'The Little Things' brings together the prodigious talent of three Oscar winners – Denzel Washington ('Glory' and 'Training Day'), Rami Malek ('Bohemian Rhapsody') and Jared Leto ('Dallas Buyer’s Club'), but could have put these fine actors to better use.
With all this star power there were parts that worked well – Denzel Washington’s performance, the score and some great LA cinematography were particular highlights – but the film didn’t live up to its full potential.
The plot is your standard detective story of cat and mouse. In the film, Deputy Sheriff Joe 'Deke' Deacon (Denzel Washington) teams up with Detective Sergeant Joe Baxter (Rami Malek) to look for a new serial killer preying on young women in LA during the 1990s. Deke is a local Deputy Sheriff who joins forces with an ambitious city detective (Malek) who is the lead on the case. Those who have seen the movie poster can guess the chief suspect.
Denzel Washington puts on a stellar performance but is constrained by an often predictable script. Malek’s and Leto’s portrayal of their characters do not live up to the talents they have shown in previous roles: Leto has a tendency to overact and Malek’s role could have been more substantial.
While those who love crime thrillers can probably guess the outcome, it’s still a really enjoyable film. There are a few plot twists and red herrings to keep audiences on their toes. The film also does a great job of transporting viewers to LA, with gorgeously shot scenes and a very strong sense of place.
While 'The Little Things' is a weaker story than writer/director John Lee Hancock’s previous work ('The Blind Side', 'Saving Mr Banks'), it’s still a good night out.