Movie Review: The Guilty (2018)

I don’t envy those doing police work. I salute them for doing it, but I don’t envy them.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Guilty”.

Asger (Jakob Cedergren) is a police officer who’s been assigned to alarm dispatch duty. However, things get a bit extra complicated when he gets a call from a woman who has been kidnapped. So it’s up to Asger to try to find a way to save this woman before something bad happens to her (you know, other than being kidnapped). And I can already hear some of you saying “Gee willikers, Mr. Markus, this sure sounds an awful lot like a Halle Berry movie from a few years back”. And to that I say, that is a fair comparison on a surface level. But digging deeper, this is a different kind of flick. This is a thriller that builds its suspense from its limitations. All we get is Asger in his office, talking on the phone, and occasionally reacting to them. It has kind of a Hitchcockian vibe to it. And I think it’s all handled wonderfully.

Jakob Cedergren plays Asger Holm, the policeman at the center of the story who’s been assigned alarm dispatch duty. He has kind of a working class man kinda vibe that instantly made me somewhat feel for him, as he didn’t feel like the typical movie protagonist. And seeing him go through the troubles of trying to help this woman, without being able to really leave his desk, it is absolutely riveting. And Cedergren is fantastic in the role. The people he talks to on the phone too does very well in their roles.

What is interesting about the music in this movie is that there is pretty much none. There is a bit of a droning track at the credits, but throughout the movie, there is nothing. And I commend the filmmakers for showing such restraint. You guys know me, I love me a good musical score in a movie. But here I felt like it wouldn’t work as well. It would’ve taken something away from the situation if you had suspenseful brass and jumpy strings playing the background. But yeah, the lack of music here I think worked wonderfully.

This movie was written by Gustav Möller and Emil Nygaard Albertsen, with Möller also serving as director. And holy fucking shit, did they knock it out of the park. As I mentioned, the plot in itself is handled in a really solid way, so there’s the writing aspect dealt with. But Möller’s direction here i tight as all hell, increasing the unease and tension with every scene, without resorting to stupid cliches. We’re always stuck in the room with Asger, so building the suspense wasn’t an easy task… but god damn, did they pull it off. And Jasper Spanning’s cinematography was suitably claustrophobic, adding to the experience.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

You’d think someone sitting at a desk for 80 minutes wouldn’t make for a compelling movie… but “The Guilty” proves that wrong. It has a great plot, a really good character, some great performances, and some fantastic writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Guilty” is a 9,90/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Guilty” is now completed.

Sometimes less is more.

One thought on “Movie Review: The Guilty (2018)

  1. This has had many excellent reviews, including yours. I worked in Police Despatch for 12 years in London, so it is of more than usual interest to me. Thanks, Markus.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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