Up for parole, Gerald "Stone" Creeson (Edward Norton) sits across from his parole officer, Jack Mabry (Robert DeNiro), and begins an impassioned, coarse and ultimately manipulative campaign for his release. Stone sets his perpetually aroused wife, Lucetta (Mila Jovovich), on Jack to aid his cause, tacitly relying on his wife's ability to deploy sexuality when she needs events to turn out her way. This is a difficult film about the oppressiveness of living with profound unhappiness. Stone and Lucetta don't grasp that they may set something loose within Jack that sends him spiralling down with the realization of a wasted life. Stone has to go through Jack to get out, but will have to share the other side of the prison fence with him as well.