Sharper Review- A Mystery Film that Doesn’t Con the Audience Watching at Home

Films about con men or women can be some of the most entertaining kinds of films made. Filmmakers and actors for generations have made these kinds of films some of the best. A lot of television shows have also been made about this genre. This genre has been most of the time. Sharper is the latest film about con men and women. It has many twists and turns and what seems up is indeed down. That’s why it’s such a good movie.

Sandra (Briana Middleton) is a young woman who goes into a bookstore and buys a book but she can’t pay for it. The owner of the bookstore, Tom (Justice Smith) says to come back and pay him later. She shows up just as he’s locking up and going home. They spark up a relationship with each other but it’s all part of a con to steal a valuable book Tom owns. Sandra was trained by Max (Sebastian Stan) who was in turn trained by Madrline (Julianne Moore) Together they’ve been planning cons for years. Tom is the son of the biggest con they have ever planned. That of a billionaire Richard Hobbes (John Lithgow) That’s where all the twists and turns come in.

The Director, Benjamin Caron, enlisted a great cast for this little film about a big con and the men and women who were involved in it. The writers of the screenplay Alessandro Tanaka, and Brian Gatewood have crafted a story that has a lot of moving parts to it. The stellar cast has to act out all of these parts to perfection to get the audience on board with their story. A story that is one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

The cast is filled with fantastic award-winning actors and actresses, Julianne Moore who won an Academy Award for Still Alice and John Lithgow has won a bunch of Emmys in various roles. Sebastian Stan has been making waves lately as Tommy Lee in Pam and Tommy and a serial killer who likes to eat and or sell his victim’s body parts for money in Fresh. The two actors who made the most impact on me in this film were Briana Middleton, The Tender Bar, and Justice Smith, Detective Pikachu. They’ve both been in other films before but in this they both shine. Middleton has a lot to do in her role and handles it all thoroughly and Smith is more subtle in his approach to his character but is still very effective.

The film deals with each of these four main characters individually by designating each chapter of the movie with their names. We see where these characters are in the context of the film and how they fit into the overall plot. This way of telling the story was very interesting. It allowed us as the viewers to see what the filmmaker wanted us to see but not give away the entire plot of the movie in each of these segments. I liked the way the director and writers gave just enough away to make us more intrigued by the next chapter that preceded the last.

Sharper takes the title to a whole new level. It is a sharp film with an equally sharp script and acting. Everybody involved came to play with this movie. The acting by the entire cast is stellar with Middleton and Smith as the standouts. The writing is a real treat for viewers in this film. The plot was kept very secret between each segment that preceded the next. And the direction by Caron was impeccable. He had to balance so much with each subsequent character he introduced but kept the final twist close to his vest until it was time to spring it on the viewers watching. This was a chef’s kiss of an ending my applause to everyone involved.

Sharper is on Apple TV + February 10th, 2023

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

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