Monday, February 27, 2023

Sharper (2023)


Several of the films we've sat through recently have begun with some serious intent, yet it has soon become clear that — rather like Newcastle United today in the Carabao Cup final —  there is going to be no end product, so to speak. In other words, a decent set-up slipping relentlessly into a disappointing resolution.

Fortunately this is not the case with Sharper, a movie that has a clear plan and seems to know what it is doing for every moment of its running time. It's no masterpiece, but the dialogue, the locations and the just non-linear enough section splicing by character perspective all work as they are supposed to. It’s the kind of production critics tend to call ‘slick’, which is almost always a slightly back-handed compliment. 


If you go to see a film about grifters on the loose in the stupidly rich parts of Manhattan, you surely know what to expect. Here we get the familiar nested cons and then the con-ending-con, all exactly as we probably should have expected, but with no leakage of the entertainment value, even if the ending isn’t exactly triumphant. 

Julianne Moore is the biggest star, but perhaps the stand out performances come from Sebastian Stan and Briana Middleton. One might say that Moore, after her biggish reveal, becomes a diluting agent in the dramatic mix. 

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