The Guilty (2021) Poster


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If it wasn't a remake, I'd have scored it a 9.
MartinHafer2 October 2021
"The Guilty" is yet another very unusual film starring Jake actor who generally chooses unusual film projects. While he occasionally stars in mainstream pictures (such as a Spiderman film), often he picks strange, off-beat movies...and "The Guilty" is incredibly odd...but in a good way. It is, however, a remake of a Danish film...and now I really want to see the original.

Joe (Gyllenhaal) is a cop who is in some sort of trouble, though you don't know exactly why until very late in the film. Suffice to say, what he did was serious enough that he was taken off street duty and assigned to 911 calls until his hearing.

During his shift, Joe gets a most unusual phone call from a woman who claims to have been abducted. He has to work hard to try to figure out who she is, where she is and the status of her children. Joe clearly is NOT a detached worker but takes the case very seriously...too seriously at times. While it's admirable that he spends so much time on this and related calls, he also is an angry man whose anger generally colors what he does...and this is no exception. And, when he calls California Highway Patrol and other authorities, his anger sometimes gets the best of him as he pushes these people to do more to save the woman and her children. I could say A LOT more about the plot but won't as I don't want to give away the twists....and there are quite a few.

The film is most unusual because it all taks place in a dispatch room. In other words, you hear people talking to Joe but you only see Joe and, occasionally, his co-workers. It's a very different sort of film and while it sounds like it would be boring to keep the focus ALWAYS on Joe, it's never dull...but tense and hard to stop watching. Exceptionally well made and Gyllenhaal is incredible here. My only reservations are that it's a remake (which I already mentioned) and there's a vomiting scene at the end which is just too explicit...a VERY common thing in recent films that I just cannot understand. I can know people are puking without having to watch them puke!!
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Hollywood remake
SnoopyStyle25 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
L. A. is facing wild fires. Police officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) has been put on desk duty awaiting resolution to an incident. He is bitter being reassigned to the 911 call center. He takes a dismissive tone to his callers. He gets a strange one from a woman named Emily. She has apparently been kidnapped.

This is a Hollywood remake of a Danish film. Aside from being a copy, this film loses a bit of reality due Gyllenhaal's aggressive portrayal. I don't see how any supervisor would allow him to continue like that. Director Antoine Fuqua probably thought that the material needed some more flashiness and used all the Gyllenhaal acting power available to him. It's overkill. It's still pretty good and the fire adds a nice element to the story. Maybe they could have used some pursuit footage with the fire in the background.
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Snakes in his stomach?
nogodnomasters23 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a policeman awaiting trial or a hearing and has been placed on 911 duty in LA. We see him handle the first few calls where he appears to blame the victim. He is also stressed by his separated family life. He gets a call from Emily who is stressed and claims she is abducted. He does everything he can to save here and her family. Then comes the devilish twist.

I have discovered I like Jake Gyllenhaal films more when I have no idea what is going on with the plot. This was basically a one man play. Jake does a convincing job, I just didn't get into it.

Guide: f-word. No sex or nudity. I really thought the LA 911 call center would be more busy and how does one keep getting the same 911 operator from a different cell tower?
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More than decent remake - guilty as charged
kosmasp28 October 2021
And the main "culprit" for my statement above is Jake Gyllenhall. His performance is amazing. And if I didn't know they shot this during lockdown ... I probably wouldn't have guessed it. For those not familiar with the original, this may be easier to watch - being in English. On the other hand, in Germany they dub movies so that shouldn't be a "problem".

