No Sudden Move review

No Sudden Move' ending explained: What's true in HBO thriller - Los Angeles  Times

Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move has a vibe like the Oceans film series, though it does not have the humor that made Oceans so entertaining. It is a puzzler that centers around a crime mission gone awry. The film is a trail of misleading scenarios, making it hard to know whether to trust the antagonists or the protagonists after the failed mission. It has many intriguing elements of surprise.
No Sudden Moves is set in 1950s Detroit. The film focuses on gangster Curt Goynes, who is played by Don Cheadle. Curt needs money to get out of town and he is hired by Doug Jones, played by Brendan Fraser, to blackmail a family. Goynes has two other gangsters, Ronald and Charley, join him in the plot. Ronald is played by Benicio Del Toro, and Charley is played by Kieran Culkin.

As part of their scheme the group robs a businessman named Matt, played by David Harbour, to retrieve a document that has critical information. The mission goes sideways and fails badly, leading to a murder. The detective on the case is Joe Finney, and he is played by Jon Hamm. Finney tries to figure out who is truly at fault with the deadly attack.

The entertainment value in No Sudden Move comes with the shifting trust between the authorities and the criminals. Curt tries to muddy up the story to hide his involvement. Each criminal knows someone on the inside or does favors for someone else to keep their cover from being blown. No Sudden Move rolls out the misconceptions slowly and eventually we get to see who the bigger bad guy in the failed mob attack is.
Soderbergh’s directing approach is fascinating. As the film evolves more criminal masterminds and schemes from the past and present come around, and the bad deeds are revealed. But the deeds have the criminal masterminds making bank. No Sudden Move had me thinking I trust one character over another, but then later that trust would be altered by a new discovery about a character. It had me wondering whose side I should be on.
The performances by Cheadle, Toro, and Culkin are just heart-pounding. Toro and Culkin seem to have more of an evil side than Cheadle, but Cheadle’s role in the gang adds an important element. Toro and Culkin are criminals who want to scare their victims, whereas Cheadle just wants to get into their mission and get out. The personality clashing between the three criminals is stellar. The blame game between them starts from the very beginning.
No Sudden Move is thrilling. Not amazing, but it had my attention. It takes its time to get to the main point, but overall, it is a savvy crime-thriller. I would say I had mixed feelings before watching the film, but I found myself impressed. I give No Sudden Move three stars.


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