"Psychological Thriller about the Pitfalls of Greed"
What You Need To Know:
Despite a slow beginning, SHARPER has an entertaining plot with excellent directing and acting. Throughout the movie, viewers wonder what’s real and what’s fake. SHARPER has a mixed worldview, with lots of strong gratuitous foul language. Money is the ultimate ideal, with people not caring whether they hurt other people to get it. In the end, the real criminals get their just desserts, and the person who deserves to control the money wins. SHARPER also has some references to sex, drug addiction and homosexuality, however. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises excessive.
SHARPER is a psychological thriller on Apple TV+ about dysfunctional families, love and false identities, wrapped in a twisty plot that involves some bad people and some not so bad people trying to control the fortune of an older man who dies. SHARPER has an entertaining plot with some excellent directing and acting, but the moral, redemptive ending, where the real criminals are punished, and the person who most deserves the money wins in the end, is spoiled by some hedonistic, immoral attitudes and behavior, lots of strong foul language, and light references to drug addiction.
Tom, a bookstore owner, meets Sandra, a Ph.D. student. The two have an instant connection. Sandra tells Tom she has a brother who is a drug addict who needs $350,000 to pay his debt to drug dealers. Tom gives her the money, which he borrows from his super-wealthy father, Richard Hobbes. However, Sandra disappears with the money.
A flashback shows that Sandra was working with a con man named Max, who helped her out when Sandra got into trouble with her parole officer. It runs out, though, that Max cheats Sandra out of her portion of the money from Tom and his father.
Max happens to be the son of a woman named Madeline, who’s actually involved with Tom’s father. Both Max and Madeline are actually trying to swindle the father out of all of his money. More plot twists follow from this revelation. In fact, the entire movie turns out to be a cat and mouse game of who is scamming whom, and the price they ultimately pay for their greed. The question becomes: Who will come put on top?
One of the best features of SHARPER is the cinematography, which is well done. As viewers become more aware of the plot, the lighting plays a key role in determining which relationships are real and which ones are fake.
That said, the movie’s best part is the plot. From the first scene to the last, the audience is constantly asking themselves, “Is this real, or is this fake?” Julianne Moore, John Lithgow and Sebastian Stan’s performances as Madeline, Richard and Max, respectively, are all stellar. Also, relative newcomers Justice Smith and Briana Middelton as Tom and Sandra make it seem as though they’ve been in the acting business forever. All these characters take viewers on a psychological thrill ride that’s equally entertaining as well as mentally stimulating.
Sadly, the central motivation of most of the characters is hedonistic in that money is the ultimate ideal to achieve in life, no matter who you hurt to get it. However, there’s a strong moral, redemptive element where the real criminals get their just desserts and the person who deserves to get most of the father’s fortune wins.
SHARPER has some strong objectionable content that warrants extreme caution, however. For example, it has a scene of strong violence where a man is shot, as well as many strong obscenities and three strong profanities. SHARPER also has references to sex, drug addiction and homosexuality. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises excessive.
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