THE GUILTY is a crash course of masterful acting and directing. It is a forceful story. A train wreck that is unstoppable.
Jake Gyllenhaal portrayed Joe Baylor, a Los Angeles cop who has been reassigned to a 911 call center. Joe’s life is a mess. He has to appear in court the next morning about a shooting gone wrong. He is separated from his wife and daughter. He has major asthma problems due to the wildfires raging in the vicinity. He is out of control, extremely angry, quick to judge situations before hearing all the facts, sarcastic, bullish, and lost. Gyllenhaal shows all of these qualities and more. Nothing is left on the table for us to question as we witness a consummate actor appearing in almost every film frame.
The director, Antoine Fuqua, created this intense remake. The original from 2018 was a huge hit, and many did not want to see perfection touched, but this latest movie is in capable hands. Even though it is shot mostly within one room, the film is an insane roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows that left me breathless and shaken at the conclusion.
Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, and Peter Sarsgaard are also featured. Although we never see them on screen, their amazing, emotionally charged voices made me want to reach out and gather them close. Compelling wound be an understatement.
THE GUILTY is not something you watch to unwind. Be prepared. It will make you think about all your quick judgments in the heat of a moment that eventually can lead to terrible, life-altering decisions. It is available to stream on Netflix.