too little, not enough
Nothing beats a good crime story. It has the contraptions to make an engaging plot: a city landscape with a noir background, a detective with conflicting morals and mysterious characters with seedy pasts. With a cast lineup featuring the likes of Jared Leto, Rami Malek and the legend himself Denzel, one would think The Little Things had plenty going for it to not fail. Shockingly, even with a cast line-up such as this the film falters in regards to its' main story and definitely lives up to the "little" part in its' title as the movie as a whole feels, for a lack of a better term, half empty. The film starts off promising, with Kern county deputy Joe Deacon (Denzel) getting involved with a serial killer case in L.A., evoking bad memories of a similar case he worked while rattling the cage with LASD detective Baxter (Malek) finding the culprit to the case. Not helping with matters is a shady loner called Albert (Leto) who's questionable behavior keeps throwing the detectives into a loop. Performance wise, all three leads deliver in spades. In terms of story, it feels diminished the further it gets to the end and by the time it does, it all accumulates to something anti-climatic to say the least. You don't get a sense of closure and then there's a bunch of loose ends that never get addressed, the importance of certain plot points suddenly getting dropped by the time the credits roll in; a slap to the face if it ever felt like it especially for this genre. The only enjoyment I got was watching Denzel in his master class form and Leto's creepy demeanor which for me stole the show. Unfortunately, strong performances aren't enough to save the movie from its' weak ending and inconsistent story. The Little Things, ironically, has very little to offer.