Academy Award-winning trio stars in new HBO thriller

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Photo credit: HBO Max

“The Little Things” was released by HBO Max on Jan. 29. The film is star-studded with roles played by Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. Each brings their own energy  that, together, creates an addicting serial killer thriller reminiscent of the ’90s genre. 

Director John Lee Hancock, who also wrote the script, created a film that reminds viewers of an iconic era of serial killer thrillers. Arguably two of the most memorable films being “Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and “Se7en” (1995). 

Detectives  Joe Deacon (Washington), an old-fashion cop with trauma from his past,  and Jim Baxter (Malek), a young hotshot, work  to solve a string  of murders in Los Angeles. 

A recent victim leads Deacon to suspect Albert Sparma, a repairman played by Leto with calculated creepiness. Sparma quickly becomes the investigation’s lead suspect.

A lack of damning evidence against Sparma begins to take its toll on Baxter. In that way, “The Little Things” reveals a  kinship with “Se7en,” where a criminal investigation becomes a corrosive personal obsession. The bond between Deacon and Baxter seems a bit forced, but with time it’s clear that they are more alike than either will admit. 

Hancock tells a much darker story than his other films like “The Blindside” (2009) and “Saving Mr. Banks” (2013). This change of writing proved to be mostly successful for Hancock. “The Little Things” is a story that isn’t necessarily unique, yet Hancock dodged cliches, instead provide us with a time capsule. 

The slow unraveling of events and plot twists, combined with blood-spattered crime scenes, is compelling. The psychological aspects of this film will send chills down your spine, but they may only appeal to those who can stomach the blood and gore.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sophia Pearson can be reached at orionmanagingedito[email protected] or @sophia__pearson on Twitter.

Online tags: Crime, HBO Max, Thriller