Did you recently come across a Jesse Stone movie on TV and are wondering if there are more movies to binge? You’re in luck. Tom Selleck has starred in nine films as Stone and we’ve compiled all of the Jesse Stone movies in order so you know what to add to your must-watch list.
Who is Jesse Stone?
Before we jump into the list of Jesse Stone movies in order, let’s dive a bit into the character.
Jesse Stone is the protagonist in Robert B. Parker’s mystery thriller book series of the same name. There are 20 Jesse Stone books currently available. After Parker’s death in 2010 the series was continued by Michael Brandman, Reed Farrel Coleman, and most recently, Mike Lupica.
Jesse Stone is a former minor league baseball player who had his career cut short by an injury. He still nurses that injury and the dream of what could have been in his current job of policing.
The book series begins with Jesse Stone working as a homicide detective in the LAPD, but struggling greatly following his divorce. His divorce exacerbated his alcoholism and he had to resign from the force. In some twist of fate or miracle, Jesse then interviews for – and lands – the job of police chief in the small, idyllic town of Paradise.
But Paradise isn’t quite what it appears. Hidden behind white picket fences and a shiny veneer is a deep, troubling corruption. And Stone can’t let it remain unchecked.
Thus begins a riveting series of Stone solving crime in this small town and tracking down murderers.
Are the Jesse Stone Movies Faithful to the Book Series?
Well, not really. The Jesse Stone movies begin in a different order than the book series, and there are brand new mysteries within the movie franchise.
Four of the films were adapted from the books, but the other five films were written as new Jesse Stone mysteries.
The TV film series initially aired on CBS in 2005 with the adaptation of Stone Cold, the second Jesse Stone book. CBS continued to produce and premiere the Jesse Stone movies at a fast pace with the next seven movies launching in the proceeding seven years. The eighth movie, Benefit of the Doubt, premiered on CBS in 2012.
Unfortunately, the network then decided to change its direction and Jesse Stone made its way to the cutting board, despite its successful final installment with the network. Benefit of the Doubt had 13 million viewers, but CBS said they wanted to produce shorter-length projects and attract a different demographic.
However, that was clearly not the end of the Jesse Stone movies as Hallmark picked up the series and aired the latest installment in 2015.
Will There Be Another Jesse Stone Movie?
While it’s been nearly seven years since the last Jesse Stone movie, another installment isn’t off the table. Tom Selleck confirmed in September 2021 that the next film is still in active development. However, what network it might premiere on isn’t set in stone.
As mentioned, the series has bounced around between networks. It began on CBS before being picked up by Hallmark, but Selleck says that the next Jesse Stone movie might better fit a different platform.
Jesse Stone is a dark individual, and Selleck would like the next film to have the freedom to explore that further.
#1 Jesse Stone Movies in Order of Production
Now let’s finally dig into the movies.
There are two ways in which you can watch the Jesse Stone movies in order. The first is in order of production. This is how many fans first discovered and experienced the films, so this is a great entry point into the TV film series.
- Jesse Stone: Stone Cold (2005)
- Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006)
- Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006)
- Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2007)
- Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)
- Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
- Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
- Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
- Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (2015)
#2 Jesse Stone Movies in Chronological Order
But there is another way to experience the movies. Watching the Jesse Stone movies in chronological order might also be the best way to watch these films.
There is only one difference between chronological order and order of production, which is the order of the first two movies. While Night Passage is the second movie in order of production, it is the first book from the series on which the films are based. In the movie series Night Passage acts as a prequel.
If you chose to watch the Jesse Stone movies in order of chronology you will learn a bit more about how Jesse Stone ended up in Paradise. The prequel, Night Passage, documents Stone losing his job before making his way to Paradise.
- Jesse Stone: Night Passage
- Jesse Stone: Stone Cold
- Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise
- Jesse Stone: Sea Change
- Jesse Stone: Thin Ice
- Jesse Stone: No Remorse
- Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost
- Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt
- Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise
A Summary of the Jesse Stone Movies in Order
As is common with most thriller stories, each film will contain a mystery with a conclusion and follow its own plot development. However, watching the Jesse Stone movies in order will allow you to become more familiar with the titular character and his arc.
Jesse Stone is a complicated character, so his arc isn’t linear. He has ups and downs as he processes his failed marriage and copes with his alcoholism. Watching the movies out of order might lose some of this rich underlying character development.
We’ve included the run-down of each movie below, so whatever order you choose to watch the films in for the first – or seventh – time, you’ll know what to expect.
