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Director: John Lee Hancock
Cast: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Chris Bauer, Michael Hyatt, Terry Kinney, Natalie Morales, Isabel Arraiza, Joris Jarksy, Glenn Morshower
Rating: (M) ★★★
REVIEWED BY JEREMY QUINN
The Little Things (Rialto, Reading) opens with a young woman driving alone down a highway at night, singing joyfully to The B-52s, while being followed by another motorist who eventually corners her in a deserted gas station.
It’s an obvious reference to a scene from The Silence of the Lambs, aka the granddaddy of the modern serial-killer police procedural.
As anyone who spent time in a ’90s multiplex will attest, these films were once a hugely popular mainstay of the line-up, but now that the genre has primarily shifted to television, I wonder if there’s still any room in our post-blockbuster world for this type of old-school, mid-budget thriller.
Of course, for a thriller to be successful, it needs to thrill, and this 1990-set throwback is about as thrilling as rummaging through a garbage bag filled with empty beer cans and pizza boxes (which coincidentally describes a plot point in the second act).
However, it’s always watchable, thanks mainly to another superlative Denzel Washington performance.
He plays a small-town deputy sheriff who finds himself in L.A. helping a detective (Rami Malek) track down a, you guessed it, serial killer who may or may not be a weirdo/loner/creep with a true-crime fetish (Jared Leto).
It makes more sense when you discover that writer-director John Lee Hancock (The Founder) penned the script back in 1993, although why he chose to make it now is anybody’s guess, given that it has little to contribute beyond being an enjoyable enough time-waster.