The little things are what get you caught up in this dark thriller

The Little Things (15, 128 minutes)

There are few things you can count on in life, but one of them is that there’s no such thing as a bad Denzel Washington film.

Set in 1990, director and screenwriter John Lee Hancock has crafted a movie which in style and appearance could very easily have been made any time during that decade.

It’s certainly more Fincher suspense than a Tony Scott blow stuff up yarn and benefits from not being entirely predictable.

Like Liverpool FC, this thriller plays with three upfront – all Oscar winners and all utilising vastly different methods to put their characters across with different levels of success.

You can see the painstaking preparation that has gone into Jared Leto’s misfit serial killer suspect. Everything is considered to the n-th degree, right down to the way he walks.

But as creepy and unlikeable Leto’s Albert Sparma is, you’re never allowed to forget that this is a performance, which is in stark contrast to Washington’s ability to make dialogue seem as if it has been created in his brain and come straight out of his mouth.

He makes it look so effortless and natural, which is the Denzel way. He doesn’t have to work at being Denzel, he just is and no one is left in any doubt about who is the class act here as a former homicide detective, now uniformed small town deputy goes back to LA to collect some evidence and gets drawn into a murder case that he is convinced is another victim of a serial killer he failed to capture years before and resulted in the loss of his health, his marriage and his career.

The third member of this three-pronged attack is Rami Malek as a rising detective whose driving ambition sees him drawn into the same rabbit hole that swallowed up his older compatriot.

Caught between two extremes, Ramek’s considerable contribution to the piece should not be allowed to pass without mention. His character’s insecurities and frustrations simmer below the surface, building to a shocking climax which leads to the film’s unexpected denouement.

RATING: 8/10

Mick Ferris

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