One of the seven deadly sins of moviemaking—perhaps the deadliest—is boring an audience. Having just been victimized by The Little Things the least I can do is share my experience with you.
Denzel Washington stars as a former LAPD homicide detective who has been reassigned to routine sheriff’s deputy duty out in the boondocks. It takes a while to find out what skeletons are rattling in his closet, but during a brief trip to L.A. he meets his replacement, a bright, dedicated man played by Rami Malek. His current task is trying to catch a serial rapist and killer. With no clues to go on, he accepts Washington’s offer of help, and before long he begins to adopt Washington’s obsessive tendencies. Jared Leto is their number-one suspect, but they have no proof of his guilt.
This causes both men to do things that can only lead to trouble. Have they forgotten the laws they swore to uphold or have they just taken leave of their senses? I don’t know the answer.
The Little Things is pointless, preposterous, and seemingly endless. It is far from Washington’s best work, and unworthy of his talented costars. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. John Lee Hancock says he has lived with this story for nearly thirty years; it’s a wonder that neither he nor anyone else recognized its plot holes, which are considerable. The only aspect of the film that’s notable is a very modern-sounding score by the great Thomas Newman…but that’s not reason enough to sit through this terrible movie.