Those who have not seen the original may like this even better, but whatever the case, the movie is really good. You probably only have to watch one of the two version, I would advice to see the original, but there is nothing wrong with watching this powerhouse performance by Jacke either.
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"We protect people who need help."
classicsoncall7 October 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This is a tense thriller that takes you inside the mind of a stressed out police officer assigned to call desk duty until he's potentially cleared of an unspecified violation that we only learn about near the story's finale. Officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride of emotional conflict as he tries desperately to save a woman he believes has been kidnapped by her estranged husband, while her two young children have been left at home to wait out the ordeal. Involving not only highway patrol, but fellow officers and a former sergeant, Baylor appears about to crack under the strain of not only the assumed kidnapping, but a six month old divorce that's still weighing heavily on his psyche. To say that things are not always as they seem in the picture would be quite an understatement, and the film's turning point hinges on a late phone conversation Baylor has with the unseen Emily (voiced by Riley Keough), which abruptly contradicts his original assumptions about a kidnapping. Gillenhaal brings all the intensity to his character that we've seen previously in his portrayal of Louis Bloom in "Nightcrawler". His performance here leaves you almost as emotionally drained as Joe Baylor, eventually willing to admit that the hearing he faces the next day must of necessity be handled with the utmost integrity.
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Broken people save broken people
blanche-28 October 2021
"The Guilty" is a remake of a Danish film of the same name. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keogh, and Peter Saarsgard.

I didn't see the Danish film, so I have to go by what I saw in this film.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Joe, a 911 operator who seems to be in a bad mood. He's asthmatic, he has occasionally loud ringing in his ears, and as time goes on, we learn his story. He is not with his wife and misses his little girl. He is a police officer on 911 duty pending a hearing. We know federal officers have been to the home of his ex-partner. We find out more details at the end of the film.

Joe receives a call from a woman, Emily (Keogh - Elvis' granddaughter) and from the phone call, Joe discerns that she has been abducted, possibly by her husband - this all comes out gradually.

The city is in the midst of the California wildfires, so a lot of calls go back and forth as a very tense and involvedJoe tries to get someone to look for her - even though he doesn't have enough information.

He also talks to Emily's daughter Abby, who is alone with her brother Oliver. He sends the police there, and when they arrive, they see that the baby, Oliver, has been hurt, and Abby has blood all over her.

Thanks to the technology, Joe is able to come up with the address of Emily's husband - he wants someone to go over there and break down the door and look for info as to where he's taken Emily. Joe is clearly unhinged by this situation, going deeper and deeper into an abyss, with a court case pending and his own home situation affecting his emotional state.

This film is a tour de force for Jake Gyllenhaal, who again proves what a magnificent talent he is. The tension in "The Guilty" is enough to send you climbing the walls, and it's his show all the way. Keogh and Saarsgard (Gyllenhaal's real-life brother in-law) are the voices of Emily and her husband Henry, and they give knockout performances. However, we never see them.

Because of the emotion and anger Joe puts into this case, he finally realizes that he needs to make an important decision if he is ever to heal from his own drama.

I won't say anymore, except that some people should not be 911 operators (I'm one of them). Joe doesn't have the necessary detachment.

I'm sure the original was great, but I do also believe it's possible for an American remake to shine. This one did, thanks to a powerful performance.

And by the way, due to COVID, the director directed the entire film from a van and was not on the soundstage.
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Gordon-1126 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This film is very intense, especially given the fact that it's a single location one man show. The twist is very powerful, and sends shiver down my spine.
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bevo-1367821 October 2021
Wow great movie. Right from the big fire scene at the start then the bit with the asthma puffer I knew this would be non stop action. But then I fell asleep.
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Bit of a snooze
Calicodreamin16 October 2021
A bit of a snooze throughout, with a nasty main character and a half hearted attempt at a Hollywood ending. Decent voice acting work that felt authentic.
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A cop out.
bombersflyup14 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The Guilty fails to come together, with a weak and empty story.

Gyllenhaal no doubt commands the screen, but if you want to do a film about police brutality... Do a film about police brutality.
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Denmark nuance v USA directness
ferguson-630 September 2021
Greetings again from the darkness. Let's start with this disclosure: the original Danish film from Gustav Moller was one of my top 5 favorite films of 2018. Even then, I fully expected an Americanized version to happen at some point. The surprise is having director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY, 2001) handle the remake. He's known more for bombast and action, than the nuanced suspense delivered by the original. To offset this, Mr. Fuqua wisely chose the dependable Jake Gyllenhaal as his lead, and the talented Nic Pizzolatto (creator and lead writer of HBO's "True Detective") to adapt the screenplay.

Gyllenhaal never cheats the audience, and he dives into the role with his typical full force commitment. Except for a few blurry visuals of cars on the highway and the dramatic opening shots of the raging California fires, Gyllenhaal's Joe Baylor is on screen for the entire run. He's a detective on desk duty at the 911 call center pending his court case on charges that only become clear towards the end. Joe is also separated from his wife and daughter; a crucial element in how his shift plays out in front of us.

As we listen in on his first few calls, it becomes obvious how Joe's time on the streets have fine-tuned his quick-to-judge persona. He's not shy about telling callers their own choices are responsible for their current predicament. Just as he's about to dismiss his latest caller Emily, his instincts kick in, and he discerns that she's been abducted by her husband in a white van, and fears for her safety. This initial call between Joe and Emily is a work of art, and kicks off the nearly unbearable tension for the rest of the movie and Joe's shift.

Fuqua and Pizzolatto infuse commentary unique to modern day America. The fires are always in the background impacting emergency resources, as well as the air being breathed. Police collusion and abuse of power are also an underlying aspect of what unfolds in front of us. Yet somehow, the film (perhaps accidentally) speaks to the immense pressure faced by law enforcement and how instincts and quick judgments are crucial to assistance and survival. Joe bounces from calm demeanor to explosive overreaction in the blink of an eye - or the beep of an incoming call. We witness how preconceived notions can lead one astray, even if they've worked in the past.

In addition to Gyllenhaal's commendable performance, the film includes terrific voice work (via phone) from such actors as Riley Keough (as Emily), Peter Sarsgaard, Ethan Hawke, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Christiana Montoya, and Paul Dano. Adrian Martinez and Christina Vidal appear alongside Gyllenhaal in the call center, although the single setting contributes to this being mostly a one-man show.

We understand that Joe Baylor is seeking personal redemption in his all-out pursuit to save Emily, and one line in the film speaks directly to this: "Broken people save broken people." If you haven't seen the original, you are likely to get caught up in the tension, and ask yourself many of the same questions Joe is asking himself at the end. Gyllenhaal previously teamed with director Fuqua in SOUTHPAW (2015), but this crime thriller is something different for both. If you are up to the challenge, watch this version and the original, so that you can compare the contrasting approaches.

Streaming on Netflix beginning October 1, 2021.
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Hard to recommend
siderite12 November 2021
Jake Gyllenhaal is his usual great actor in this film, but he has a lot of things going against him. First, this is a pandemic movie akin to Phone Booth where everything mostly happens on the phone with one actor doing everything in the same two rooms. Second, his character is not sympathetic at all. I know they were preparing the reveal at the end, but they did it too strongly, making it difficult to care about anything that happens. And it's too bad, because the plot of the film is really powerful. So, when you've got a good plot but can't quite make a good film out of it, I would call this a decent attempt, but a failure nonetheless.

I think the entire thing would have done a lot better if he were this funny charismatic person hiding his trauma than the manic cop that wears it on his sleeve. Based on the IMDb ratings for the original movie (Den Skyldige) I would say it's a better bet to watch that film instead.
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FeastMode12 October 2021
Awesome single-location movie, keeps you glued to the screen and emotionally invested throughout. The performance by jake gyllenhaal is phenomenal, no surprise. But man it really drives this movie and elevates it significantly. The story comes together very well with a fully satisfying conclusion (1 viewing, 10/11/2021)
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Fuqua delivers a highly worthwhile American remake (for once)
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

L. A. Police officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllengaal) has been demoted to working in an emergency call centre after an incident that created a scandal for the department. A seething ball of stress and frustration, with internalised demons knawing away at him, things take a turn when he answers an emergency call from Emily (Riley Keough) who says her and her son are trapped in a vehicle with Henry (Peter Saarsgard), her partner who's suffering a psychotic episode. Joe seems to have been offered a shot at redemption, but things may not be as they seem...

We've already had the release of the Candyman remake in theatres in recent times, launching Nia Da Costa on to becoming the female director with the highest grossing film of all time under her belt, and now Netflix have released this highly publicised remake of a superb Danish film from just a couple of years ago, with Hollywood star Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead. American remake of foreign language film doesn't make for a promising outcome in general, but with a reliable, assured cast and crew at hand, The Guilty is a rare exception.

Established director Antoine Fuqua is no amateur, and doesn't allow his vision of the original film to become 'Americanised' in any way, taking great care not to overblow or sensationalise anything as so many are prone to, and instead faithfully recreating the isolated atmosphere and feeling of claustrophobia in the continuous ninety minutes of real time we spend in the remote but high pressure and highly stressful environment of the 911 call centre. Gyllenhaal, in the lead, projects a compressed intensity, occasionally spoiled by a lack of restraint with some explosive outbursts, while in roles where we only hear their voices, Keough and Saarsgard capture a sense of vulnerability and desperation.

It can't escape its trappings as a remake of a great film, still fresh itself in everyone's mind, but it's highly faithful and unpretentious, still managing to be as suspenseful and human as the original, even if it's not quite as good. ****
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Guilty of Wasting My Time
Cineanalyst5 October 2021
I don't know why I bothered; I figured this would be a pointless Anglophone remake of the tense 2018 Danish thriller. I also don't know why this Nic Pizzolatto guy has his own screenwriting credit here when most of it's lifted straight from the original. I guess he's taking credit for the rearrangement of a scene that results in unnecessarily dragging out the resolution so that we may see Jake Gyllenhaal's puke in a toilet, or for adding that 2am phone call to the ex that just makes Gyllenhaal's Joe all the more unbearable, and let's not forget that time Joe gets up to get a cup of joe, and he's displeased there's not enough already made for him. What I've seen from director Antoine Fuqua, too, gives the impression of a hacky filmmaker. The Denzel Washington movies are entertaining enough, because Denzel Washington, but the rest of them.... "Southpaw" (2015), also starring Gyllenhaal, is an overrated melodrama. I have yet to see "The Magnificent Seven" (2016) remake, but I'm not looking forward to it.

This seems to be sheer incompetence to me, as if they had no idea what worked in the original, and, Instead of adding a novel interpretation, just watered it down with generics. Gustav Möller's picture was a one-man variation on "12 Angry Men" (1957) with an emphasis on sound in the emergency phone calls. An intensely claustrophobic utilization of the artifice of cinema. So, of course, for the remake they begin with a Bible verse and helicopter shots to needlessly attempt thematic grandeur and paint the background with California wildfires. Also unnecessary dramatic scoring to blow the intensity and subtlety of the sound design. Gyllenhaal spends the first part in an enormous glass-filled tomb to International Style architecture with a series of big screen TVs for the wildfire background and multiple monitors for each dispatcher like we're watching a high-tech hacker or spy movie. Saving the spectator the hassle of having to use their own imagination by the movie visualizing what Joe sees in his mind listening to a couple calls is especially inept.

Oh, and Gyllenhaal can't help himself with the histrionics. It's bad enough they gave him an asthma inhaler to work with. I really miss the beads of sweat rolling down Jakob Cedergren's brow during his pregnant pauses compared to Gyllenhaal's spray-on sweat and crocodile tears as he shouts belligerently and pounds on glass windows. There's nothing that quite lowers one's estimation of an actor than to see him do so much more poorly in the same role performed by another just a couple years ago. Ditto the other filmmakers. At least Washington seemed to realize what he got himself into with with Fuqua in "Training Day" (2001) and "The Equalizer" (2014) and so turned up the acting even more over-the-top than usual to deliver us a bounty of ham.

I would think that an easy bar for whether a remake should exist would be that it improves on or differs from the original in at least one interesting way. Yet, this one is nonetheless guilty of failing that test. Oh well, at least it got me to watch the Danish original.
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breaks the #1 rule of storytelling
A_Different_Drummer14 October 2021
30 minutes in and you realize that you do not care about either the main character or the problem he is trying to solve. Jake does his best but that is not enough.
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Script and directing failed to tell this story well
8512224 January 2022
Greetings from Lithuania.

"The Guilty" (2021) was a letdown due to very draggy script that was boring to hear. Story is good and could have been shown way better then this. It was written by Nic Pizzolatto who wrote brilliant first season of "True Detective", and later not so brilliant follow ups - to say the least. Unfortunately "The Guilty" is not the one he will be remembered for. Directing by Antoine Fuqua was also not inspiring one - at only 1 h 22 min this movie dragged and looked and felt lazy. Its like everyone behind the camera just did it for paychecks or obligations to Netflix. Only Jake Gyllenhaal who is basically on a tour de force in this one did a good job - given the material. And the material is about a cop who tries to redeem himself via 911 call. By the end of movie we understand the only metaphor is has to say. And one character spills it to us very clearly in one sentence - in case if we don't get it. We get it, we watched the movie.

Overall, I got the idea behind this movie. Movie like "Locke" (2013) is an example that it can be done right. "The Guilty" unfortunately is not the case.
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Simple and nice drama...
Thanos_Alfie19 November 2021
"The Guilty" is a Drama - Thriller movie in which we watch a police officer working at a call dispatch desk and trying to help a serious and emergency call. He tries his best but he has to be very careful and fast if he wants to make the difference and save the woman who was kidnapped.

I liked this movie because it was interesting and intense through its whole duration. I also enjoyed it because it combined very well drama and action with a simple plot that contained also some plot twists that I did not expect. The direction which was made by Antoine Fuqua was good and he presented the main plot of the movie very well while he presented step by step a sub-plot that was equally important on the movie. The interpretation of Jake Gyllenhaal who played as Joe Baylor was simply amazing and he did an excellent job on it. To sum up, I have to say that "The Guilty" is a nice and interesting drama movie and I strongly recommend everyone to watch it because I am sure you will enjoy it.
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Solid--Though Not Spectacular--Quarantine Era Thriller
zkonedog10 October 2021
With Hollywood largely shuttered for most of 2020 due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, it was a disaster for the film industry. Yet, in the midst of that uncertain period, there still existed some creative ways to provide content for avid movie-watchers ("Malcolm & Marie" immediately springs to mind as a great example). "The Guilty" is birthed from that vein, what with it essentially being a one-man show set in a single location (i.e. Easy to film without risk of contagion).

For a very basic overview, "The Guilty" tells the story of Joe (Jake Gyllenhaal), a disgraced street cop now working the emergency phone lines as he awaits his trial. One night, Joe gets a call from a woman (voiced by Riley Keough) who has found herself in a great deal of trouble. In trying to help this woman, viewers are given a glimpse into Joe's personal issues--as well as his redeeming qualities.

Strictly in terms of plot and execution, this is probably more of a 6/10 star effort. It does a lot of things right (especially a game-changing narrative twist about half way through), but is certainly far from classic status. The ending, in particular, left me a bit disappointed (I believe this to be a film that "peaked too early", in a sense).

That being said, there are two standout qualities to "The Guilty" that push it up to 7/10 stars:

-The creativity/inventiveness of the production limitations. I'm always intrigued by smaller films like this that don't require large set pieces or numerous star actors to make them work. Due to the pandemic protocols, this is exactly what had to happen just to get the film made. As a result, it requires all the "little things" (sound, editing, camera work) to be on point, and they are.

-Gyllenhaal's performance. I'm not sure there are too many actors who can pull off the whole "one-man band" thing that Jake is doing here, but he is certainly one of them. His intense and emotional acting style is perfectly suited to this film's needs. For long stretches, his facial expressions and vocal outburst are the only conduit for emotions, and he carries it all with aplomb.

Overall, I don't think that "The Guilty" will show up on many awards or best-of lists. But it was a solid-enough watch, and memorable in the fact that it was produced during one of the most unique times in the history of motion pictures.
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Pales in comparison to the original
eddie_baggins7 October 2021
Before you spend (waste) anymore time here reading this review, my strong suggestion is that if you haven't already go track down a copy of the 2018 award winning Denmark original of which this Hollywood remake is derived from, as when you compare the two efforts that are quite similar yet somehow very different in effectiveness, the original tale of a disgraced police officer handling a very tricky call over a dispatch line his been posted too is far and away the more gripping thriller.

Re-teaming with his Southpaw director Antoine Fuqua and working off a script that includes work done by True Detective screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto, Hollywood star Jake Gyllenhaal is front and center here as the under duress and demoted Joe Baylor, who during a late shift on the phone lines in the midst of a citywide fire emergency takes a call from a distressed citizen who has been kidnapped by her violent ex-partner, with Joe racing the clock (and his own thoughts) too try and figure out how he can uncover the truth and whereabouts of the in danger caller.

Set entirely within the confines of Joe's police office building, just as the original film was confined to a sole location, The Guilty is going to bore those who grow easily tired of dialogue driven thrillers and features that live and die entirely off the performance of one key actor and sadly unlike the original Denmark feature Gyllenhaal's significant talents and Fuqua's pedestrian direction (that was delivered via remote functions due to Covid-19 protocols) aren't enough to carry the film through its rough patches as we begin to understand more about the crime being committed and Baylor's troubled past.

Not seen as regularly as he once was during in incredible decade stretch of films that included key performances in the likes of Brokeback Mountain, Jarhead, Nightcrawler, Prisoners and Zodiac, it's good to see the likable Gyllenhaal back in a leading role but when weighed up against his best turns, his performance here as the twitchy and tormented Baylor isn't one of his finest pieces of work, with his inability to avoid overacting in key moments taking us away from a story that at its core is gripping and engrossing but is here delivered without the heart and soul that would've made it an above average Netflix original.

Delivered in lots of manners like for like to the 2018 Denmark film, The Guilty goes to show once more that good film's can't be remade as easily as placing some new actors and talent in the mix to recreate the magic and while this is far from a terrible film, there's little in this feature to write home about as it's likely to get lost in the impending release avalanche heading our way at the end of 2021.

Final Say -

Lacking the spark of the original and the taut delivery that made it such a white knuckle watch, The Guilty can't be saved by the usually reliable Jake Gyllenhaal who tries his best but fails to hit the mark in this talk driven thriller.

2 1/2 inhalers out of 5.
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If it wasn't for Jake Gyllenhaal's performance, this film would've been a flop.
Top_Dawg_Critic16 September 2021
Director Antoine Fuqua also did his best with the screenplay he had, and created the perfect amount of non-stop tension and suspense - also due to Jake Gyllenhaal's outstanding performance. The cinematography and score were also on point, and the 90 min runtime and pacing just right. But the story itself was just nothing spectacular and easily forgettable - and written better in other 911 films. There were also too many plot and technical issues, and unrealistic actions and procedures taken by both the police and 911 operators. It's a generous 7/10 from me.
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Not bad at all, but lacking greatness in drama. The original movie (it was based upon) actually was better at acting and in drama...
imseeg5 October 2021
The bad: nothing in particular, BUT the execution of this story simply does not reach the highs I was wishing for...

The original movie (this movie was based upon) had a better suspenseful dramatic arch.

More bad: however decent Jake Gylenhaal is in his acting performance, he simply does not convince completely, for instance, crying without any tears, does look a bit superficial. And there are several scenes in which Jake Gylenhaal does not completely convince.

Simply put this is a drama lacking in real intense drama.

Not any good? Well yes, there is a suspenseful story, with an intrigueing substory. This movie deals with life and death conversations at a 911 telephone center. But even then, there is still the feeling that the drama doesnt really hurt...

Better watch the European original movie, which hit me like a hammer.
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Suspenseful off-screen real-time main plot works much better than sketchy sub-plot of officer's fall from grace set in the past
Turfseer12 January 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I liked Jake Gyllenhaal very much in Nightcrawler and was looking forward to seeing him in this remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. It reminds me of Hitchcock's "Rear Window," as the main character is never seen outside the floor of the building he's in and is a voyeuristic observer of the main suspense narrative.

