Home The Little Things

The Little Things (15)

Cast: Terry Kinney, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Denzel Washington
Genre: Thriller
Author(s): John Lee Hancock
Director: John Lee Hancock
Release Date: 11/03/2021
Running Time: 128mins
Country: US
Year: 2021

Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe "Deke" Deacon reluctantly returns to his old stomping ground in Los Angeles to collect evidence for an active case. It has been five years since Deke left the LA County Sheriff's Department following a meltdown. He arrives in the middle of a press conference led by his replacement, Detective Jim Baxter, who is on the trail of a suspect with a similar MO to the unsolved case that tipped Deke over the edge.


LondonNet Film Review
The Little Things (15)

During the methodical hunt for a serial killer in writer-director John Lee Hancock’s crime thriller, a tormented cop with hunched shoulders and haunted eyes delivers two strikingly similar speeches about vigilance in the pursuit of justice. “The little things are important. The little things get you caught,” he solemnly intones, pausing with dramatic effect to acknowledge the film’s intentionally ambiguous title. Ironically, it’s the big things like a messy plot and the jarring performances of Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto which undermine this old-fashioned tour of the mean streets of early 1990s Los Angeles…

Hancock originally penned the script in 1993, the year after The Silence Of The Lambs raised multiple glasses of Chianti at the Oscars and sparked a slew of well-intentioned imitators. Dust still lingers in the air of his slow-burning narrative, which gives Leto free rein to ramp up the creepiness on a misfit prime suspect to the point of laughability. The most urgent repairs to Hancock’s picture are required in a dishevelled final act that seemingly careens into the same grim territory as Se7en (released in 1995) only to take a deeply dissatisfying detour at the last second.

Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington) reluctantly returns to his old stomping ground in Los Angeles to collect evidence for an active case. It has been five years since Deke left the LA County Sheriff’s Department following a meltdown, which saw him suspended from the force, served with divorce papers and undergo a triple heart bypass in the space of six hellish months. He arrives in the middle of a press conference led by his replacement, Detective Jim Baxter (Malek), who is on the trail of a suspect with a similar MO to the unsolved case that tipped Deke over the edge.

“We haven’t been under this much scrutiny since the Night Stalker,” Captain Carl Farris (Terry Kinney) warns Baxter. With the FBI threatening to seize control of the case, Baxter invites Deke to join him and colleagues Jamie Estrada (Natalie Morales) and Sal Rizoli (Chris Bauer) as they work the latest crime scene. Deke’s valuable insight leads the task force to disturbed electrical appliance repairman Albert Sparma (Leto). However, secrets from Deke’s past jeopardise the likelihood of a secure conviction.

Grounded by Washington’s understated and emotionally textured performance, The Little Things lacks nail-biting tension and fully realised, nuanced characters. Malek is caught squarely between the extremes of his two co-stars and seems unsure where to pitch his portrayal of a family man scorched by a burning desire to achieve justice for the victims and their grieving families. Frustratingly, the answers he seeks – and us too – are not entirely forthcoming.

– Kim Hu


London Cinemas Showing The Little Things


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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing The Little Things


From: Friday 23rd July
To: Thursday 29th July

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From: Friday 30th July
To: Thursday 5th August

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