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Film Review: No Sudden Move (2021)

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Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, “No Sudden Move,” is the movie I needed this summer. Clocking in under two hours, the film is tense, intriguing, and full of twists and turns to keep the viewer engaged for the duration of the runtime.

The film is abundantly entertaining. Every scene feels just right for this story of crime and intrigue, and even the quiet moments lend themselves well to the subtle exploration of our central characters; there is not an ounce of fat on this film. This is the film for a quiet night spent at home with friends, as there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In 1954 Detroit, a crew of small-time criminals are hired to steal a mysterious document. When their heist goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what purpose – sends them spiraling through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

“No Sudden Move” boasts a star studded cast, with Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Julia Fox, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, and Brendan Fraser each getting their time in the spotlight. Don Cheadle seems to have finally received his due as a leading man after years of being in the background of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this is certainly a welcome change. His character is quiet and soft spoken, but there’s cunning and authenticity behind each word and each move he makes. Brendan Fraser has been making a comeback as of late, and I could not be more ecstatic about it. He brings an energy to the screen from the moment he steps into frame, and when I go to watch this movie again, it will almost certainly be to see him shine again.

In typical Soderbergh fashion, the director also serves as the cinematographer for his film, and the look of this movie stands apart from the rest those that have been released in 2021. He juxtaposes warm interiors and cold exteriors flawlessly; the coloring and choice of camera lens lends itself well to the atmosphere and creates at times a murky environment that invokes the emotional turmoil of the central characters. This movie is a pleasure to watch.

The story is clear and well-written. The characters are sharp, the stakes get higher and higher, and the climax is surprising and satisfying. Steven Soderbergh once again delivers a thrilling and engaging film that proves his expertise behind the camera.

“No Sudden Move,” available on HBO Max, is a movie that should not go unnoticed this year. Rated R.

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Shane Carley from Trumbull, CT is a rising senior at Gettysburg College, where he is majoring in Political Science and English, with a Writing Concentration, and minoring in Cinema and Media Studies. This summer, Shane is interning for the Gettysburg Connection. In the free time he wishes he had, Shane likes to read, write, and watch films. Following graduation next spring, he hopes to study for a Master's Degree in Political Journalism.

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