THE GUILTY on Netflix is a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal who delivers an extremely powerful performance. Having said that, this is actually the remake of a Danish thriller that hasn’t been changed much – if at all. Read our full The Guilty movie review here!
THE GUILTY is a new Netflix thriller with Jake Gyllenhaal in the all-important lead role. It’s shot almost entirely in one setting which was pretty perfect for the restrictions under the current pandemic. Also, it was shot in just 11 days which is extremely efficient, but that’s what having just one location can do for you.
However, despite it sounding like a smart production in these social distance times, it’s actually just a remake. The original movie is Danish and was released in 2018. And really, it’s virtually a frame-by-frame remake with extremely few changes or updates.
Continue reading our full The Guilty movie review below and check it out on Netflix.
A tour de force for Jake Gyllenhaal
This is the second starring role for Jake Gyllenhaal in a US remake of a Danish movie. The first one being Brothers (2009) which was the remake of a Susanne Bier movie. And actually, he has another one on the way (Ambulance which is currently in post-production), so clearly he works perfectly in originally Danish roles.
Of course, he is of Norwegian origin, so maybe it’s just a Scandinavian thing. In any case, he has that mixture of strength and vulnerability that these characters require. In The Guilty, this exact blend is more important than ever since he is in every scene.
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While I do love Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance in this remake, the movie was better in the original Danish version. However, and I cannot stress this enough, this Netflix movie is definitely worth your time. It’s intense, engaging, and very relevant in many different ways.
The impressive “voice only” cast of The Guilty
Even though Jake Gyllenhaal is the all-important lead actor in The Guilty, the remake sports an impressive cast. However, most other actors are only part of this movie as voice actors. Just as it was the case for the Danish movie. The voice actors in The Guilty include Riley Keough (The Lodge), Peter Sarsgaard (The Lie), and Ethan Hawke (The Black Phone).
Also, since Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Joe Baylor, is a police officer who’s been demoted to take 911 calls, we also have bit parts from callers. These include Paul Dano (Okja) and Beau Knapp who we just watched be brilliant in Mosquito State (out on Shudder).
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All the actors obviously deliver solid and powerful performances, as you would expect. However, if you’ve watched the original movie (and you really should) then there’s nothing new in this film. In fact, it’s not even as good, which was a big surprise to me.
Watch The Guilty on Netflix!
Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) is the director of The Guilty while the screenplay credit goes to Nic Pizzolatto. And, of course, there’s the whole “based on the motion picture Den Skyldige” moniker attached to this movie. However, in this case, saying “based on” is simply another way of saying: We translated the script and shot this movie in virtually the same manner.
Sure, there are some very minor changes to certain elements of the story. However, they mostly have to do with changing street names and dealing with the fires of California. Something that obviously wasn’t part of the Danish movie. However, I too could be a screenplay writer if all that was required was translating a Danish screenplay.
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I have to say that while I am usually a big fan of Nic Pizzolatto, this is just too easy. Even the dialogue is directly translated in most scenes. Right down to quips and little jokes. While Nic Pizzolatto created the brilliant True Detective series, his debut as a writer was on the US remake of the Danish series The Killing.
The latter seems like some strange form of foreshadowing. Having said all that – and despite the original being better than this remake – the US version of The Guilty is still a very good movie. Of course, it is when it’s simply a translated version of a foreign film. But hey, Jake Gyllenhaal makes it feel new and fresh and for many, this will be their first encounter with the story!
The Guilty is out on Netflix from October 1, 2021.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Screenplay: Nic Pizzolatto (Based on Gustav Möller & Emil Nygaard Albertsen’s Den Skyldige)
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keough, Peter Sarsgaard, Ethan Hawke, Christina Vidal, Adrian Martinez, Beau Knapp, Paul Dano, Eli Goree
The film takes place over the course of a single morning in a 911 dispatch call center. Call operator Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) tries to save a caller in grave danger—but he soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, and facing the truth is the only way out.