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THE LITTLE THINGS (2021) – My rating: 7.2/10

The Little Things is a neo-noir crime thriller written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and produced by Hancock and Mark Johnson. The Little Things was released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures. I had hoped for more substance in this film, which was just ok.

The Little Things opens in the year 1990, with a young girl driving on the highway, stalked by someone in a pick-up truck. In a panic, she pulls over at a gas station, the driver exits his vehicle and follows her. She knocks on the windows and doors but the gas station is closed causing her to run on foot through the desert. Ending up on another road, she is able to solicit a passing truck driver and escape.

The Little Things then switches to what appears to be sometime in the near future. In Bakersfield, CA, deputy sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington) of Kern County is assigned to pick up evidence that pertains to a recent murder from the LA County Sheriff’s Department. While there, Deacon, a former LA Sheriff’s detective, accompanies newly appointed lead detective Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek) to the scene of a recent murder in LA. Deacon notices similarities between the MO of this killing and the MO of an old serial murder case he was unable to solve.

That night, a woman, named Ronda Rathbun (Maya Kazan), is followed by a car while jogging and is reported missing the following morning. Detective Baxter learns from the precinct’s captain, Carl Farris (Terry Kinney), that Deacon got divorced and suffered a heart attack due to his obsession with the unsolved case. He’s warned not to involve Deacon any further into this new case considering Deacon to be unstable, however, Deacon takes vacation leave in order to continue assisting in solving Baxter’s case.

So we know that The Little Things has a couple of issues going on.  The girl who escaped from the pick-up truck’s driver, the new murder in LA, and the old murder Deacon was unable to solve.  Things get pretty strange as Deacon and Baxter are very much alike and will do anything to solve their case.  Together you would think these two would be unbeatable and by seeing the movie you will get to determine if that’s true or not.  I found The Little Things to be a little slow but interesting.  Washington and Malek are both Academy Award winners for Best Actor and I can’t help but believe that because of their superb performances, they pulled off an otherwise slow and somewhat boring film.  I can’t say that I was entertained but I did find the movie interesting enough to see it to the end.  The conclusion was unpredictable and leaves you questioning if the end justifies their methodology.  I don’t consider The Little Things one of Washington’s or Malek’s best but I recommend it anyway.  The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances, direction, and atmosphere, but noted the film as familiar and criticized the screenplay, with some comparing it unfavorably to the 1995 film Seven. As of February 8, 2021, The Little Things has grossed $7.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $5.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $13.1 million. The Little Things streams on HBO Max for 31 days starting January 29th, 2021.  check It Out!