Sleight

A young street magician is left to take care of his little sister after his mother's passing and turns to drug dealing in the Los Angeles party scene to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets into trouble with his supplier, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to rely on both his sleight of hand and brilliant mind to save her.

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  • ★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd

    A promising debut from co-writer and director J.D. Dillard, Sleight is a rare but refreshing non-IP superhero origin story as well as a gripping crime thriller and a compelling family drama, with solid direction and performances, well-crafted visuals, and interesting characters.

  • ★★★½ review by Jacob on Letterboxd

    There are quite a few fumbles in the final act (disappointing for a film about a magician) and the screenplay could've used some more subtly, but this was still a very engaging 90 minutes and my favorite directorial debut of 2017 so far. Despite being made on a humble budget of $250k, I would easily believe that this film had a couple million to work with, considering how compelling the visuals are. The tricks and other effects were all pretty convincing, and the locations and look of the characters were perfectly fitting for the narrative.

    What really sold me on this film were the characters, and how quickly invested I became in this young man's life. I really wanted him to be okay, and if there was ever a moment where I doubted he would be, I was on the edge of my seat, anxiously waiting to see how things would turn out. His girlfriend is the most adorable human being I've ever seen, and his little sister and neighbor are equally lovable. Though he makes some certainly unlawful and probably unethical decisions throughout the film, I never once questioned his actions. There was one particular moment of the film where it takes a sudden dip into horror, but thinking back on it, it did act as an effective turning point in the protagonist's situation.

    Some of the dialogue gets a bit too obvious, and the film doesn't end in a way that feels entirely natural (or thematically consistent with the body of it), yet all the other elements made this a great watch. I look forward to seeing what J.D. Dillard does next.

    Rating: 70/100

  • ★★★★ review by Jeremy Reviews Entertainment on Letterboxd

    A big surprise. Sleight is a well-acted, fun, and original movie, and while there are a couple predictable plot points, and it the ending is a bit rushed and anticlimactic, but as a whole I thought this was a great indie with an outstanding performance from Jacob Latimore. If this one is playing near you, definitely check it out. I have no clue why this is getting just okay reviews.

    GRADE: B+

  • ★★★★ review by bmaster4616 on Letterboxd

    Good movie with a twist not the "superhero" genre. It did have its faults with some poor acting, terrible direction, and some lighting issues. However, the film was surprisingly refreshing without relying on cliches. The ending is very different and isn't the huge big boss battle like other films. It's kind of grounded in reality and shows what happens to someone in a bad neighborhood with nothing. It's almost like training day meets chronicle with superman gadgets. Very interesting. Could have been better if the director knew simple direction. It was bad,

  • ★★★★ review by David A on Letterboxd

    Charming and understated. Definitely worth checking out. It won't be in theaters for long unfortunately.

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