An expert cutter must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night.
‘The Outfit’ is the debut feature from screenwriter Graham Moore (‘The Imitation Game’), a gangster caper set almost entirely in a tailors shop somewhere in Chicago. It centres on Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance), an English tailor who operates a shop that acts as a front for a group of Irish gangsters. He has managed to keep out of their way and out of their business up until the point in which ‘The Outfit’ starts, but when two of them turn up at his shop wounded from a gunfight on the nearby streets, he finds himself involved whether he wishes to be or not.
The clearest influence on ‘The Outfit’ comes from the Coen Brothers, whether it be the look and feel (‘Millers Crossing’, ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’) to the twisty, double crossing narrative (‘Blood Simple’, ‘The Ladykillers’, ‘Fargo’) and I felt the movie put a nice fresh twist on the gangster genre. After a couple of weaker performances in ‘Don’t Look Up’ and ‘The Phantom of the Open’ I thought Rylance was back on form here, grounding the film as the louder and brasher gangster characters floated around him. Most prominent of those are Francis (Johnny Flynn), who alongside Richie Boyle (Dylan O’Brien) is vying for the affections of Richie’s dad and their boss Roy (Simon Russell Beale). Richie also happens to be dating Mable (Zoey Deutch), the shop receptionist, and as you can probably tell there’s a lot of plates set up to be spun and knocked down, which I felt ‘The Outfit’ did successfully.
I thought ‘The Outfit’ was a well-crafted old fashioned thriller, with a sharp screenplay, a slick visual style and some fun twists and turns, and it shows that Graham Moore has a talent for directing as well as writing.
Directed By: Graham Moore
Starring: Mark Rylance, Johnny Flynn, Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, Simon Russell Beale and Nikki Amuka-Bird