A troubled police detective demoted to 911 operator duty attempts to help a distressed caller during a shocking day of revelations — and reckonings.
Simply put, Antoine Fuqua's thriller is a worthy entry into those rare films that thrive using the little things to make a big statement.
Starring the talented Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty sees the actor play Joe Baylor, an LAPD officer whose experience working the night shift at a 911 center becomes a defining moment in his life and those of four other individuals.
Among the numerous calls Joe receives is one of distress from a troubled woman who has been taken against her will by her husband, with their little kids left home by themselves.
The protagonist must use his wits, will, and experience as a law enforcement agent to solve what eventually reveals itself to be a heinous crime.
What the film lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in wonderful and mesmerizing acting from Gyllenhaal. His character is in the middle of a major crisis as his court case is set for the next day. As he delves deeper into the woman named Emily's case, his connection with her family and the unspeakable deed done leads to him experiencing catharsis, leaving him a far better man.
Gyllenhaal's name attracted me to this film as I am a fan of his. The director, Antoine Fuqua, also has an impressive record when it comes to making movies, so I expected something worthwhile. Neither of them disappointed me.
With a very small cast, restricted shots, and camera angles, The Guilty uses the only thing it has to its advantage; a gripping emotional story. In this, it succeeds spectacularly.
As the lead, Gyllenhaal simply makes you never want to miss a second of seeing him convince you that he is whoever he wants you to believe he is. He left me awed, tugging at my heartstrings with his performance.
The Guilty is a remarkable thriller, one made by a filmmaker who knows his thing, with the help of an actor who is at the top of his game.