‘The Outfit‘ is a claustrophobic crime thriller directed by Graham Moore, in his directorial debut. He also co-wrote the film with Johnathan McClain. The movie was made by Focus Features and eventually made its way onto the Peacock streaming service.
Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance) is a “cutter” or custom tailor working out of a shop in 1950s Chicago. His neighborhood is run by an Irish gang where the boss Roy Boyle (Simon Russell Beale), his son Richie (Dylan O’Brien), and righthand man Francis (Johnny Flynn) are frequent visitors who deposit envelopes in a mailbox in the back. Leonard has a paternal relationship with his secretary Mable Shaun (Zoey Deutch) who is having an affair with Richie. However, after a shootout with Violet LaFontaine (Nikki Amuka-Bird) and her gang, Riche arrives with a bullet wound with Francis demanding a tape, supposedly with evidence of a rat. At first, the three are getting along despite the situation, but after Francis kills Richie, things go south very fast and Leonard must act to protect his shop.
Honestly, I am rarely a fan of the “claustrophobic” genre. If a film is taking place in a single majority space, it better have compelling characters, a satisfying plot, and a definitive climax. With this thriller, I can say that it met all of that criteria.
Rylance is brilliant as the cutter. He is a talented actor who played this part very well. He and the rest of the cast had terrific chemistry. It is risky when the main protagonist is on screen for most of the feature, but Rylance brought it all together with the rest of the actors and actresses.
As for the story, it is pretty good. Now, it is nothing original, but it had a compelling story to tell. There was a sort of weird twist at the end that I thought was unnecessary, but other than that, I enjoyed it. I doubt it will make waves, but it is perfect if you like good ol’ fashioned gangster films or ones that are more character-driven.
It had a myriad of twists to the plot, but I never got overwhelmed or lost. They kept it focused and it truly showed that gangster films can still be on top. As I mentioned, I am not a fan of claustrophobic films, but this was one was enjoyable.
Bottom line, The Outfit is a good gangster film that does not explore but chooses to focus on its protagonist and his place of business. While not a change of pace, it was a decent thriller.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m the rat.
Check out the trailer below:
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