Photo Courtesy of Apple TV+

‘Sharper’ Review: An Average Thriller That Doesn’t Quite Come Together

In a tense world, Sharper adds so fun thrills for fans to dive into. Anchored with top-tier talent, the story sometimes comes together. Thrillers can be so hit or miss, especially if they rely too much on the thrills themselves rather than the construction of a compelling story. While Sharper mostly maintains this balance it doesn’t always. This makes for a mixed experience overall.

The performances are what make this movie stronger. In a movie boasting an all-star cast including Julianne Moore, John Lithgow, and Sebastian Stan. The main characters, played by Briana Middleton and Justice Smith respectively, are captivating. Middleton and Smith have screen presence that doesn’t quit for the duration of the story. They play off of each other perfectly. Their chemistry is by far the strongest in the movie. 

This isn’t to say that the all-star cast doesn’t bring their best. Moore in particular is magnetic as a woman who thinks she has successfully played the system. Lithgow is the evil rich father in the background. Stan is oddly reserved, which is great, although he definitely could have turned the chaos all the way up. It’s great to see that he can show this restraint, but this role maybe wasn’t the place for such a quietly chaotic performance. 

Not every layer of the story makes a tonne of sense. On the other hand, they don’t really need to. This is no Knives Out mystery. It’s a story about rich people drawing less rich people into committing financial and other crimes. There doesn’t need to be anything else to the story. Sometimes the movie forgets what it is and tries to veer into something more complex. An enjoyable ride is sometimes the best one. 

One surprising feature of Sharper is its shockingly bad dialogue. It is so weirdly stilted. In some parts, it’s almost a distraction. These are all incredible actors who deserve a script that matches their respective talents. The cheesy dialogue is completely out of place in a story about people trying to out-smart and out-manoeuvre one another. This takes viewers directly out of the story that the movie is trying to tell.  

Sharper shines when it doesn’t take itself too seriously and lets the characters embrace the chaos of the story. While the movie doesn’t always come together, the story is ultimately a moderately enjoyable journey. While this may not be a top-tier thriller, it’s a ride that is at least a little bit fun. Sometimes, this is all that a movie needs to be. 

Sharper is available to stream on Apple TV+.

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