7/10 While familiar and reminiscent of other films in its genre, “The Little Things” is still a well-made, fantastically acted and engaging film worth seeing. It is appropriate that the film takes place in 1990 since that was the decade of “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Seven” and other serial killer classics. Since the 90s we get those type of films occasionally (largely thanks to David Fincher) but nowhere nearly as much as we did back in the day. Since this film is very much in the same mold as those 90s thrillers, it only makes sense to set it back then. There is also the added element of danger when cell phones couldn’t get you out of a jam and cameras weren’t on every street corner, making criminals have an easier time with getting away with murder. The time period works, writer/director John Lee Hancock sets the eerie mood well with many scenes taking place in the black of night. Composer Thomas Newman provides a terrifically haunting score to creepily engage the audience and intensify every situation. Our three leading performers (all Academy Award winning actors) are mesmerizing, especially stand out Jared Leto as the creep who may or may not be the serial killer our detectives and police officers are chasing throughout the film. Sure, Denzel Washington’s character is one we’ve seen many times (are there any cops who aren’t jaded, washed up and worn down from years on the job in these movies?) but despite the familiarity of the character, Washington elevates the material and reminds us why he is the legend that he is. Rami Malek is the fresh boot who may be innocent and green but isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, which was an interesting combination for his character. Together the trio work well together and Leto had some surprisingly funny one-liners. I did enjoy the open ended finale as we have one big question unanswered (I have my theories) but are still left satisfied. Ironically, most of the film’s problems are…the little things. The cliché washed up cop, the elements from other serial killer films, one oddly edited moment where a shovel just kind of appears in a character’s hands, etc. None of the flaws are insultingly bad so I found myself enjoying this slow burn of a film. At just over two hours, I love when serial killer films take their time to establish the characters and it matches up with real life since it often takes thousands of man hours to catch a killer. Despite the little mistakes and feelings of déjà vu, “The Little Things” simultaneously feels refreshing since we haven’t had many well-made, high profile serial killer films with a cast this talented in a long time. There is some comfort in the familiarity and the production values look and sound so good that we don’t mind the minor flaws. Worth checking out for patient viewers who enjoy the genre.

#ADeaconOfHope / #InstantSparma / #TheMagnificentSevenImitation / #ShovelDownSomeFood / #AintThemBodiesAngels / #BiteClub

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