Time: 106 Minutes
Mark Rylance as Leonard Burling
Johnny Flynn as Francis
Zoey Deutch as Mable Shaun
Dylan O’Brien as Richie Boyle
Simon Russell Beale as Roy Boyle
Director: Graham Moore
Leonard is an English tailor who makes suits on London’s famous Savile Row. He must outsmart a dangerous group of criminals to survive a fateful night.
The Outfit is a thriller from this year, and all I knew about the movie going in was that Mark Rylance was playing a tailor, that’s it. It turned out to be one of the more surprising and overlooked movies of this year so far.
The Outfit is a smartly written and engaging whodunnit crime thriller, with a well written and sharp script. It is set in one location and mostly taking place over one night. It is much like an Alfred Hitchcock movie in both setup and execution, in some ways there are comparisons that can be made to Rope. The plot is tightly woven and is very much a slow burn movie, which is very low key and dialogue heavy. With its steadier pacing, it builds up a lot of intensity. At the same time there is an upbeat nature to it, mostly with its snappy dialogue. It does have plenty of twists and while you could figure out some of them before the reveals, they were entertaining and I think that the payoffs were good. The biggest issue with the movie for me was the final 10 minutes. The Outfit does feel like it is very reliant on twists, but at the ends it adds some twists that weren’t really necessary and feels like it was a bit too much. It is a random additional climax that the movie didn’t need. At the same time, it felt like it was always intended to be included in the movie; its just that it was implemented in a clunky way and could’ve been handled better.
There is a great cast here, and everyone delivers in their roles. Mark Rylance leads this very well as a smart and mysterious tailor who figures his way around the situation that he finds himself stuck in. It’s a very subtle but very effective performance, and one of the highlights of the film. Other actors like Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, and Johnny Flynn play their parts very well. O’Brien plays a different kind of role than usual, and Johnny Flynn particularly works for this movie as one of the villains.
The film is directed well by Graham Moore, simple yet very effective. It is very well shot by Dick Pope and makes great use of the claustrophobic location in the tailor shop. There is a notable number of moments where Mark Rylance narrates and while it seemed like it would get grating and repetitive, it actually fits quite well in the movie.
The Outfit is one of those classic whodunnit thrillers we only get every so often, but wished we had more of nowadays. Outside of the unnecessary and clunky final 10 minutes, its engaging and entertaining, sharply scripted, directly very well, and has a cast of great performances led by Mark Rylance. Definitely check it out, its probably one of the more overlooked movies from this year.