English (United States)
Provided by Metacritic.com
What makes The Guilty good is the way it tacitly communicates so much about the character without ever having to speak his issues out loud.
This is Jake Gyllenhaal’s show.
Fuqua, like Möller before him, doesn’t really give you time to sit back and think about it. The Guilty stays in one place but moves like a tough, efficient action flick; it’s a thrill ride in an office chair.
If you’ve seen Moller’s The Guilty, well, you’ve basically seen Fuqua’s, but Gyllenhaal’s performance adds a go-for-broke turn that capitalizes on the actor’s deep emotional reserves.
Jake Gyllenhaal delivers as one would expect, proving again that he’s one of the most consistent actors alive.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Fuqua is reliable in his continued ability to craft tense and measured films for broad audiences looking for complicated tales of morality.
Perhaps to overcompensate for the lack of conventionally opened-out dramatic action, there is some big closeup acting from Gyllenhaal, but it’s a well-made and watchable picture of a man in the secular confessional box, a sinner forced to occupy the place of a priest.
Gyllenhaal’s impressive, but The Guilty almost certainly would have been more effective if he’d dialed down the intensity a bit.
A claustrophobic thriller about a disgraced cop trying to undo his past mistakes over the course of one supremely stressful night, The Guilty boasts a clever close-quarters conceit that ends up feeling more like an actorly exercise than a gripping human drama.
As a showcase for Gyllenhaal's talents, The Guilty is passable, but that's just not enough.
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