The Guilty (2021) Review

Joe Baylor was demoted from his role as a police officer to the call dispatch desk and when he receives an emergency phone call from a woman claiming that she has been kidnapped it really pushes him to the edge with that and fighting his own demons.


The Guilty goes down the route of a very difficult to nail film when we pretty much only have one actor on the screen for the 90 minute run time, but as long as the performance from the leading actor is good enough it can more than work. I found myself taken in and fully gripped into the drama and story of it all!

We slowly find out that Joe was on the call dispatch for a reason as he was being investigate for something that had happened to him on active duty. That hanging over him and the phone call from a woman named Emily claiming that her husband Henry had kidnapped her and she was very concerned about her young daughter Abby.

As he attempts to locate the vehicle she has been put in, which wasn’t an easy task that’s for sure the people he was then getting involved just didn’t feel all that bothered about the situation. This grew frustration now only for Joe but for the viewers as well, it was not easy to watch as it made you so damn angry at times. It fully makes you think twice about the truth and if everything is always as it may first seem, the story around Emily and Henry is not simple at all and that is part of the reason you become so involved as a viewer, you believe everything Joe is told and follow him on the same journey.

There was something engaging about the story though as it gave so much doubt over what was going to happen to Emily and also what Joe was hiding. He was seriously struggling and that was very easy to pick up on and hearing him talking to people he had previously worked with.

Everything relied on Jake Gyllenhaal putting in an amazing performance and I felt as though he did just that and quite frankly three of the four stars are for him. Having to do the majority of his performance on the phone and looking at a screen certainly cannot be easy, it did make me think of Halle Berry in The Call and also Tom Hardy in Locke. It gives a big level of vulnerability and for me that made a very impressive performance, although its not really a big surprise considering the varied choices of roles he has taken on over the years.

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