1. Jesse Stone: Night Passage
A former LA homicide detective becomes chief of police in a small Massachusetts town. As the cop struggles to win over his new staff, he investigates a domestic abuse case involving a man connected to the mob. Matters take a turn for the worse when his predecessor as chief of police turns up dead.
The film premiered on January 15, 2006 and was directed by Robert Harmon. It is based on the book of the same name. It stars Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone, Viola Davis as Molly Crane, and Kohl Sudduth as Luther “Suitcase” Simpson.
2. Jesse Stone: Stone Cold
In the quiet New England town of Paradise, a series of strange murders has sent shivers up and down its streets. It will be up to hard-as-nails police chief, Jesse Stone, to find the psychopath behind the savage crimes.
Previously a homicide detective in Los Angeles, the hard-drinking Stone has the credentials to track down the serial killer. But the case takes an even more sinister turn when a teenage girl is raped, and Stone realizes that catching the killer will not be so easy.
The film premiered on February 20, 2005 and was directed by Robert Harmon. It is based on the book of the same name. It stars Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone, Viola Davis as Molly Crane, and Kohl Sudduth as Luther “Suitcase” Simpson.
3. Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise
Jesse Stone is settling into life as the police chief of the small New England town of Paradise, Massachusetts. Then the body of a teenage girl is found floating in a local lake.
Stone discovers that the once straight-A student had started down a path of self-destruction and was estranged from her parents who never reported her missing.
The film premiered on April 20, 2005 and was, again, directed by Robert Harmon. It is based on the book of the same name and stars the same cast of characters as the first two films.
4. Jesse Stone: Sea Change
Jesse Stone’s relationship with his ex-wife is getting more and more difficult. To ensure that he does not fall back into his old drinking habits again, he tries to solve an old case to keep his mind occupied.
Robert Harmon directed this film which premiered on May 22, 2007. In this installment of the movie series, Tom Selleck was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
5. Jesse Stone: Thin Ice
Jesse Stone is under the Town Council’s radar after he enters a shoot-out that injures a colleague. Despite warnings, he fires the council’s coveted ticket-writer and sets out to find a missing child.
This marks the first film in the franchise that was not based on a book in the original series. Thin Ice was written by Ronni Kern, Tom Selleck, and Michael Brandman – who continued the book series following Robert B. Parker’s death.
The movie was again directed by Robert Harmon and stars the same cast of characters. It premiered on March 1, 2009.
6. Jesse Stone: No Remorse
After he is suspended by the town council, Jesse begins investigating a series of murders in Boson for a friend. He leaves Rose and “Suitcase” to solve a string of crimes in Paradise on their own.
The screenplay for No Remorse was written by Tom Selleck and Michael Brandman. It premiered on May 9, 2010. Once more it was directed by Robert Harmon.
Kohl Sudduth stars as Luther “Suitcase” Simpson, Kathy Baker stars as Rose Gammon, and – of course – Tom Selleck stars as Jesse Stone.
7. Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost
After his involuntary retirement, Jesse Stone investigates the suspicious death of a young friend while the Paradise police force deals with the arrogant new chief, who is the son-in-law of a town councilman.
Innocents Lost premiered on May 22, 2011 and was directed by Dick Lowry.
Again, this installment was not based on a specific Parker novel, but rather took inspiration from the series overall. It stars the same cast of characters as the previous films.
8. Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt
Jesse Stone comes out of involuntary retirement after the new chief dies, along with another officer in their police car. Jesse must now solve the crime on his own since all the other officers have quit.
Robert Harmon returned to direct this installment which premiered on May 20, 2012. It again was not based on a specific book, but written specifically for TV with the same cast of characters.
9. Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise
Retired Police Chief Jesse Stone is working as a consultant on an unsolved murder case in Boston. Local police suspect the Boston Ripper is to blame, but Stone’s experience and expertise is needed to crack the case.
The screenplay for the last installment in the Jesse Stone movie series was written by Tom Selleck and Michael Brandman. It was again directed by Robert Harmon and premiered on October 18, 2015.
Do I Need to Watch the Jesse Stone Movies in Order?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your viewing in terms of character development and plot progression, then watching the Jesse Stone movies in order is a good idea.
And if you’ve already watched all the Jesse Stone movies and are looking for more Stone content, you might want to read the original books by Robert B. Parker. You can read all about the Jesse Stone books in order here.