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The Guilty Is a Crazy, Emotional Roller Coaster Ride That You Have to See for Yourself

Joey is a movie enthusiast and loves to watch movies and review them.


Background and Information

The Guilty is a brand new, tension building thriller from Netflix starring academy award nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a distressed police officer turned 911 operator as he awaits trial for his actions. What starts as a boring day on the job quickly takes a turn down a tension driven path that never lets up. It was shown at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival on September 11, 2021, and is scheduled to have a limited release on September 24, 2021 with its worldwide release on October 1st, 2021. I was lucky to get my hands on this film early to bring you this review.

Review and Opinions

I just want to come out and say that Jake Gyllenhaal’s acting is some of the best acting I have seen in a movie this year. His random spouts of anger, to his frustration, and even sadness, are performed very well, and just show what a great actor Jake Gyllenhaal can be when given a role that brings out his strengths. The overall story is very simple and pretty much the entire setting of the film is set in Jake Gyllenhaal’s little 911 operator’s cubicle, but the acting of Jake Gyllenhaal and the voice acting of all of the supporting characters draws out certain emotions within the audience that really allows for you to care about the characters and what they are going through. Despite the story being very simple, there are a few unexpected twists and turns that keep you engaged in the movie and care about what is going on in the overall story.

That being said, I do believe that there are small, brief moments where the story drags and you can find yourself getting bored and just wanting to see what happens at the end. These moments are quickly overshadowed by a brand new twist in the plot that I never saw coming. The movie is slightly under an hour and a half, which I believe is a very good thing because if this movie was any longer I think there would be very long moments where it gets very boring.

The lack of action scenes, as well, is also a reason why the story might drag in a few instances. This might be a turnoff for some viewers because you hear about all of these crazy things happening over the phone, but never actually see any of these things occur. It can honestly be frustrating for a viewer sometimes because you just want to know what’s going on but you have no means of knowing. I do believe this was intentional, so that the director could build tension in the film and have you feeling the exact same frustration and anger as Jake Gyllenhaal’s character was feeling throughout the film.

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The character development throughout the film is also lacking. The do not take the time to fully develop any characters and just plop you right into the narrative with no backstory or anything. You do, in fact, start to learn about characters backstories and narratives throughout the story, but it would have been nice to know these thing a little sooner. Despite the lack of character development, the performances from the cast really allows for you to feel for them and care what happens in the end of the movie.

The ending is very quick and brief, but is very satisfying and makes the journey and what the characters learned throughout the journey really shine and be at the forefront.

Conclusion and Final Verdict

In conclusion, The Guilty is a tension driven, roller coaster ride of a narrative that never lets up and will have you on the edge of your seat for the majority of the movie. Despite the lack of character development, the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and the supporting cast really allow for you to feel the emotions that the characters are going though throughout the movie. The lack of action scenes, however, may be a turnoff for some viewers, but this recipe of tension and emotions that this movie really invokes uses this to its advantage. Overall, I did enjoy this movie and recommend it to anyone who loves movies with a lot of tension building and an emotion driven narrative. My final verdict for The Guilty is a 7/10.

The Guilty: 7/10

© 2021 Joseph Coviello

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