The Guilty (2021), Jake Gyllenhaal, Netflix

THE GUILTY (2021): The Things I Liked…

The Guilty, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keogh, Paul Dano and Ethan Hawke’s latest crime/drama/thriller about a demoted police officer assigned to a call dispatch desk is well-acted, though not exactly perfect.

Director Antoine Fuqua’s film is intense, and I like that immediately it’s clear that Gyllenhaal’s character, Joe Baylor is far from the model police officer. I enjoyed how the intensity built up as the movie played, especially since the action takes place in two rooms. Nevertheless, at times I did find myself frustrated by the pacing. 

Another frustration is the story edit towards the end when we learn the truth of Keogh’s character. I’m not sure what could have happened differently. However, I am sure that the story edit in that moment and one or two others left me wanting. 

The most expected thing about The Guilty, besides a good performance from Gyllenhaal, is the increase in my appreciation for the work that first responders do. Especially the ones who do absolutely everything they can to help. 

I was surprised not to recognise any of the voices of the well-known actors. Specifically the ones the audience only get to meet through how they sound when they speak to Joe Baylor on the phone. I still can’t tell you which characters Paul Dano, Ethan Hawke and Peter Sarsgaard played. Is it just me?

Give The Guilty a chance if you’re curious. The story will break your heart in multiple ways, and the intense moments are a highlight, even if you end up wishing for a slightly different story edit. 

If you want a brilliantly executed story set in one place, and where you only meet the other characters through their voice over the telephone, I can’t recommend Locke (2013) enough.

Happy Film Loving

G

11 thoughts on “THE GUILTY (2021): The Things I Liked…”

  1. I do notice that they are always advertising for 911 dispatchers around here. It can’t be an easy job. Sorry to hear it wasn’t all you were hoping for.

  2. I actually liked this better than I thought I would. I too wished that it would have progressed a little faster at times. I did find myself staying with it because I was so intent on what would happen next.

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