger Rudolph Rüdiger Rudolph - Volker
    Will Adamsdale Will Adamsdale - Andrew Loog-Oldham
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