The Little Things review roundup: Critics call it a ‘recycled thriller’

the little things review

The initial reviews of crime thriller The Little Things, starring Denzel Washington, Jared Leto and Rami Malek, are out and so far, it looks like the film has not been able to impress critics. Directed by John Lee Hancock, the movie was carrying a lot of expectations as it stars three Oscar winners.

Here’s what critics are saying about The Little Things.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman called the film a “recycled thriller.” He wrote in his review of The Little Things, “You’ve really seen the rest of the movie before — almost literally, since The Little Things, written and directed by John Lee Hancock, is a serial-killer procedural that would like to be Se7en, with a great many touches lifted from Manhunter, but it plays more like a not-so-very-special episode of C.S.I.”

Collider’s Matt Goldberg called The Little Things “too conventional to be clever.” Giving the film a C-, he noted, “The Little Things is a movie writer/director John Lee Hancock has been trying to make for 30 years, and after seeing the finished product, it’s bizarre that he would be so devoted to such a pedestrian effort. Aside from its thematic conclusions (which I won’t spoil here), there’s nothing particularly disruptive or unique about what the film is doing.”

The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee called The Little Things “a big mess.” He opined, “It’s a film trapped between a low- and a highbrow version of a story we know all too well, landing firmly in the middle of the road. With elements of Seven and Zodiac in the mix, arguably the film it most resembles is Insomnia, both the Norwegian original and Christopher Nolan’s excellent remake, its very title recalling a key recurring line about focusing on the small things during an investigation.”

IGN’s Tom Jorgensen wrote in the review of The Little Things, “There’s a consistent disconnect between what the characters do and how they claim to feel about it, and it leaves The Little Things feeling muddled and unclear on what it’s trying to say.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney noted, “What keeps the film gripping is its textured scrutiny of the principal characters. Washington has played his share of cops both ethical and corrupt, and it’s rewarding to see him bring that range of screen history to the role of a haunted man, disillusioned by experience and damaged by his mistakes, his state of mind mirrored in his physical gravitas.”

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