Parents' Guide to

Sleuth (2007)

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Intense cat-and-mouse thriller is for adults only.

Movie R 2007 86 minutes
Sleuth (2007) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

It feels dated and forced

I am a big fan of Branagh's work and of Caine. This film tries very hard, but ultimately I think it falls short in its storytelling, its assimilation of media, and its pedantic-esque dialogue. Law seems to be game and Caine always performs his lines with so much believability that it makes Law look like he's pretending to act. Caine has control of each scene and even when he doesn't he takes it back whenever he likes, but it's still not enough.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Though they're ostensibly dueling over Maggie, it's the interplay between the two men that takes center stage, resulting in a a twisted, all-consuming, and violent battle for supremacy. It's physical, mental, and emotional, draining and exhilarating at the same time. Winner takes all -- though what "all" means is left up for debate. Caine and Law are a perfect match -- no surprise, given how ably Law stepped into Caine's shoes in 2005's Alfie. Caine taps a deep reservoir of rage not seen in his films in ages; Law, on the other hand, buries his pretty-boy image -- Milo is rough and desperate and, though handsome to behold, unafraid to be ugly (in one scene, he transforms "wit" into a loaded, almost shameful, word).

But just like Alfie, Sleuth is a little too slick. Andrew's estate is more cold than grand, and Branagh, by lingering too fondly on the high-tech edge of it all, threatens to snuff the rawness out of his movie. (He is, admittedly, excellent at setting tone; menace pervades the film throughout.) The first half-hour delights in the high-tech stuff -- the indoor elevator, the fancy lighting, the security cameras, the computer that controls it all -- so much that it almost seems like an ad for a modern-day "smart house." To heighten the face-off between its two main characters, Sleuth needed just a little more grit.

Movie Details

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