The Outfit Review

REVIEW: The Outfit

The Outfit tells the story of one night in a 1950s Chicago tailor shop owned by an expert tailor, Leonard (Mark Rylance). Leonard’s shop holds a mysterious dropbox filled throughout the day with envelopes and two young mobsters, Richie (Dylan O’Brien) and Francis (Johnny Flynn), collect the contents in the evenings. Envelopes appear with a marking for The Outfit, a nationwide mob organization. The Outfit warns the Chicago crew of a rat in its midst and delivers a tape recording. Richie and Francis are determined to find the rat by the end of the night. Throughout the long evening, Leonard and his secretary, Mable (Zoey Deutch) must outmanoeuvre the mobsters in order to stay alive.

The Outfit is a tight, well-paced mystery thriller. The story, twists, and turns weren’t necessarily groundbreaking or original, but it was certainly entertaining and Graham Moore’s directorial debut is largely successful. The decision to contain the film in the tailor shop was wise as it means you must rely on the other characters regarding the events occurring outside of the shop and this gives the film a slightly claustrophobic, somewhat Hitchcock-esque feel. The tension throughout the film made it more engaging, and the score was a large part of that, flaring up at the correct times to make an impact.

Honestly, as soon as I saw Mark Rylance in the cast, I would have seen it regardless. Rylance doesn’t tend to pick bad scripts, so that was reassuring, and he plays the perfect, seemingly aloof Englishman, whose façade disintegrates to reveal who he really was throughout the film.  

Upon walking out of the theatre, something really bothered me. I couldn’t describe what it was because I liked the film. Then, it hit me. You know when you get the feeling that the writers think they’ve been super creative and produced some great twists? Like ‘ha-ha, I got you!’? Yeah, that was the vibe I had. The reveals at the end weren’t all that clever because something was missing. The missing puzzle piece was motivation. There didn’t seem to be any genuinely significant or strong motivation for the characters’ actions. I don’t know if the lack of conviction was the fault of the writing, direction, or acting, but it was missing for me.

While I liked the film, the end left a bad taste in my mouth. Honestly, it felt very condescending. I’m sure that’s not the emotional reaction Moore was aiming for. Did I deduct a star because of how I felt after the film? Absolutely. Would I watch it again? If someone I knew wanted to see it, sure.

The Outfit Crime, Drama | April 8, 2022 (United Kingdom)
Director: Graham MooreWriter: Johnathan McClain, Graham MooreStars: Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Dylan O'BrienSummary: Leonard (Mark Rylance), a master English tailor who's ended up in Chicago, operates a corner tailor shop with his assistant (Zoey Deutch) where he makes beautiful clothes for the only people around who can afford them: a family of vicious gangsters. One night, two killers (Dylan O'Brien, Johnny Flynn) knock on his door in need of a favor - And Leonard is thrust onto the board in a deadly game of deception and murder.


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