35 user 24 critic

Small Crimes (2017)

TV-MA | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 28 April 2017 (USA)
2:46 | Trailer
A disgraced former cop, fresh off a six-year prison sentence for attempted murder - returns home looking for redemption but winds up trapped in the mess he left behind.


E.L. Katz (as Evan Katz)


E.L. Katz (screenplay by) (as Evan Katz), Macon Blair (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Joe Denton
Robert Forster ... Joe Denton Sr.
Jacki Weaver ... Irma Denton
Molly Parker ... Charlotte Boyd
Gary Cole ... Dan Pleasant
Macon Blair ... Scotty Caldwell
Michael Kinney ... Phil Coakley
Daniela Sandiford ... Cara Coakley
Shawn Lawrence ... Manny Vassey
Pat Healy ... Junior Vassey
Eddie Holland Eddie Holland ... Vassey Kid #1
Jasson Finney Jasson Finney ... Vassey Thug #1
Anatoly Zinoviev Anatoly Zinoviev ... Vassey Thug #2
Glen Bowser Glen Bowser ... Abraham
Larry Fessenden ... Earl
Learn more

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SMALL CRIMES is a delightfully suspenseful, blackly comic tale that follows a disgraced former cop, fresh off a six-year prison sentence for attempted murder, who returns home looking for redemption, but winds up trapped in the mess he left behind.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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prison | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Did You Know?


In the novel, Phil Coakley and his daughter Cara are Caucasian. In the film, they are African American. See more »


When Joe is pouring wine for himself and Charlotte, about half way through the film, he looks in the fridge at some morphine and the fridge door doesn't close properly. See more »


[first lines]
Chaplin: So what do you think, Joe?
Joe Denton: [scoffs] I don't know. I dont think thats for me to say. A second chance? I mean, it's a nice idea, but...
Chaplin: But? How do you feel?
Joe Denton: Feel? I feel that I was a nightmare. I made terrible choices. I drove my family away. I... I hurt people. I didn't mean to, but there it is. And for all that... there's a hole inside me now. It hurts. I carry it.
See more »


Hot on Your Heels
Written by Rob Galpin (as Galpin), Craig Stegall (as Stegall), Mark Schenker (as Schenker), Jimmy Chalfant (as Chalfant)
Performed by Funny Money
Courtesy of BMG Production Music
See more »

User Reviews

1 Of 3 Netflix Gems From 2017
10 May 2019 | by PCT1970See all my reviews

E.L. Katz directs and co-writes an appreciable crime drama. I knew this film was going to be beguiling from the first scene when Joe, the central character, explains to the prison's chaplain about how he has changed during his jail stint. Upon leaving the chaplain asks Joe, "Would you like to take communion"? Joe replies, "Oh no. I'm all good". This film has considerable direction, cinematography, screenplay and acting. All of the artists involved deliver appreciable performances with Forster, Parker, Weaver and Cole standing out, but Coster-Waldau commands the screen. The plot revolves around Joe Denton who is a former cop being released from jail after serving a six year sentence. He returns to his hometown feeling the need to seek absolution for his past actions. His first goal is to reunite with his children, but they have moved and no one in the family wants Joe near the children due to the chaos he causes. Joe was in debt to a mob boss, Manny for gambling. Joe and another cop Dan had to repay Manny by carrying out any task he assigned. One task leads to the death of Joe's partner, Billy and the disfigurement of an attorney, Phil. Upon his release Phil sets a trap using his daughter Cara but Joe defends himself and brutally beats the men off. Cara is terrified and unwilling to testify against Joe. Phil informs Joe that he can press charges against the men but he's not interested. Joe takes a verbal thrashing from Dan who tells him he'd kill him in Phil wasn't in the room and calls him a Judas. Joe simply wants to put everything in the past and seek redemption. Soon after Joe and Dan meet in a ballpark only to find out that Dan drags Joe back into trouble. He gives Joe cash that was owed to him from six years earlier and then informs him that Manny is on his death bed, has embraced religion and is going to spill the beans on everyone's past. Joe must dispose of Manny. During Joe's quest for vindication and trying to carry out his task he learns that Phil wants the chair for him, he meets Manny's hospice worker Charlotte and takes a severe beating from Manny's son Junior. Joe's attempt to take out Manny is interrupted and Dan suggests he take out Phil instead. Dan threatens Joe's family and insists there can not be an indictment. Joe can't bring himself to killing Phil but through a prostitute comes up with a plan to bribe Phil so nobody gets hurt. He plants a video camera at a set up in a hotel room, but things don't go as planned and two deaths occur in the room. All the while Joe is building a relationship with Charlotte and is trying to rebuild a relationship with his congenial father and harassing mother. Charlotte believes in second chances and steps in to handle Manny, but gets caught in the act. This leads to a showdown at Junior's quarry when all of the sudden the brother of Joe's slain partner, Scotty shows up and all hell breaks loose. Joe also gets a call from Dan congratulating him on a job well done with Phil, but Joe has no idea what he's talking about. In the end Joe returns home to collect his stash of money with the intention of giving it to his kids, but his father will have nothing to do with that. The plot is crisp, clever, insightful, duplicitous, intelligent and has a cathartic ending. There are some themes in this film. Through a discussion between Joe and his father we learn that Joe is not a product of his upbringing or environment. His actions are due to his inner-self and narcissism. We also learn that sometimes redemption can only be achieved through self sacrifice. Bygones be bygones and apologizing just doesn't cut it. This is a competent film in it's genre. It's actually one of three Netflix Originals that were released in 2017 that are hidden gems considering some of the abysmal content available. The other two films are, "Shimmer Lake" and "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore". That's just my opinion.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

28 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pequenos Delitos See more »

Filming Locations:

Montreal, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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