Denzel Washington puts his all into the characters he portrays, defining them by their grace, dignity, humanity, and inner strength. He does that again in The Little Things.
Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel) is a Kern County Deputy Sheriff, who has been called to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to collect evidence pertaining to a recent murder.
The story began in 1990, when a girl driving on a highway, was stalked by a motorist. She pulled over at a gas station where the motorist followed her. The gas station was closed, and she was forced to run through the desert. She caught the attention of a passing truck driver, escaping from the pursuit.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detective Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek) has been called to the scene of a new murder. Jimmy was instructed to carry Deacon with him. Deacon notices similarities between the M.O. of the killing and the M.O. of an old serial murder case he was unable to solve.
That old case didn’t end well for Deke. He had a hard-attack, went through a hard divorce - all because he couldn’t let go. He could not stand not being able to solve a case.
This new case involves a woman named Ronda Rathbun who was followed by a car while jogging and reported missing the following morning.
The next night, the police discover the body of another victim washed up beneath a bridge. Baxter learns the M.O. is consistent with that of the earlier murder and others: the victims were all prostitutes stabbed to death. Deacon begins investigating Albert Sparma, a suspect working at a repair store in proximity to the murders. Deacon tails Sparma but is thwarted, so he takes Sparma in for questioning. While under interrogation, Sparma taunts the detectives and is released after provoking Deacon into an angry outburst.
The Little Things crackles with tension, as two road weary detectives play cat and mouse with one of the most dangerous, unpredictable serial killers to ever grace the screen.
At one point Deke asks the serial killer Sparma (Jared Leto) about the trunk space in his car, eluding to the fact of where the bodies begin.
Later Albert returns the question to Deke, knowing Deke only has circumstantial evidence.
This is a top notch thriller.