“The Guilty” (2021): One begets Another


“The Guilty” takes place over the course of a single morning in a Los Angeles 911 dispatch call center. Operator Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) struggles to save a caller in grave danger.  He soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, and that facing the truth is the only way out.

The Good

The ever-dependable Jake Gyllenhaal jolts as Joe, a cop in crisis relegated to all-night 911 phone duty as a troubling criminal case plays out against him.

The Bad

Once again, we are saddled with the distorted implication here that “bad killings” by cops are a widespread epidemic in America.  They’re not.

While every single one is disturbing and tragic, unjustified claiming of life by police officers would perhaps not be nearly so shocking should these events actually be as commonplace as some in our country would have us believe.

Jake takes the Fake

Things are not close to what they may conjure in “The Guilty”. Not by a long shot.

Gyllenhaal’s beleaguered character of Joe takes a mysterious and alarming 911 call from a young woman claiming to be in dire distress. Proactively, if not prudently, he takes matters into his own hands. Almost at once things rush full force into a rapidly changing series of sinister twist and turns. Joe’s crumbling world is turned even more upside down than already it has become, all leading to a shocking denouement of heart-wrenching reckoning.

Jake Gyllenhaal fields a frightening call in “The Guilty”

Gyllenhaal’s been here before

Gyllenhaal has investigated what lies beneath the exteriors of those who maintain the thin blue line before in the gripping and terrifying “End of Watch”. Only this time the multi-faceted actor is his own one man show. And what a hell of a showcase this is, intense and riveting for the entirety of this ninety-minute emotional roller coaster ride.


Gyllenhaal’s powerful performance reminds us all that the brave men and women of law enforcement exist to serve and protect.

And that such driving purpose certainly does not exclude themselves.

I cordially invite you to enjoy all of my entertaining and eclectic film reviews, continually updated, as “The Quick Flick Critic” at:


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“The Guilty” (2021): One begets Another
  • Acting - 7.75/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.25/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6.5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6.75/10
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“The Guilty” (2021): One begets Another

Things are not near what they may appear in the new crime thriller “The Guilty”. Not by a long shot.

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About John Smistad

I am a voracious writer of Movie Reviews. Check 'em out at my Blog, "The Quick Flick Critic", @: The Quick Flick Critic Thanks guys! John

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