The aggressively mediocre Jared Leto neo-noir thriller on Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)

Film News

The aggressively mediocre Jared Leto neo-noir thriller on Netflix

John Lee Hancock has had his fair share of hits and misses in the film industry. From the acclaimed The Founder and Saving Mr. Banks to the sports dramas The Rookie and The Blind Side, his repertoire is varied, to say the least. However, a lesser-known movie from Hancock’s filmography has risen up the ranks on Netflix this week. This one stars Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Rami Malek alongside Jared Leto.

With a title that echoes other popular crime dramas like Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere, Hancock’s neo-noir thriller The Little Things has a name that feels instantly derivative. Even the plot is reminiscent of detective dramas like True Detective, where the protagonists brood more than they solve crimes against well-lit backdrops. In short, The Little Things brings in nothing new in an already-oversaturated genre.

This week, The Little Things has found its way to the second spot on Netflix’s top ten list of films globally between April 1st and April 7th, 2024. It has garnered 8.7million individual views and clocked in at 18.6 million hours viewed. With Washington, Malek, and the controversial Leto headlining the film, on paper, this lineup promises an engaging and thrilling cinematic experience. However, as the old adage goes, sometimes the sum is not greater than its parts.

The film follows Deputy Sheriff Joe Deke Deacon (Denzel Washington), who teams up with LASD Detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) to track down a serial killer terrorising Los Angeles. As they delve deeper into the investigation, they encounter Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), a peculiar loner who becomes their primary suspect. What unfolds is a game of cat and mouse, but the truth becomes increasingly elusive.

Despite the star-studded cast and the potential for a gripping narrative, The Little Things falls short of expectations. Critics have been divided, with some praising the performances while others criticise the screenplay. Even if the film’s pulpy nature could appeal to a subset of fans, its ridiculous plotting requires a significant suspension of disbelief. However, there are moments of beauty amidst the chaos, where the neon-lit streets of Los Angeles serve as a backdrop to the characters’ moral dilemmas.

With a production budget of $30million, The Little Things struggled to make a mark at the box office, grossing just $31million worldwide. While it may not have been a commercial success, its presence on Netflix’s top ten list indicates a certain level of curiosity among audiences. Perhaps it’s the allure of seeing three talented actors share the screen or the promise of a gritty crime thriller set in the City of Angels that is pulling folks in. After all, if you are a fan of a niche genre, you are more likely to lap up every offering that comes your way.

In the end, The Little Things is very familiar to genre fans. But for all its occasional moments of brilliance, the overall vibe could be some shade of bland. But you can still give it a shot and find out for yourself.

You can watch The Little Things on Netflix and catch the trailer here: