George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
No matter how good the director, adapting a beloved foreign film will always be a hard task. 2018’s Danish thriller, “The Guilty”, directed by Gustav Möller, was a hit among critics and fans alike, providing a film entirely based on one mans attempts to save a kidnapped woman over the phone. Sadly, like many successful foreign films, an English remake was always on the cards. Yet that doesn’t mean it still can’t be good!
Now, I haven’t seen Gustav Möller‘s original film and for that I’m disappointed in myself. Yet that also means that I went into Antoine Fuqua‘s 2021 Netflix adaptation with a clear mind, with all the twists and turns unbeknownst to me and story completely fresh. It’s these twists and turns the story takes that truly gripped me throughout. This claustrophobic thriller about a disgraced cop trying to undo his past mistakes over the course of one supremely stressful night, is as tense, thrilling and surprisingly emotional as it gets. The film fully utilises it’s single-location, cramping you into his work space, putting you in the mind of the character himself and how stressful it can truly be. This, in no small part, is due to Jake Gyllenhaal‘s incredible performance as Joe Baylor. You truly come to care about his character as the film progresses and whilst his narrative can at times be predictable, that doesn’t mean it’s still not jarring to experience.
For me, The Guilty is one of the best films Netflix has released this year. Make sure to watch it when it hits streaming on October 1st!