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Everyone's Watching Denzel Washington's New Psychological Thriller

What does justice really mean? Do those in law enforcement have a responsibility to behave more ethically than the average citizen? These are the questions at the forefront of the latest psychological thriller making waves on HBO Max — The Little Things

The film stars a trio of Academy Award winners as deputy sheriff Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) gets wrapped up in a Los Angeles crime investigation with detective Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek) taking the lead. There's a serial killer on the loose, and both men obsess over figuring out who's behind these deadly attacks. Their search brings them to an outcast by the name of Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), who seems to fit the profile, but when it comes to solving a case as messy as this one, not everything is as it seems. 

The Little Things is one of the first movies subject to the bold new release strategy from Warner Bros. that sees films debuting simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. The radical distribution plan is designed to sidestep issues created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which doesn't look like it's going to just disappear like SARS did. As such, there's a lot riding on the film's success. Even though we may not have any official numbers on how well the film has done on the streaming platform (as of this moment), it seems to have caught on with audiences.

Don't worry — we won't spoil the ending for you here. 

The Little Things has earned a decent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes

The response from professional critics has been decidedly mixed on The Little Things, according to Rotten Tomatoes. So far, it's garnered 48% critical score, which is a bit shy of fresh, but it's doing a lot better when you look at what general audiences have to say. By audience metrics, it has a rating of 64% with over 250 reviews accumulated. 

The general consensus among audience members is that the three leads — Washington, Malek, and Leto — are phenomenal in this film, and really give it their all. One of the verified audience reviews praises Leto's work in this: "The acting was fantastic. I never [thought] Jared Leto could be this creepy!! It had some really suspenseful moments." Leto has stated that he drew inspiration for this role from a surprising world leader (or at least the manner in which he walked): North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The results are suitably creepy and entertaining.

As any good psychological thriller should, The Little Things has a way of burrowing into your mind and making you rethink everything you've seen in the film. One reviewer by the name of Farlisa writes, "This is a mind twisted movie. My husband and I ... are still replaying the events in our heads." With other comments like "Movie is ... a must see" and "Unexpected ending but still exciting and worth the watch," it's clear this film, while perhaps divisive, is likely worth your time if you're a fan of thrillers.

On Twitter, it's clear people love Denzel Washington in The Little Things

In the event you're still on the fence about whether or not to give The Little Things a chance, then perhaps it's prudent to compare it to a different thriller held in high regard — Seven. The 1995 neo-noir starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Gwyneth Paltrow is one of director David Fincher's best films, both due to the moody atmosphere it creates as well as the shocking ending that still terrifies audiences to this day. A lot of people over on Twitter are making the same comparison with @Gameoverluke writing, "If you liked Seven then watch The Little Things! Such a good movie." There's also @bvnkes who says, "Watched The Little Things with Denzel, Jared Leto and Mr. Robot [Rami Malek]...that s*** was pretty dope! It reminded me of Seven, which is one of my favorites! I love a good murder mystery mind f***."

Regardless of people's opinions on the film overall, one thing is clear — people love Denzel Washington in this (and pretty much any other movie he's in). After all, it's not a coincidence that you see comments like "Denzel is the best actor of my time" and "Denzel Washington is still the GOAT" among the fan reviews.

As with any movie, it's best to watch it for yourself to form your own opinion. You can watch it now in a movie theater (if they're open near you) or check it out on HBO Max until the end of February. If one thing's clear from all of this, it's that you don't want to be left out of the conversation.