Tom Hardy in Locke meets Halle Berry in The Call sounds like the kind of absurd pitch you’d hear from an over-zealous fictional producer in a broad Tinseltown satire – yet it’s not entirely the wrong number for The Guilty, a high-concept, low-budget and skilfully muscle-tensing Danish thriller […].
Anchored by a performance of sturdy, simmering resolve by the reliable Jakob Cedergren, as an emergency police dispatcher who picks up on a kidnapping case with more than meets the ear, Gustav Möller’s short, taut debut feature never leaves the claustrophobic confines of the call center, but builds a vivid aural suspense narrative through the receiver, all while incrementally unboxing the visible protagonist’s own frail mental state. […] Cedergren carries the whole with tight-nerved physical and vocal intensity, progressively externalizing the rage of a character who tries his best not to be read; it’s his most generous showcase since Thomas Vinterberg’s Submarino.
[…] [S]ound editor Oskar Skriver […] makes the most of the film’s minimalist setup, brilliantly filling in a highly specific sonic atmosphere of on-the-hoof panic on the other end of the line, and playing it effectively against the dead air of the call center. Visually, it’s a near-one-man-show, only with multiple lives hanging in the balance.
Guy Lodge, Variety