'The Little Things': Sink or Stream?

Should you give up on this investigation and let it sink, or look at the little things that might make this film worth a stream?

By Jesse Conner

Jared Leto in "The Little Things."

© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

The Little Things

Drama / 2021 / R

Deputy Sheriff Joe "Deke" Deacon joins forces with Sgt. Jim Baxter to search for a serial killer who's terrorizing Los Angeles. As they track the culprit, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke's past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.

The little things in life that go unnoticed can sometimes be the most important things we should be paying attention to.

In this week's new release "The Little Things," one cop doesn't much pay attention to the smaller details, another thinks only of them, and a self-proclaimed crime junkie/suspect lives in them.

When we wrote up our trailer breakdown of the film's preview, it was clear that someone in this group is guilty, but we didn't have all the information yet to decide who...now we do.

It's time then for us to share some of our insights (no spoilers) so that you can decide whether to sink or stream this flick.

Reasons to Sink

© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

  • There's a significant number of small details that you'll have to remember and understand in order to fully understand this story, so at times it can be hard to keep track of every nuance that's presented.
  • The plot feels purposely overdrawn in order to build up the mystery and stay within its ominous tone, but in doing so it actually stretches it too thin. The shifts can feel more exhausting than mysterious.
  • Without much action occurring in the film (or at least not as much as you might expect), it can feel like you're on a never-ending stakeout.

Reasons to Stream

© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

  • There are 3 Oscar-winning actors (Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, & Rami Malek) in this movie, all of whom give fantastic performances which reach different levels of cringing intensity.
  • Director John Lee Hancock does a terrific job of sprinkling breadcrumbs of information throughout the film. Later, he's able to reincorporate them in ways that foreshadow where the movie may head...or not.
  • This film has an effective approach - it tells a crime story, delivers an unnerving experience, and provides a conclusion that many likely won't see coming.

Sink or Stream?

After watching "The Little Things," we're somewhat on the fence, but we think it's worth a stream.

The hype may have been a bit high, but there's no arguing one thing - these Oscar-winning actors bring their A game.

Also, Hancock should be commended for creating an atmosphere where audiences will be guessing every step of the way about the protagonists' ultimate motives. Whatever they feel about the finale, it's not easily decipherable in the lead-up - and that's by design.

Watch it in theaters or Stream it on HBO Max

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