On a long-haul bus trip speeding through the benighted countryside, ex-con Henry (Sean Harris) makes small talk with a stranger named Paul (Steve Mouzakis). It’s evident they both hail from the criminal milieu, the fringes of society. Henry needs work. Paul knows a guy. Stark shadows encircle the pair; Henry will soon find himself encircled by machinations far beyond his ken.
The Stranger gives up its secrets slowly and obliquely, and we need to reveal a few in order to talk about it with any authority. Paul’s guy, Mark (Joel Edgerton once again proving he’s one of the finest Australian actors) is an undercover cop. So is everyone in his circle. They’ve got eyes on Henry for a child murder cold case and have baited a trap for him, creating a fake, shadowy criminal organisation that offers work, money, companionship and, crucially, a way out for a man who has committed the most grievous of crimes.