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The Guilty movie review: Jake Gyllenhaal stuns in this taut, claustrophobic thriller

The Guilty movie review: What would otherwise be a well-made but flawed thriller becomes an engrossing experience due to Jake Gyllenhaal's performance.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
The Guilty, jake gyllenhaalThe Guilty movie review: This Jake Gyllenhaal movie is the remake of a Danish thriller. (Photo: Netflix)

The Guilty movie director: Antoine Fuqua
The Guilty movie cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Christina Vidal, Riley Keough
The Guilty movie rating: 2.5 stars

The Guilty is American remake of Danish film Den Skyldige, which was Denmark’s official entry in Oscars 2019’s Best Foreign Film category. Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty is one of those taut, one-location thrillers.

The actor plays the role of a harried, irascible Los Angeles cop who is dealing with an unspecified violent incident that occurred months ago. It resulted in him being relegated to desk duty. He also misses his little daughter after estrangement with his wife, perhaps a consequence of the said incident.

Having to field a slew of calls, he gets fixated on the case of one caller, a woman who claims she was kidnapped by an unknown assailant from her home and is being taken somewhere. He makes it his life’s goal to rescue the woman, trying not just to help a human being but also find redemption in the process.

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Like many other one-location thrillers of its kind, The Guilty is miserly with information, doling it out in pieces. It uses its lack of information to fool the viewer into thinking in a particular direction, when the reality is something entirely different.

The script is not without its issues, though. The plot and themes do not always gel together and fall into place. Its conclusion is abrupt, there are plot holes and the big twist towards the end, at least for those paying attention, would be fairly predictable.

But Gyllenhaal’s fiercely committed performance makes the movie more than worthwhile. The film itself was Gyllenhaal’s idea, who commissioned a remake soon after watching the Danish original. And indeed, he carries the film, ensuring viewers are glued to the screen even when the plot gets lax.


And The Guilty, which would otherwise be a well-made but flawed thriller becomes an engrossing experience due to the central performance. The Guilty is streaming on Netflix.

First published on: 03-10-2021 at 08:14 IST
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