Critic Consensus: Sleight subverts genre norms, delivering a smart and well-acted -- if ultimately somewhat frustrating -- magical mystery.
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Critic Reviews for Sleight
Sleight... is a minor film with major virtues: tenderness, imagination, and a strong grasp of character and setting.
[Latimore] has a magnetic screen presence mixed with a down-to-Earth directness. And while he's got swagger for days, he's just as compelling when his character is quietly contemplating his next move.
The film lives and dies by Latimore's performance, which is quiet and ever-shifting.
Dillard's feature debut squanders its high concept ... and serves up a low-rent, Nickelodeon-lite version of that story, blowing his chance with corny acting, paint-by-numbers plotting, and a dippy score.
A tight tale well-told, with an appealing hero, a direct route to satisfaction, and the ever-present sense that the merest turn toward stylistic extravagance or adventure frippery would sink it.
Audience Reviews for Sleight
A nerd who likes to perform magic tricks ALSO happens to be the friendly neighborhood drug dealer and thief in this story where credibility is stretched even while the presentation is decently okey-dokey. J.D.Dillard writes and directs and might well be going places in the future, but this is and shows all the signs of a starting effort. Can't wait for the next go round though.
Almost everything that happens in Sleight made me think "Oh, this is just like where this happens in that other, better, movie". But the fact that it's original IP overall is refreshing, and just because someone else did it better, doesn't mean Sleight doesn't do it very well.
It is surprising to see this not being talked about more. The fact that it was done on a budget of $250,000 and anybody even knew that it is out is a miracle in my eyes. It just goes to show that people will go out of their way to see a film that's off the beaten path if you give them the option. As for the film, it seems like an ideal date movie. There's isn't anything you have to think about very hard. The protagonists are all likable and well acted. It sneakily becomes a superhero movie without dwelling on an origin or mythos. The lead Jacob Latimore shines in his first starring role - another great surprise as he was in one of last year's worst films, "Collateral Beauty". His on-screen girlfriend Seychelle Gabriele played the dead fish princess in "The Last Airbender", so they are both making up for lost time. The plot revolves around Latimore, a gifted young man with a passion for street magic and Harry Houdini. His mother's passing leads him to a life of crime to support his little sister, but he doesn't really want that life and get's in over his head. He uses his magic skills to get himself out of several close calls while protecting the people he cares about. All around the performances are great, and the story is solid. However, it does seem to fall victim to the YA, superhero shows on CW vibe. Then there is one extremely violent tonal shift that brings to mind a certain "Game of Thrones" episode involving Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's character. There are also some pacing issues with the last act, so it's not a perfect movie. But it is entertaining and well worth the price of admission.
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