Netflix’s The Guilty Review: An Anxious Jake Gyllenhaal

The Guilty movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Christina Vida with voices of Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Dano, and Peter Sarsgaard is now out. It’s a remake of a 2018 Danish film of the same name and directed by Antoine Fuqua with the screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto. Maz Makhani has done the cinematography of the 90-minute thriller.

The synopsis reads – A troubled police detective demoted to 911 operator duty scrambles to save a distressed caller during a harrowing day of revelations — and reckonings.

Netflix’s The Guilty Review Does Not Contain Spoilers (Trigger Warning: Anxiety, abusive language, emotional trauma)

The Guilty is about Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), a recently demoted LAPD officer.  Joe is working the night shift, answering and helping several callers with various issues. All of this is taking place as the city of Los Angeles battles a major wildfire. But it’s one phone call that affects Joe the most.

Emily Lighton (voiced by Riley Keough), a frightened lady, calls Joe Baylor. Emily pretends to be speaking with her daughter, and Joe figures out that she is in danger. Riley’s outstanding voice acting brings Emily’s horror to life as she is kidnapped. Alarmed and concerned, Joe is trying everything he can to track down the woman and save her.

Antoine Fuqua’s lead in the Netflix thriller is dealing with a lot. His cop career is in jeopardy, his family is wrecked, and now there’s a scared caller who has further disturbed him. Joe becomes immersed in saving Emily, and it appears that he is also trying to atone for his mistakes. We get a glimpse of his health problems (asthma), mental health issues, and rage difficulties.

The Guilty Trailer Still
Still from The Guilty trailer

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I’m mentioning Joe a lot in the review because Jake Gyllenhaal carries the entire 90-minute on his shoulder. The plot would’ve seemed tedious if it weren’t for Jake’s amazing performance and how he emotes in every moment. However, this does not imply that it is flawless. The story could’ve wrapped in less than 90 minutes without the long pauses between the dialogues. Watching Joe lose his calm repeatedly gets monotonous, but the pace picks up with every call.

There are two helpless characters in the story, but only one of them is waiting to be saved. The ending proves that sometimes doing the right thing can also not save you because of how broken you are.

The Guilty Review: Final Thoughts

Overall, Jake proves again why he’s good in stories that take you in the dark zone. As a viewer, you are invested in seeing what his character Joe does to save the caller. It’s more of a tragic tale than a thriller, but it’s worth your time. I know people will debate a lot about how the original is better than the remake. But sometimes, remakes are also made well, and this film is one of them.

The Guilty is now streaming on Netflix.

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The Guilty Review: Jake Gyllenhaal will intrigue you in the Netflix film as he tries to save a 911 caller.

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