Jake Gyllenhaal pulls off quite a performance in The Guilty, in theaters now and available on Netflix on Oct. 1.
Gyllenhaal stars as Joe Baylor, a Los Angeles policeman who was assigned to working the phones as a form of punishment. Joe could be described as anxious, neurotic, maybe even obsessive, but one thing’s for sure, he takes his job a bit too seriously. Taking place over the course of a day, Joe services and reacts to a host of 911 calls from the mildly dangerous to the embarrassing. Within this 24-hour period, we learn about his personal problems, his work problems, and an emergency call that would completely change the course of his life.
Joe had a myriad of things taking place in his life at once, and sadly, it took a toll on him. With inhaler in hand, there were a handful of times where he’d have to take a break just to breathe. Some of the acting was top tier, some if it… Not so much. At times, the energy and over-the-top reactions to callers grew annoying and forced. But overall, Gyllenhaal did a good job channeling the unique mannerisms and obsessive behavior of his character.
Because of the precarious situation he’s in, it was quite a surprise that so many enablers were around him. His sergeant (Christina Vidal) had to check him more than once, he and his partner (Eli Goree) would have words after a favor, and his former boss Sgt. Miller (Ethan Hawke) would eventually give him an overdue reality check.
The film’s setting is what truly makes it unique. Not only does the film take place in a single day, but in a single location as well. This particular station, which was setup more like a call center, kept busy with all the happenings of LA taking place before them. With very little to work with as far as scenery and time, vocal stories are what carry the film to it’s inevitable greatness.
I give The Guilty an 8 out of 10. You may not recognize the voices, but one familiar face you’ll see is Adrian “Discount Double Check!” Martinez. If you’re looking for a crime, drama, thriller, all gelled into one, The Guilty will suit your needs, now available on Netflix.