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The Little Things

‘The Little Things’ is a psychological thriller sure to please fans of the genre. Whether we admit it or not, most of us like the trepidation of what lurks elsewhere. The build-up of tension with what may transpire is a key to a good thriller. One getting inside the mind of a killer can also be interesting, exploring their murderous modus operandi. ‘Silence of the Lambs’ did that well, from which ‘The Little Things’ takes it cue. Thrilling it is with the shadowy world one wouldn’t want to venture.

Deputy Sheriff of Kern County, Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) has a skill in uncovering the ‘little things’ many miss during police investigations. His talents are needed when he teams up with hotshot L.A. Sheriff Sergeant Jim Baxter (Rami Malek). On the hunt for a serial killer, their sights firm on strange suspect Albert (Jared Leto). Prone to playing with the rules in order to nab any criminal, Deacon’s ways clash with Baxter’s analytical approach. Long buried secrets surface and life changing dilemmas ensue as the pair attempt to end a killer’s reign of terror.

Written and directed by John Lee Hancock, ‘The Little Things’ mainly explores the psyche of the hunter rather than the hunted. Whilst Deacon and Baxter are great in their jobs, their eager pursuit of Albert potentially clouds their overall judgement. Their actions have far reaching consequences for the trio as their past continually gets in the way of their present. Hancock has produced a different type of thriller not many may like but it deserves kudos for being different.

Although interesting overall, ‘The Little Things’ has issues. The meandering narrative slackens the pace, robbing it of a much needed sense of urgency. This is highlighted by Malek’s performance, with his monotone delivery of the script making his character look constantly bored. Washington and Leto are better value, bringing the dimensions needed in their roles. ‘The Little Things’ has a solid look and feel overall – it just needed tighter writing with better casting to make it more captivating.

With plenty of unique twists, ‘The Little Things’ delivers a few of its promises. It isn’t perfect as it mis-handles key elements preventing it from being great. In terms of a psychological mind-game, it’s good enough viewing as it weaves a web the characters find difficult to get out of.

Rating out of 10: 6

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