This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
John Roberts’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I love a movie with layers, and this one does not disappoint.
Candy Apple Red. How about that?
Review after having some time to think:
This isn't a bad movie. My feelings right after watching it were that it was a solid film with some heavy hitters in the main roles and a laser-focused plot (kind of like Malek's laser-focus on Leto, even absent evidence).
After looking at some other reviews and reading this ( slate.com/culture/2021/01/little-things-movie-review-hbo-max-denzel-washington-copaganda.html ), I have mellowed slightly. The movie loses half a star (so it's a 3.5 now for me).
The score has some odd moments, like at the end, when the music is hitting an almost inspirational tone, just as you're learning that Leto probably isn't the killer and Washington has just lied to Malek to ease his conscience.
I also found the introduction of the dead women into Washington's hotel room to be really odd. Like is he supposed to be so haunted by them that he sees them all the time? Why is the one girl basically eating his foot?
I disagree with a lot of things the Slate article says. For instance, I don't find this to be an instance of copaganda. You don't feel good about the cops at the end. They broke all the rules, murdered two people, covered it up and continue to be haunted by it. At no point do they say anything like "Oh great, at least we got the murderer." Malek isn't excited when he gets the beret in the mail, he's just relieved, because he thinks he can at least forgive himself. If this was meant to be copaganda, you would get the message that their violations of the law and the murders are worth it, because they get the bad guy, but as the movie ends it is abundantly clear that you have no real idea if Leto is the bad guy or not.