The Little Things

January 29, 202150/1006 min
Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jered Leto
Written by
John Lee Hancock
Directed by
John Lee Hancock
Run Time
2h 7min
Relese Date
January 29th, 2021
Overall Score
Rating Summary


With true crime seeing like it is all the rave these days, with endless podcast and streaming documentaries, you would assume Hollywood wouldn’t be too far behind to jump on the train. This territory though isn’t new for movies, as there has been films about crime long before being a digital detective was a thing. I for one love a good detective story and have always loved a noirs, even to the point I accepted some of the neo-noirs of the late nineties. Flash forward to 2021 and writer/director John Lee Hancock is taking inspiration from those from the late nineties for his latest The Little Things.

In the real world L.A. County has been the home to some of the most notorious serial killers, with the likes of The Night Stalker and Hillside Strangler, so it is fitting to use that city as a back ground for a fictional manhunt. Deke Deacon (Denzel Washington) used to be a detective for L.A. County until a case he was working on broke him, causing him to take up being a patrol officer in a quite county, where the most exciting thing that happens is a sign getting broken. Deke though is about to go back to the big city to retrieve some evidence for a case and when he gets there he finds himself intrigued with an investigation that is gripping the city. The detective working the case, Jim Baker (Rami Malek) is a young hot shot, but after running into Deke and getting some info on him, invites Deke to tag along to the latest crime scene. Once there the blood starts pumping and Deke starts to do his own thing and tries to help Baker solve the case. Their work together leads them to a suspect named Albert (Jered Leto) who seems to check all the boxes, but still has a few secrets that need discovering. The clock is ticking though and these two detectives need to find a murderer before time runs out.

The Little Things  starts off with some promise with a scene that no one would want to experience on a lonely, dark highway. Follow that up with the entrance of the always great Denzel and you have gotten off on the right foot. The story by Hancock sticks to the standard detective path, but does take a detour at about the half way point, or when Leto enters the picture. That is also the same time my interest in the film started to wain, as Leto’s character or at least how he chose to play him just didn’t feel like it was the right choice. In fact of the three leads, the only one who feels right is Washington, who is good in just about any role. The mis-casting is not the only flaw, as the score also feels out of place, which starts adding up pieces to my disappointment that this wasn’t as good as it was intending to be. Comparing this to those neo-noir films of the nineties feels pretty fitting, as most of those offering were not very good or memorable either. They always say the little things mean the most, well in this case, it was most of the big things that I was just plain disappointed in.

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