The Outfit Parent Guide
This one-room mystery is cleverly written, well acted and enhanced by a solid visual aesthetic. Unfortunately, it is also full of profanity.
Parent Movie Review
From his small bespoke tailor shop in 1950’s Chicago, Leonard (Mark Rylance) has a lot of opportunity to observe people. Customers come into his shop all the time, all with different styles and tastes…but not all of them are looking for a good suit. A small black mailbox in the back of his shop serves as a dead drop for a local crime family. While this ensures ongoing protection for Leonard and his shop, it also means he and his assistant, Mable (Zoey Deutch), have to keep a careful eye out for the unusual. Late one cold December night, the unusual arrives: Richie (Dylan O’Brien), the son of the local crime boss, and his guard Francis (Johnny Flynn) turn up with a briefcase, containing evidence against a rat in the organization. As accusations and suspicions brew in the cozy shop, everyone is going to have to think quickly to avoid being left out in the cold…for good.
I’m a huge fan of these one-room mysteries. The cozy in-from-the-storm atmosphere sets off the nasty mess of lies and suspicion that ferment in the warmth like weird smells in a locker room. The limited setting also means there’s more time to focus on the intrigue and the characters, instead of taking the audience on a tour of Chicago’s seediest locales. Instead, the audience gets to get comfortable in Leonard’s suave storefront, while the characters bring all the drama to you.
And that drama proceeds at a comfortable pace. While the film isn’t exactly non-stop action, the twists and turns of the plot are riveting – even if I did guess a few of them right off the bat. Mark Rylance is, as always, wonderful. He manages to seem quiet, unassuming, brilliant, and surprising somehow concurrently, which is exactly what the story needs. He acts as a fascinating counterpoint to the array of underworld figures who parade through his workshop. My biggest gripe is in the casting of Dylan O’Brien, who manages not to be terrible, but doesn’t exactly elevate his material, either.
Parents undeterred by the MPAA rating will probably regret bringing younger viewers to this crime thriller. As you might expect from a film about organized crime, these characters are not exactly circumspect in their diction – unless you consider 69 f-bombs to be the pinnacle of erudite expression. Then there’s the violence, which is typically more of a background affair, but still involves a fair bit of blood.
This is a solid film, especially considering it’s director Graham Moore’s first attempt at directing. While the film doesn’t break any new ground in the genre, it knows what it wants to be and it gets about doing it with great style and compelling characters. If nothing else, this is worth watching just for Mark Rylance. But then again, I’d pay to watch him read the phonebook.Directed by Graham Moore. Starring Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Dylan O'Brien. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release March 18, 2022. Updated March 17, 2022
Watch the trailer for The Outfit
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Outfit rated R? The Outfit is rated R by the MPAA for some bloody violence, and language throughout
Violence: People are shot and stabbed. A character is briefly choked. Dialogue refers to torture and individuals dying in a fire. A character gets a gunshot wound stitched up without anesthetic.
Sexual Content: There are brief non-explicit references to “pillow talk”.
Profanity: There are 69 uses of sexual expletives, 11 scatological curses, and occasional use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly shown drinking small amounts of alcohol and smoking tobacco. Alcohol is used to sterilize a wound.
Page last updated March 17, 2022
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Another neo-noir crime thriller set in the 50s is Motherless Brooklynn. Strangers come together to unravel a mystery in films like Murder on the Orient Express, Bad Times at the El Royale, Death on the Nile, and 12 Angry Men. Other one-room movies include Rope, The Guilty, Rear Window, Windfall, Locke, and Dial M for Murder. The film references Al Capone and his Chicago Outfit, which can be seen in The Untouchables.