After watching ‘The Guilty,’ are you looking for more films like it? If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try one of these.
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Crime thrillers can take many different forms, from detective novels to murder puzzles to tales of vengeance. When it comes to genre films, one need only look no farther than Antoine Fuqua’s The Guilty (a remake of a 2018 Danish film of the same name). Joe (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an LAPD officer who is serving a mandated time-out from the force as a 911 call center operator. He goes rogue to get the answers he needs to save Emily (Riley Keough) after receiving a call from a lady who believes her ex-husband has kidnapped her. In order to spoil the film’s excellent suspense and surprising revelations, more information is required.
A criminal thriller like The Guilty is not unique; in fact, several films that came before it are strikingly similar to what came next. For those who enjoyed “The Guilty,” here are seven other films that are worthy of your attention if you’re looking for a similar experience.
1. Buried (2010)
Paul Conroy, an American contractor in Iraq, is discovered to be buried alive in a wooden coffin by Ryan Reynolds’ character. Paul’s only possessions are a lighter, a pen, and his cell phone, so he must discover out who kidnapped him and what they want. However, despite the fact that Buried doesn’t take place in a 911 call center, it is comparable to The Guilty in that the action on-screen takes place in Paul’s coffin. It’s an intense and claustrophobic experience for everyone in the theater, and it’s all because of Paul’s point of view. An engaging lead performance, a protagonist trying to put together an incident where the details are murky, and the fact that all contact is done by phone calls all come together in The Guilty.
2. Phone Booth (2002)
As a New York City publicist (Colin Farrell), Stuart (Radha Mitchell) has been having an affair with another lady (Katie Holmes). When Stuart calls his mistress from a phone booth in Times Square, the phone rings instead. In the phone booth, Stuart is threatened by a strange caller who knows all about his relationship with his wife. As a result of the majority of the film taking place in a single, limited area, it has a high potential for suspense. There is a difference between the suspense provided by The Guilty and that provided by Phone Booth, which lets us see how Stuart’s actions (or lack thereof) effect the people and places around him. It’s stressful, suspenseful, and the most of the characters’ conversations take place over the phone throughout the film.
3. The Call (2013)
As with The Guilty, the plot of The Call revolves around a typical day in the life of a 911 dispatcher. Similarly to Joe in The Guilty, Halle Berry portrays Jordan Turner, a woman who is struggling to come to terms with a painful history. Casey (Abigail Breslin) is kidnapped, and it’s up to Jordan to face her own pain in order to save her friend. Joe goes off-script in his efforts to save his caller, but Jordan goes rogue by leaving the contact center and entering the field herself. It’s a substantial enough variation to separate the two films, but it also reveals how the two films share many of the same core themes. Even though both The Guilty and The Call are suspenseful and classified R, The Call’s brutality and climax make it a darker film.
4. Prisoners (2013)
What lengths would you go to save your own child’s life? When his daughter goes missing, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) must confront this question. The police capture and immediately release a young suspect (Paul Dano) who Keller believes to be guilty, fueling Keller’s rage and leading Keller to take matters into his own hands. However, it shares certain similarities with the plot of The Guilty by focusing on a kidnapping and a father who takes the law into his own hands. Jake Gyllenhaal is excellent in both films, with a dark tone and color palette and a strong performance.
5. Saw (2004)
With their ankles tied to the pipes of a run-down lavatory, Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Larry (Cary Elwes) find themselves the latest “players” in the Jigsaw killer’s games of life and death. Both Adam and Larry in Saw and The Guilty have secrets that must be revealed to achieve the answers they are looking for. Both the characters and the audience are plagued with a significant lot of doubt throughout the film. There are times when Adam and Larry have difficulty deciding whether to believe the clues that Jigsaw presents them during their time in prison as truth or deception. Colors are muted and lighting is dim, and the film’s primary action takes place in a small bathroom.
6. Nightcrawler (2014)
Jake Gyllenhaal takes the stage once again in Nightcrawler. His character, Lou Bloom, is a Los Angeles resident who records and sells his recordings to local news stations to air on their broadcasts of violent events (such as car accidents, home invasions, and carjackings). It’s another performance by Gyllenhaal in which his character makes morally dubious choices in pursuit of the truth and his desires. A gloomy color palette (the film takes place mostly at night) and questions regarding ethics, the truth, and what it means to be a law abiding citizen are some of the themes explored in this film.
7. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
When Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up in Howard’s underground bunker after a car accident, he explains that something has happened that has rendered the Earth inhospitable above ground. A claustrophobic picture that builds suspense and tension through a series of surprises, character drama, and powerful acting performances is the subject of this film. As Michelle and Howard debate whether or not they can trust one another, their anxiety grows. To top it all off, in 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Guilty, both Howard and Joe have deep-seated secrets and resentments that play a key role in the resolution of their stories.