Movie Reviews,  Reviews

The Little Things – An inferior version of ‘Seven’

Runtime2h 7m
GenreCrime/Drama/Psychological Thriller
RatingR (Violence, Profanity, Nudity)

Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto stars in a movie titled ‘The Little Things’ – You are bound to expect Big Things with these three names alone!

Set in 1990s, The Little Things focusses on two cops who are in pursuit of a serial killer. Denzel Washington stars as Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon, a disgraced former Los Angeles Cop who lives a quiet life as a deputy in Kern County. On a forensics assignment to Los Angeles, he gets unofficially involved in the hunt for a serial killer led by detective Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek). Deke find similarities between the current case and the one he used to handle. Soon, they zero in on a loner named Albert Sparma (Jared Leto) as their prime suspect.

Little Things vs Seven

The Little Things has many similarities with Seven, David Fincher’s masterpiece. Both movies key in on the obsession and desperation of the cops in finding the killer. They have contrasting, mismatched cops as the protagonists. We have the old veteran played by Denzel Washington and the Rami Malek as the hot-shot detective resembling the characters of Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt respectively. There is a suspect who manages to psychologically hold the upper hand on the cops. While the pacing and structure is consistent with Seven, The Little Things suffers from tonal inconsistency.

The Little Things has a promising start with a tense and unsettling pursuit of a young woman by a mysterious person. Then, we are introduced to our protagonists and how they join forces in trying to solve the case forms the rest of the movie. Slow burn thrillers are memorable as it allows a better balance between character and plot development. Unfortunately, The Little Things, being a slow burn movie, lacks on both fronts.

From a whodunit to a character study

The Little Things starts as a whodunit, then tries to work around as a procedural crime drama and ends up becoming a character study. The acting by the three leads are excellent. Denzel as the tormented cop gives a subtle, subdued and understated performance. Remi as the energetic and passionate detective and Leto as the creepy suspect gives their best with what’s on offer. Unfortunately, the characters lack emotional resonance or any identifiable traits. The back story is not strong enough to make the audience care who they are or how they’re connected to each other. Hence, the empathy we feel with Somerset and Mills in Seven is completely missing here.

The Little Things is a good looking movie with a fantastic cast and an interesting premise let-down by its writing editing, pacing, and tonal inconsistency. The movie feels like it’s trying to say so many things but it never quite reaches the mark.


The Little Things is disjointed, muddled and unable to decide what kind of movie it wants to be. It is definitely watchable, but with this cast, the payoff should have been much better.

Image source: IMDB
Video Credits: YouTube

Have you read my review on Memories of Murder? Read here

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