A good thriller is always welcomed in my world and The Little Things was a surprisingly nail biting one with some award-winning heavyweights at the helm in form of Oscar winners Jared Leto, Rami Malek and Denzel Washington. Written, produced and directed by John Lee Hancock, this film crafts a film-noir styled crime thriller that had me on the edge of my seat with more twists, turns and curves than a pretzel or Lombard Street in San Francisco. It sorta felt like Silence of The Lambs meets The Bone Collector, (which ironically Washington starred).
Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington) joins forces with Sgt. Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) to search for a serial killer (Jared Leto) who’s terrorizing Los Angeles. As they continue to track his every move, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is bringing up ghosts of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.
The soundtrack proves to be an integral character informing the trajectory of the script moments before a major plot twist goes down. Within the first ten minutes we follow Deacon in rolling down the road listening to oldies radio and hearing “I Will Follow Him” as he hunts down the accused killer (Jared Leto) while struggling with is own demons of having covered up a crime in the past.
The performances from this award-winning trifecta comprised of Rami Malek, Denzel Washington and Jared Leto is literally a cinematic master class in suspense filled drama. Each one resonates on a visceral level, but for me, it was the grave digging scene that left me biting my nails down to the quick anticipating how this could possibly end. The crime scenes are absolutely grueling coupled with a highway chase that will have your heart beating out of your chest. During a recent interview, Leto shared how shooting halted briefly as they tried to navigate the fact that both sides of the freeway were on fire. Can you imagine? That is what I call going all in for the sake of your art.
While the storyline pacing tends to be just a tad bit on the slow side, it doesn’t take away from John Lee Hancock’s masterful manipulation of the characters and plot twists delivering a film that well worth the watch making you realize it’s the little things that rip you apart and get you caught.
The Little Things is currently streaming on HBO Max through Feb. 28th.
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