THE LITTLE THINGS (2021) – Two cops, a joker and a messy ending


Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

The Little Things has a stellar cast headed by three Academy Award winners. Denzel Washington and Rami Malek play homicide cops along side Jared Leto who plays a “maybe yes, maybe no” serial killer. On paper it looks like a psychological crime thriller in the veins of Seven or Zodiac. It’s been awhile since we had ourselves a good old fashion crime thriller and The Little Things showed promise of delivering the goods.

For the most part, The Little Things manages to sustain the momentum despite its slow pace. This thanks mainly to good performances by the Academy Awards winners alumni team. Denzel and Rami kept things interesting as unintended partners with a cat and mouse game to capture a serial killer on the loose. However, it was Jared Leto who had the more compelling character as the suspect. He had the best lines and best scenes to perform.

John Lee Hancock wrote and directed this. I found the film looking overall a bit too dark making it difficult to see the details, and the editing a bit distracting at times. For example, the film starts off with a gripping scene involving a young girl escaping from what may have been a killer, and then cuts to the story proper. We only see her connection to the plot much later in a relatively minor scene. I dare say some viewers may not have remembered her by then as she looked a bit different. You also need to be alert at the film’s opening scene with the words October 1990 being flashed briefly otherwise you may be left wondering what era the overall film is set in. The only reason I can see for this is probably to serve the film’s storyline which would simply not work in a modern day environment that is over dependent on mobile devices.

As we began to get more and more invested with the case, we are naturally eager to reach the conclusion, expecting some sort of twist and ultimately justice being served. Alas, for me, the movie just began falling apart in its final 30 minutes. Rami Malek’s character begins to make uncharacteristic bad judgements and the plot becomes increasingly bewildering. I did not like the ending and, it spoilt the overall movie for me. Instead of providing the proper closure what we get were a set of new questions to be answered. I am all for unorthodox or open-ended endings but here, it feels more like being short changed than enthralled. Perhaps I was a bit slow in capturing the meaning of some of the final moments, as I admit I had to google for “the little things ending explained” to get my closure.

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