The Little Things is a familiar tale, a murder mystery filled with twists and turns, that thrills its audience. But this crime thriller is more than just a genre piece. Beneath the cliched eerie veneer is the story of two police detectives, whose dedication leads them down a dark hole.
Suspense is at a high from the get-go. A stirring opening sequence sets the stakes early. A young woman is being chased; she is isolated, vulnerable and scared. We feel all the emotions she is feeling on screen. Expert directing and sound design makes for a heart racing first five minutes. The scene ends, and you can hear a collective sigh of fatigue from the audience. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie. This film is draining, emotionally and physically. A lengthy run time filled with harrowing scenes similar to the opening scene makes for a mentally challenging experience.
Writer and director John Lee Hancock follows the formula of crime writers before him. It is at times predictable. There are lines that feel like they have been ripped out of a 90s crime drama. The bleak colours and characters exemplify the stereotypical cat and mouse mystery flick that movie goers are so used to seeing. On the surface it may look like a typical whodunit, but the depth of each character adds to the layer of mystery The Little Things provides.
The trailers and advertisements for The Little Things focussed on the all-star cast consisting of Academy Award winning actors Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. The professionalism that the three bring to their roles is evident. All three actors have palpable chemistry with one another. Whenever the film is at a risk of slowing down or becoming dull, one of these three actors was there to resurrect it. Washington, Malek and Leto’s performances are the highlight of an already well-rounded film. Each interaction that the characters have with one another is as intense and as entertaining as the action scenes this film provides. Washington and Malek are incredible in their respective roles, but it is Leto who steals the show. Leto gives a haunting portrayal of an obsessed crime buff, turned murder suspect. Scenes are stolen by the brilliance of Leto, who has earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
The Little Things is a formulaic crime thriller, but one which has a hidden layer of depth that is often missing from the genre. Carried by incredible performances from some of Hollywood’s finest actors, The Little Things is a thrilling murder mystery that is sure to stick with many who watch it.
Movie Review By Felix Baldassi-Winderlich