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Jake Gyllenhaal’s New Netflix Movie ‘The Guilty’: A Review

Let me start by saying this: “Who doesn’t love Jake Gyllenhaal’s beautiful face?!” I know I do, and I’m sure anyone reading this does too. Mr. Gyllenhaal has been in numerous films, some of the most popular being Nightcrawler, Zodiac, Prisoners, Spider-man: Far From Home, and Southpaw. Even though his new film The Guilty has remained on Netflix’s “Top 10 Most-Watched” list, it just isn’t one of his best movies. Gyllenhaal has so much talent, and while his acting skills are amazing, the film just didn’t do it for me. Here is my take on what went wrong.

First off, there’s a bit too much of his face. Don’t get me wrong, he has a gorgeous face. Stunning, in fact. But having that be the only face I see throughout the majority of the movie got a little boring. I am one to be captivated and focused on any movie, giving it the chance to entice me, however, I just kept. Getting. Distracted. I found myself going on my phone, even picking at my nails — and I’m not one to pick my nails!

It just felt that, although there was so much going on, we couldn’t even see any of it other than in the emotion and dialogue from Gyllenhaal and who he was on the phone with.

Next, the plotline was not super strong. It was pretty similar to The Call, (a classic starring Halle Berry btw). Gyllenhaal’s character has the job of a 911 dispatcher and it seems that he is a police officer being forced to work in the dispatch department as a punishment for some sort of crime he committed on duty. It seems intriguing, but the audience doesn’t find out what happened until the last few moments of the film. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Gyllenhaal’s face break as he said out loud what he has done is heartbreaking and demonstrates his great acting, but I personally would have LOVED to see some more action, flashbacks, and other characters in the film.

The film did a good job at making you scared for the safety of the woman who had been supposedly kidnapped, but I just wish we got to see her face as well as hear her voice. The plot twist was surprising, but once again, without the connection to who these people were, I didn’t feel as much emotion as I wanted to when we found out that surprise ending.

All in all, the film was a 5/10 in my opinion. Sure, the ending was alright. The plot itself was not very strong, it was generic, and although we all love Jake Gyllenhaal’s face, we could have used a little more of other characters’ faces too. Log onto Netflix and see for yourself!

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Victoria Tustin

U Mass Amherst '22

Tory is a senior here at UMass Amherst. She is currently a Journalism major with a Spanish minor, and has a passion for writing just about anything!
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