Movie Review: The Little Things with Denzel Washington and Rami Malek

Movie Review: The Little Things with Denzel Washington and Rami Malek
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Movie Review: The Little Things with Denzel Washington and Rami Malek

The HBO Max release of The Little Things  starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek is far better than the inadequate reviews it is getting from he movie “pros” detailing a deeper story about a serial murder mystery and the police detectives involved. Don’t listen to the reviews. Watch it. You will enjoy it

By Ray Hanania

If you relied on the movie reviewers to decide for you what to watch, you would never watch anything good. Most reviewers trashed the film “The Little Things” which premiered this week starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek. But the truth is the serial murder mystery co-story is gripping and fascinating.

“The Little Things,” which premiered on HBO Max Friday (Jan. 29, 2021) tells the story of the hunt for a serial killer in Los Angeles but adds several layers including about being a good cop. Denzel plays a former detective who returns to his Los Angeles district where he meets the guy who took his place, Rami Malek.

The film takes you into the problems Washington, who plays detective Joe “Deke” Deacon had when he was there and why he left, a parallel of what happens to many good cops who do the wrong things sometimes for the right reasons. Malek plays Jim Baxter.

Denzel Washington at the press conference of The Magnificent Seven, 2016 Toronto Film Festival

Denzel Washington at the press conference of The Magnificent Seven, 2016 Toronto Film Festival

In addition to Washington and Malek, the film has a great cast lineup.

Denzel Washington as Joe “Deke” Deacon, a Kern County Deputy Sheriff
Rami Malek as Jim Baxter, LASD Detective
Jared Leto as Albert Sparma
Chris Bauer as Detective Sal Rizoli
Michael Hyatt as Flo Dunigan
Terry Kinney as LASD Captain Carl Farris
Natalie Morales as Detective Jamie Estrada
Isabel Arraiza as Ana Baxter
Joris Jarsky as Detective Sergeant Rogers
Glenn Morshower as Captain Henry Davis
Sofia Vassilieva as Tina Salvatore
Jason James Richter as Detective Williams
John Harlan Kim as Officer Henderson
Frederick Koehler as Stan Peters
Judith Scott as Marsha
Maya Kazan as Rhonda Rathbun
Tiffany Gonzalez as Julie Brock
Anna McKitrick as Mary Roberts
Sheila Houlahan as Paige Callahan
Olivia Washington as Amy Anders
Ebony N. Mayo as Tamara Ewing
Lee Garlington as Landlady
Charlie Saxton as Felix

The Little Things gives you a different spin on serial killer films. It’s doesn’t dwell on the details fo the murders which dominate many other crime films to hold the audience hostage. Instead, it’s really about the challenges police who hunt done the criminals have to face.

In this plot, the two detectives follow a suspect, Albert Sparma suspect, who is played masterfully by Jared Leto. 

The unexpected turns make the film fascinating, things you don’t expect but with some real surprises.

I recommend it even if the “professional” movie reviewers don’t giving it mediocre reviews. One reviewer said it had great actors but a weak plot. Well, we know that many reviewers have a tendency to favor anything that panders to the far left, addressing narrowly focussed issues of Gay Rights, minority rights and police corruption. It’s not that hose shades of storytelling are not interesting in and of themselves. But sometimes, that’s all there is and we need more. Reality.

Instead, “The Little Things” speaks to the larger audience and to broader concerns and a wider perspective on real life

Here are some of the crappy reviews it received that you should ignore.

“This thriller suffers from somewhat jarring plot turns, some overcooked performances, and other flaws, but the sturdy, classical direction and Washington’s anguished performance make it worth seeing.”

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Common Sense Media

“A throwback thriller which brings nothing new to a crowded genre, and has little to say along the way. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, and, to be honest, they probably shouldn’t.”
Dan John
Empire
Some of the major stuff here works, including a performance from Washington that’s better than the movie around it (yet again), some striking L.A. cinematography, and an effective score, but one could say that it’s the little things that hold it back. A few big things too.
Roger Ebert Reviews

Clearly the reviews bring nothing new to the table either.

But since we are on the topic of great entertainment, there are a few other crime thrillers you should check out including the two season, 19 episode series “Mindhunter” which unfortunately didn’t get renewed for a 3rd season.

Although it should, “Mindhunter” is one of the better crime thrillers on TV, available from Netflix. The first two episodes were very slow which probably killed the ratings. Most people drop off if the start of a series doesn’t grab them by the neck from the get-go.

“Mindhunter,” based on the gripping book about how two FBI launched in the late 1970s expanded criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and profiling of murder suspects and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters. It stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv. The series touches on some of the countries worst serial muders and gets you too close to the real killers themselves.

Ray Hanania

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