Stockholm, Pennsylvania is a perfect example of an interesting film that doesn’t work on a cinematic level. It starts out from the perspective of a kidnapping victim, only to switch midway through to that of a victimizer. It’s an ambitious device that writer-director Nikole Beckwith doesn’t quite pull off. There are some terrific elements in play but they never coalesce into something more powerful. Much like its protagonist, we watch this film through a window that never lets us inside.
Sam Rockwell’s secret weapon is not his gift of gab, but his ability to use that chatty nature to disarm everyone around him. Rockwell, so rakish and charming in this summer’s indie hit The Way, Way Back, isn’t the kind of actor who can’t play taciturn, but deliberately robbing him of his quirky, squirrelly speech patterns is always a bit of a letdown.