20th Feb2023

‘Sharper’ Review (Apple TV+)

by Guest

Stars: Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton, John Lithgow | Written by Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka | Directed by Benjamin Caron

A small, wealthy family in New York City gets progressively torn apart by secrets, lies, and the theft that orchestrates all of it.

I have to respect Sharper, the latest psychological thriller from Benjamin Caron, even though it didn’t completely blow me away. It’s definitely the kind of movie we rarely get to see these days. It has a convoluted plot that only expands and gets crazier as the movie goes along with each new scene.

It all begins with a man named Tom who runs a modest bookstore with a homey atmosphere. One day, a young woman approaches and asks for assistance finding a book as he’s working. Tom assists her in finding it, and the two soon click. He finally asks her out on a date. After that, the two began going out frequently, but this is when Sharper starts to cut deep and get to the heart of the matter. Even if not all of the risks paid off for me, I commend director Caron and screenwriters Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka for taking some chances with this film.

Throughout this entire story, we switch between characters, but unhappily for me, each new character we followed was less compelling than the previous one. Tom was the one in this movie that piqued my interest the most, but sadly, he doesn’t appear all that frequently in the narrative. Justice Smith is fantastic in the sequences he is in, so it’s a great shame that there wasn’t more for him to do in the movie.

Although Max comes out as a huge, arrogant lunatic, Sebastian Stan may deliver the best performance of the picture in that character. Max may or may not have some genuinely sinister truths concealed behind the surface. Stan keeps demonstrating that he is a superb actor who is capable of much more than just playing Bucky Barnes.

I will admit that the marketing for the movie makes Julianne Moore seem like the main character, even though she really isn’t. As there isn’t a main character in this plot, the movie frequently switches between a variety of characters, in my opinion. Even though its aims were a little bit too high, it manages to cram a few thrills along the way despite being a very risky film that doesn’t always pay off.

Sharper is a highly respectable effort that features some good performances all around, despite the fact that the screenplay could have used some improvement.

*** 3/5

Sharper is available to stream now on Apple TV+


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