Gyllenhaal plays LAPD officer Joe Baylor who is now on desk duty at a 911 call center after being investigated for an officer involved shooting that occurred eight months earlier. We gradually see that Baylor appears to suffer from PTSD and has great trouble controlling his temper. Eventually it's revealed that Baylor has a court hearing the next day to answer charges that he shot and killed a 19 year old victim.

This sub-plot detracts from the main story which chronicles how Baylor handles a particular high stakes 911 call which at first appears to be related to domestic violence. Ultimately we don't find out enough about the incident that got Baylor into so much trouble-only how it caused him to become so unhinged.

While the main narrative occurs in real-time--the troubling incident in which Baylor ultimately decides to plead guilty to manslaughter--does not. The sketchy details come out when Baylor talks over the phone during the principal 911 call the film is concerned with, but so much of the backstory here is missing. Hence while we're willing to engage in the real-time drama of a purported kidnapping, there's no such excitement when it comes to a past incident that already took place (an incident that probably could have been told better with a few flashbacks).

Nonetheless the principal narrative is quite suspenseful and engaging-at least for a good part of the film. When Baylor receives a 911 call from a woman named Emily, he is led to believe that the woman has been abducted by her husband who is driving a van on a California freeway, surrounded by menacing wildfires. Baylor has Emily pretend to talk to her six year old daughter Abby so that husband Henry doesn't realize she's on the line with a police officer.

The story is not only exciting but the mechanics of police communication are fraught with verisimilitude-like how Baylor retrieves the van's plate number through a computer search and relays it to the CHP (California Highway Patrol) and how he's constantly rebuffed by fellow officers who regard his case as a low priority given the fact there are raging wildfires all over the area which they are more concerned with.

The suspense ramps up even more when officers find the children home alone--Abby with blood on her clothes and her infant brother severely injured. Baylor assumes that it's the father who's responsible but eventually learns in a big twist that Emily the mother is mentally ill and is responsible for attempting to disembowel her young son.

The rest of the plot concerns Baylor trying to save Emily from killing herself--the novelty of not being at the scene of the action however begins to wear thin as we arrive at the climax. Director Antoine Fuqua tries hard to keep us interested but there's so much he can do which doesn't involve Baylor directly like cutting away to other characters at the 911 call center, conversations Baylor is has with those involved in the 911 call and the information he garners from all the computer searches he conducts.

Gyllenhaal ends up overacting due to the previously alluded to sketchy story about his upcoming court date with destiny. Ultimately The Guilty only has a set number of tricks up its sleeves. Nonetheless there's enough suspense here (especially with the harrowing conversations we're privy to through a good part of the narrative) that keeps our interest throughout most of the proceedings.
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Proof that all you need for a good movie is a tight script
jtindahouse14 September 2021
'The Guilty' is a remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. I have been meaning to get around to seeing the original for a while and never have. It's probably a good thing. When I watch originals of films and then watch the American remake I almost never like it as much. On this occasion I was able to enjoy the story completely fresh and get each twist and turn as it came to be. I really enjoyed this film.

It blows my mind how exciting a film can be with absolutely zero action scenes of any kind and the camera just focused on one person sitting at a computer screen for 90 minutes. It shows just how well put together this script is. The pacing is electric and the dialogue is exquisitely written. Also Jake Gyllenhaal is superb in the role. As are all the guest stars (some big names too) who play voice roles along the way.

People will likely hate on this film simply for existing as a remake. It happens with every one of them unfortunately, whether they are well made or not. I would suggest to ignore the reviews on films like this and make up your own mind. I thoroughly enjoyed it though I can tell you that. 9/10.
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Well done tension thriller
DarkVulcan296 October 2021
A demoted cop named Joe(Jake Gyllenhaal) is working as a 911 dispatcher, trying to do his best to be good at his job, and make it through the day. Until he gets a call from a scared woman named Emily(Riley Keough) who is scared for her life, and Joe tries to do what he can to help her, but will he before it's too late?

Jake Gyllenhaal gives a stellar performance, as man struggling with his own issues, but still trying to do the right thing. Peter Sarsgaard is also great just being voice on the phone, quite a great performance. Riley Keough is also great has Emily. At times it feels like a one man play, and you feel the tension of the calls.
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