Chronological and Release Date Order of All Jesse Stone Movies: A Comprehensive List

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Robert B. Parker is the creator of the well-known Jesse Stone detective and criminal mystery novel series, which saw its first motion picture adaptation in 2005. The main series comprised the first nine books, from Night Passage to Split Image, that Parker penned before his passing in 2010 — many of which were adapted into motion pictures. Following his death, other writers continued his work, and the novel series is still ongoing.


The series’ main character is criminal investigator Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck), who works for the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division. When his drinking issues — spurned by a divorce — become public knowledge, he is forced to leave the department. Stone is then given the opportunity to become the newly appointed police chief of the little Massachusetts town of Paradise. The films adapt the storylines from the novels, demonstrating how Jesse Stone maintains his substance abuse, lives in a tiny community, and investigates homicides there.

How to Watch the Jesse Stone Movies in Chronological Order

  • Night Passage
  • Stone Cold
  • Death in Paradise
  • Sea Change
  • Thin Ice
  • No Remorse
  • Innocents Lost
  • Benefit of the Doubt
  • Lost in Paradise

Keep in mind that the sole difference between watching in chronological order and by release date is that the second film in the series to be released, Night Passage, actually takes place in the timeline before the first film in the series to be released, Stone Cold. So, it’s up to the viewer how they prefer to watch those two films. Once that decision has been made, the remainder of the watch-through should go without a hitch.

Jesse Stone: Stone Cold (February 2005)

Tom Selleck Jesse Stone Stone Cold

Sony Pictures Television

Stone Cold is set five years after Jesse Stone got divorced from his wife Jenn (voiced by Sylvia Villagran in this film only), whom he still talks to regularly. In this installment of the series, Stone investigates a brutal shooting, but it doesn’t end there, as multiple killings happen with the same techniques. There is also a separate rape and a separate stalking of two of the residents of the small town, one of which is Stone’s lover, Abby Taylor (Polly Shannon), leaving him to figure everything out before it’s too late. This film is based on the 2003 novel of the same name.

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Jesse Stone: Night Passage (January 2006)

Tom Selleck Jesse Stone Night Passage

Sony Pictures Television

In Night Passage, Jesse Stone relocates to Paradise, Massachusetts with his devoted hound dog, Boomer. Stone and his brand-new employees, Luther Simpson (Kohl Suddoth), Molly Crane (played by Viola Davis), and Anthony D’angelo (Vito Rezza), quickly find themselves investigating the death of a departmental colleague. In case that was not enough, Stone begins a mostly sexual connection with a neighborhood attorney called Abby Taylor (Polly Shannon). This film is based on the 1997 novel of the same name.

Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (April 2006)

Jesse Stone Death in Paradise

Sony Pictures Television

The murder of a teenage girl who was discovered floating in a lake and a domestic abuse serial perpetrator are the subjects of the movie Death in Paradise. On the advice of his ex-wife, Jenn (voiced by Gil Anderson), Jesse Stone begins attending appointments with Dr. Dix (William Devane), a psychiatrist, during the investigation. A stressful narrative is created by the fact that one person from Stone’s team’s security is also in jeopardy. In addition, this movie adds a few fresh faces, such as Sister Mary John (Kerri Smith), who plays an interesting role. This film is based on the 2001 novel of the same name.

Jesse Stone: Sea Change (May 2007)

Jesse Stone Sea Change

Sony Pictures Television

In the film Sea Change, Jesse Stone, lacking much of his squad from previous films, looks into the unsolved murder of a bank teller who was shot during a robbery in addition to a sexual assault accusation that causes him to clash against the municipal government. The objective is to maintain the town’s status as a top coastal getaway. In addition, Stone must deal with the revelation that his ex-wife is dating someone new who doesn’t appreciate their nightly conversations. This film is based on the 2006 novel of the same name.

 

Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (March 2009)

Tom Selleck Jesse Stone Thin Ice

Sony Pictures Television

In the film Thin Ice, Captain Healy (Stephen McHattie), a friend of Jesse Stone’s for a number of years, is nearly murdered in a shooting, and Stone decides to find out who was responsible by going undercover. However, Stone is told to stop and concentrate on other crimes by the city council, something he naturally disregards. The heartbreaking example of a long-dead baby who may not be actually deceased as people believed also comes up, but Stone is unable to see any hope at the conclusion of the long tunnel of darkness. Unlike the earlier movies, this one is based on the entire book series rather than just one single novel.

Jesse Stone: No Remorse (May 2010)

Tom Selleck Jesse Stone No Remorse

Sony Pictures Television

Jesse Stone is no longer a cop in the film No Remorse, which alters the rules of the game once more. Stone is left at a loss after being put on leave in the previous movie, and it is clear he despises it. He spends much of his time drinking. In order to aid him with the investigation of a string of murders connected to organized crime and mob boss Gino Fish (William Sadler), Captain Healy, who is still recovering from the shooting, hires Stone as an advisor. Despite being told to avoid contact, Stone manages to keep Luther and Rose (Kohl Sudduth and Kathy Baker) busy as well. Whether a cop or not, Jesse Stone is always going to investigate some crimes and cause a stir.

Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (May 2011)

Jesse Stone Innocents Lost

Sony Pictures Television

Former police chief Jesse Stone is now a private investigator after being practically forced to retire. In the movie Innocents Lost, Stone looks into a young acquaintance’s mysterious murder as police officers contend with the cocky new chief of police who happens to be a city council member’s son-in-law. Even though this movie is still good, it falls a little short of previous entries because of the predicament Stone finds himself in and the lack of source material used (i.e. it’s not based on one of the novels).

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (May 2012)

Tom Selleck Jesse Stone Benefit of the Doubt

Sony Pictures Television

The penultimate movie in the Jesse Stone series, Benefit of the Doubt, puts Stone once again in the Chief of Police’s seat after a few movies in which he was a somewhat independent agent. Formally, it is an interim position, so he can assist in the investigation into the deaths of two of the department’s own. But Stone thrives on solving problems, and consequently, he’s determined this will not be a temporary position. This time, Luther and Rose are less engaged with the events because they choose to look for other jobs instead of working for Stone’s replacement in the previous film. Regardless of supporters, Stone is investigating the alleged shady police activities that resulted in the deaths of significant individuals.

Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (October 2015)

Tom Selleck Jesse Stone Lost in Paradise

Sony Pictures Television

To the best of our knowledge, Lost in Paradise wraps up the Jesse Stone saga. Stone accepts an offer to work as an unpaid advisor on select cases for an ex-girlfriend, Lt. Greenstreet (Leslie Hope), in this film. As a result, he discovers more details about a serial killer’s victim, including the possibility that she was not a victim whatsoever. Lost in Paradise is a respectable conclusion to the film series that is more mystery movie-like than earlier iterations, likely as a result of being aired by Hallmark rather than CBS (who showed all the other films).

The Future of Jesse Stone Films

Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone

Sony Pictures Television

Selleck said that he was working on a 10th film in the series, but that it would be different from the previous films and so far nothing has emerged regarding it. Per an Express article in 2022, Selleck remarked, “It isn’t the same cumulative narrative anymore.” He also mentioned that “as time has passed, I’m older and the Jesse Stone audience needs to account for that. He’s at a different part of his life.” It is also possible that in this day of remakes and reboots, recasting the role with a more youthful actor might actually be more accurate to the novel’s representations than the first film of Selleck’s run was; he was 60 playing a 35-year-old. Whatever happens with both the novels and films after this, fans of crime dramas and mysteries will always be around to support Jesse Stone, even if he never completely quits drinking.

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