Based on the novels by the late author Robert B. Parker, the Jesse Stone made-for-TV movies chronicle the life of a dysfunctional police chief as he fights crime, and his own demons, in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts. Starring Tom Selleck, most of these films can be streamed through Tubi TV.
With nine movies released since 2005, and a long-promised 10th Jesse Stone installment in the works, it can be a bit daunting to watch the entire series. That is especially true because the second installment is, technically a prequel, that sets up the first. Watching the Jesse Stone series in chronological order arguably makes for the best viewing experience, allowing viewers to better appreciate Stone’s journey as a police chief.
Night Passage Is, Theoretically, the First Jesse Stone Movie
Although it’s set before the other movies, 2006’s Jesse Stone: Night Passage is actually the second produced. The adaptation of Parker’s book follows Stone as he settles into his role as chief of police, which is compounded both by a domestic-abuse case and a murder that hits close to home. This makes Night Passage somewhat similar to Selleck’s TV series Blue Bloods.
Stone Cold Follows on From Night Passage
Premiering in 2005, Stone Cold was the first Jesse Stone movie made for CBS. It features an already-established Stone tackling a series of grisly murders, all tied to the same theme. At the same time, Stone deals with his growing relationship problems, namely the one with his ex-wife.
Death in Paradise Returns the Series to the Present
Death in Paradise aired a few months after Night Passage, although it returns the series to the “present day.” Now more seasoned in Paradise, Stone deals with a girl’s murders. What transpires is a journey into organized crime and the depraved desires of a successful writer.
Sea Change Shows the Series Hitting Its Stride
In 2007’s Sea Change, Selleck really coming into the role, all while defending the reputation of Paradise. The town is reeling from the aftermath of a murder and sexual assault as Stone tries to get to the bottom of it all. Selleck won an Emmy Award for his performance in the made-for-TV movie, with Stone exuding a moody gravitas.
Audiences Waited Longer for Thin Ice
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice arrived in 2009, two years after Sea Change, at that point, the longest period between movies. The story involves a missing child who has been declared dead. Desperate for answers, a bereaved mother demands that Stone reopen the case to find out what really happened.
No Remorse Charts a New Course for Jesse Stone
The Jesse Stone movies returned to annual release in 2010 with No Remorse. Jesse Stone is suspended by the Paradise town council, leaving his old crew to tackle a case on their own. Meanwhile, he looks into another mystery for an old friend in Boston, which involves numerous murders.
Innocents Lost Was a Creative New Beginning
Innocents Lost, the 2011 Jesse Stone movie, was in many ways a first. Not only did Dick Lowry take over directing from Robert Harmon, but the movie is also based on a screenplay from Selleck and Michael Brandman, rather than on a Robert Parker novel. It features the now-independent Stone investigating a young friend’s death as Paradise gets a new police chief. Unlike the other films, this one is available to stream on Pluto TV.
Benefit of the Doubt Restores Order to Paradise
Also based on an original story, Benefit of the Doubt follows Stone as he begrudgingly returns to Paradise to deal with a double murder. One of those is the recent chief of police, making it a personal matter for the retired Stone. This movie is also on Pluto TV.
Lost in Paradise Is the Highlight of the Series
Released in 2015, three years after the previous movie, Lost in Paradise also moved from CBS to the Hallmark Channel. Putting Stone back in Boston to deal with a potential serial killer, this most recent movie is also considered its best yet. It’s available to stream through Pluto TV.