WHAT I LIKED: It wouldn't be hard to argue that Gustav Möller's 'The Guilty,' is the most impressive film of the year when you consider its concept on paper, as literally the entire thing takes place in an emergency call centre with the camera on a single police officer trying to deal with a horrifying kidnapping down the end of his line, and yet it's still a constant edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you hooked from start to finish.
Now you'd probably imagine that such a high-concept premise would have interest waning fairly early on, but the way the story unravels and the claustrophobia and helplessness that the police officer feels from his desk is actually extremely powerful. He's trapped in a room and yet desperate to save this lady and we're there with him imagining the realities unfolding out of our control, and whilst you care for the outcome of those characters on the end of the phone, what properly makes it work is that you are invited into the shoes of the central character and really get to know him by the end. This is because the script devotees a lot of time to cleverly developing him personally and providing an empathy with the case for him, but it's also because lead actor Jakob Cedergren delivers a thoroughly brilliant performance that brings the frustration to life perfectly.
Overall though, it is the screenplay that's the true masterpiece on display here as it reveals itself extremely intelligently (amounting to a very interesting thematic statement at the end too) and it ultimately crafts one of the most successful and engaging thrillers of recent years - something which is all the more impressive when you consider the premise at work.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's more like reading a book or listening to a podcast than a cinematic experience, but then that's the very essence of the concept.
VERDICT: A thoroughly intelligent high-concept thriller that works because of the way its script reveals its horrifying story, 'The Guilty,' is a writing masterclass. In fact, it's probably the best screenplay of the year.