The Guilty Movie Review
In the tense Danish thriller The Guilty (Den skyldige), a police officer attempts to stop a horrible crime over the phone. Jakob Cedergen gives a great performance in what is essentially a one-man play, a film that takes place entirely within the confines of an emergency dispatch center.
Director and co-writer Gustav Möller does a superb job of transporting the audience beyond the film’s limited set by slowly unraveling an intriguing crime-in-progress through phone calls and Asger’s (Cedergen) interpretation of what’s happening. Möller draws you into as he peels back the onion of his story, one that seems straightforward at first but is anything but.
Cedergen carries the film on his shoulders, as you might expect from a movie where a single actor is asked to carry the film on his shoulders. Though he may look a bit like an early-stage John Cena (i.e. John Cena before he found his footing as a credible actor), Cedergen offers up an emotionally layered and often riveting turn.
The story itself is riveting and not without a few surprises. The movie does lose some of its edge as it progresses—even at an hour and a half, a film set in a single room and with a single actor can only hold your attention for so long—but The Guilty defies its limitations at every turn.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.