Fresh from a tinnitus driver for criminals, Ansel Elgort is back only this time he’s trying to solve things for himself in the adaptation of the Sam Munson book of the same name.
November Criminals follows Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, Carrie) as he attempts to get to the bottom of the murder of his friend at a local bakery/coffee shop.
Despite everyone telling him to leave it alone and let the police sort it out, he ignores them and sets out on a one man crusade to get to the bottom of it.
At times he’s helped by his friend/girl-friend Chloe Grace Moretz (The 5th Wave, Brain On Fire) but her mum, Catherine Keener (Captain Phillips, Get Out) is, as you’d expect, dead against it and Moretz becomes less thrilled by how it’s all going.
Along the way Elgort turns up all manner of things about his friend Jared Kemp (Luke Cage (TV), The Purge: Election Year), who he thought was a jazz-playing, poet-writing geek, but it turns out he was more.
Let’s begin at the problems with November Criminals which are, I’m afraid to say, numerous.
I’ve a hard time believing Elgort and Moretz are young enough to still be in high-school, despite their young appearance.
Despite a running time of an hour and 25 minutes, November Criminals feels far too long, it could have easily been edited down further without any loss or pain.
Elgort is ok as the titular character though the wardrobe department decide to make him wear a long Sherlock Holmes-esq coat whilst he’s ‘detecting’ which is odd.
Also, to solve the riddle of his friend’s murder, he doesn’t actually have to strain himself much, or really do that much to get to the bottom of it all.
Moretz’s character is reduced to that of the girlfriend trying to protect her boyfriend but then, seemingly just ‘cos, she gives him the key piece of information which is obviously going to push him into things further.
This, along with why Elgort uses a pager instead of a mobile phone, or still uses cassettes instead of anything else, are things that are left unexplored. We’re just supposed to accept that whilst Moretz is using an iMac for her school work, Elgort doesn’t even have a Nokia!
November Criminals (a really strange title), is a confused and thin crime, drama, mystery, love-story of a movie.
Because of everything it attempts to fit in it only gives a light touch to it all with the majority of the time spent on the growing love story between Elgort and Moretz, the crime hunting side-lined, only really there to say you never really know someone.