The Guilty

The Guilty ★★★

Full disclosure: we watched this somewhat drunk after a day carousing around Louisville with friends. They showed us the city, we took a riverboat tour, went to a distillery, and even watched a horse race at the fabled Churchill Downs. Real Kentucky shit, y'know? It was great. Then, lounging around their house with a massive pile of takeout Chinese food, this movie was somehow chosen by the group.

I figured we would all lose attention after chatting away for the first half and then throw on a standup comedy special, but somehow The Guilty grabbed all of us. We - a group of four chatty thirtysomethings who'd spent the day drinking whiskey and yelling at a horse track - somehow actually followed the story and mostly just munched our food while watching Jake Gyllenhaal's almost one man show. One thing I can confidently say is that he really went for it; he's the sole thing on screen most of the time and he commands attention, filling out the entire narrative along with the handful of voice actors we hear through his headset. It's really effective.

I can't say anything deeper about it, I mean aside from being buzzed it's a pretty straightforward thriller in the mold of Joel Schumacher's Phone Booth and uses its extremely limited space pretty well. Pipes along at a good speed, ends in ninety minutes, draws you in with a tell-don't-show structure - does what it says on the tin basically. Maybe I'd think differently on a rewatch, but I think if I ever do come back to this story, it'll be the 2018 Danish film this was based on.

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