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The Only Good Thing “The Little Things” Has To Offer Is Denzel’s Face And Jared’s Acting Skills

the little things hbo max review
Photo Credit: HBO Max

I have to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been this disappointed after asking for a screener to watch a film with a strong Black lead in it. Ever! Normally the films I tend to hate, are ones I knew better than to watch in the first place, like Little Women. And sometimes I see a great cast and ignore the warnings of others and then end up regretting it afterwards, like Playing with Fire. So as much as I hate writing this review about the new HBO Max film, The Little Things, staring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto, I feel like it’s my duty to warn you. Right?

When I read the description for HBO Max’s new psychological thriller, The Little Things, despite being a tad bit confused on what was going to happen, and if it sounded interesting enough to watch, I added it to my list of films to watch in 2021, because god damn it Denzel Washington is in it and how could I not support a film with my man Den!?”

Well … a few days ago, at 4am … yup, 4am in the god damn morning, I learned how wrong I could be! I was extremely excited to watch The Little Things on HBO Max, but seriously you guys, please lower your expectations, or this review will have been written for nothing.

So here we go …

A Review Of The Little Things Movie On HBO Max

the little things hbo max movie poster

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The Little Things on HBO Max is incredibly disappointing and dull …

If you thought Locked Down on HBO Max was a snooze fest allow me to introduce you to The Little Things. Where the only eventful thing that happens here is watching Denzel Washington slip out a window and shimmy on down a pole at his old age.

Okay, so maybe a bit more happened than that, but honestly almost everything else was dull and dare I say pointless?

If you just wanna watch Denzel’s face for 2 hours and hear his voice then by all means please watch this! (Because I haven’t watched a film with him in it for awhile, and I have to say it was REALLY nice to just hear his voice and see him on screen.)

However, if you’re looking for an actual psychological thriller that’ll keep you on your toes and have you busting out a notepad to keep track of all the blues clues to find the missing girls ya self as if the FBI just hired you yesterday outta the whim and you wanna make a good impression … don’t bother.

And if you’re one of those people who hate unsolved mysteries by all means sit this one out.

Because the ending of The Little Things is probably the most frustrating thing ever! This was as uneventful as the wigs in A Fall From Grace were bad! And where A Fall From Grace seemed to actually give us an ounce of action in the last ten minutes, the ending of The Little Things only added fuel to the fire.

For a 2 hr feature that screams “it’s the little things that matter” The Little Things sure did lack a lot of tiny details!

And just when they finally start handing information out, like cheap a** pizza being passed around the work party your boss begged you to attend because “food would be there”, you find out that there’s no more pizza left! Yup, they only bought one damn box of pizza, for the 10 staff members they knew would show up! And if you think that long a** analogy is a tad bit too dramatic, that’s literally how scarce the details were at the end!

Look … the acting was good, but the story falls short.

I really expected more from a film with Denzel as the star but I guess he was just a name on a flyer to get people into the club? And of course I’m grateful for getting to see him act again but we’re probably all better off just watching Training Day for the millionth time if you need to see his face that bad!

Even Jared Leto’s awesome characterization of a serial killer isn’t enough to hold my attention long enough for me to sit back and FEEL things in this movie. I legit forgot Jared was in this until the end credits started scrolling! Like that’s how amazing he is.

That’s how well he transforms into his characters. But the moment I started liking him, or hating him, the scene was over and it’s on to the next, on on to the next one! SMH! Had I seen this in theaters, the next thing I’d be singing is … FREEZE! Somebody bring me back my money please!

Here’s what I needed from this film …

Answers!

Some of the situations were super easy to figure out – like Joe’s past, which became clear about half way through, and then super duper clear when they gave us a glimpse of what happened in the last 10 minutes of the film! But by then I didn’t even care what Joe had done in the past because the movie was OVER! And the situation was so simple, that I discarded it quickly! Had this Joe, turned out to be like our favorite Joe — Joe Goldberg, from Netflix’s hit series “You”, I would have been more excited and the ending would have immediately enhanced this film.

Hell, had Denzel been the cop who “thinks like a killer, because he once was a killer”, I would have been more interested. But after almost 2 hours of no action, Joe being such a simple guy bored me even more.

Another thing that bothered the hell outta me was Detective Baxter’s relationship with his wife, and the lack of details given about their strained marriage.

Every time I saw them together, something felt off. She looked at him like something was WRONG! Part of me thought it had to do with the missing girls, and that maybe someone who was missing was related to him?

But the movie never dug that deep.

And I needed those emotions to pull on my heart strings.

Then came the ending, which should have put our suspicions to rest, but instead created more conflict and confusion!

Was Albert Sparma actually the killer? Did he fake innocence well and actually killed those girls, or was he actually the innocent one? Sadly, we never got those answers and Jared played this damn role so well he had me convinced he was and wasn’t the killer! Listen, I know how crazy that sounds, but it’s true! And what’s even crazier than that? With the performance Jared gave, I wouldn’t have cared if he was or wasn’t the killer, I just needed a damn yes or no!

We never got one.

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So yeah, The Little Things focused on all the wrong things …

It left us with too many plot holes and questions left unanswered! We never found out who the killer was, we never found out why Detective Baxer cared so much about the “original”, we never found out where the girl was buried! Pretty much anything that could have enhanced this film was missing. And Denzel’s face, nor Jared’s incredible acting skills could ever fix that!

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Written by Shaye Wyllie

Shaye is an Entertainment Writer from Brooklyn, NY and a big fan of anything and everything superpowers related (especially if kids/teens are involved), cooking + baking shows (like MasterChef Junior and Cupcake Wars), teen dramas, sitcoms, comedies, and legal dramas. When she's not binging the latest series on Netflix or writing, you can find her spilling her thoughts on the Brown Side of Disney Chat or creating YouTube videos with her daughter for their new family site, Popcorn and Tater Tots.

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