You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘No Good Deed’

Home invader Idris Elba terrorizes housewife Taraji P. Henson in this routine thriller.

Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo, Henry Simmons, Frank Brennan, Kenny Alfsonso, Mirage Moonschein, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Kelly O'Neal, Tatom Pender, Dolan Wilson

No Good Deed” is a mediocre thriller starring Idris Elba as an escaped con terrorizing a housewife (Taraji P. Henson) on the proverbial dark and stormy night. Opened in the U.S. and Canada by Sony without press previews, and reportedly shot more than two years ago, this uninspired effort has nonetheless performed above expectations, and is projected to gross as high as $25 million by the end of its Sept. 12 opening weekend.

Colin Evans (Elba) was strongly suspected of guilt in the disappearance and presumed deaths of five young women, but evidence could only be found to convict him on one barroom-brawl manslaughter charge. Five years later he’s up for parole, but when the board reviewing his case denies his release, he violently escapes from the van taking him back to prison. After paying a visit to a former g.f. (Kate del Castillo) who’s understandably not at all pleased to see him, he crashes his stolen car and lands on the suburban Georgia doorstep of Henson’s Terri.

She’s a former state prosecutor turned unhappy stay-at-home mom to two young children, particularly since her lawyer husband (Henry Simmons) neglects them all. As he’s taken off for a golfing weekend, she’s alone with the kids when Colin shows up, pretending to be an innocent crash victim who just needs to call a tow truck. After a long buildup in which Terri’s flirtatious BFF Alexis (Leslie Bibb) stops by for a predictably ill-fated “girls’ night,” our heroine begins to grasp she’s dealing with one very dangerous “malignant narcissist” (as a court expert put it) at around the 50-minute mark.

The ensuing action is tamely PG-13 in terms of graphic violence, and despite competent performances and packaging, the dialogue and situations in Aimee Lagos’ script are too routine to create much excitement. Nor does Brit TV veteran Sam Miller (making his first theatrical feature in 15 years) contribute much in the way of notable style, atmosphere or suspense. With tech/design contributions equally pro but undistinguished, the overall effect is dullish and forgettable.

Film Review: 'No Good Deed'

Reviewed at Rainbow Market Square Cinemas, Toronto, Sept. 12, 2014. MPAA rating: PG-13. Running time: 84 MIN.

Production: A Sony Pictures release (U.S./Canada) of a Screen Gems presentation of a Will Packer production. Produced by Packer and Lee Clay. Executive producers, Idris Elba, Glenn S. Gainor, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Rob Hardy, Taraji P. Henson, Aimee Lagos, Lindsay Williams.

Crew: Directed by Sam Miller. Screenplay, Aimee Lagos. Camera (color, HD), Michael Barrett; editors, Jim Page, Randy Bricker; music, Michael Barrett; production designer, Chris Cornwell; costume designer, Keith G. Lewis; art director, Michael Ward; set decorator, Melinda Sanders; sound mixer (Dolby Digital/Datasat), Mary H. Ellis; re-recording mixers, Kevin O'Connell, Will Riley; supervising sound editor, Riley; stunt coordinator, Larnell Stovall; 1st assistant director, Mark Anthony Little; casting, George Pierre.

With: Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo, Henry Simmons, Frank Brennan, Kenny Alfsonso, Mirage Moonschein, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Kelly O'Neal, Tatom Pender, Dolan Wilson

More Film

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Glass Movie

    Box Office: 'Glass' Breaking for $47 Million Opening Weekend

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is heading for a solid opening of about $47 million at 3,841 North American locations during its first four days, early estimates showed Friday. The performance is slightly below Universal’s forecasts of $50 million for its supernatural thriller, which took in $3.7 million at 3,200 North American sites in Thursday night [...]

  • oscar nominee predictions 2019

    'Roma,' 'A Star Is Born' Poised to Lead Oscar Nominations

    Things got ugly this awards season, enough to give you pause about what might still lie ahead once Oscar nominations are announced next week. “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride,” etc. But as the phase one dust finally begins to settle, what does the landscape look like? On the heels of [...]

  • Oscars Predictions 2018 Illustration

    Academy Awards: Final Oscar Predictions in All Categories

    Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Below are In Contention’s final predictions in all 24 categories. Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” lead the way with 10 expected nominations apiece, while we forecast eight for Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” and seven each for Damien [...]

  • Zach Barack Spider-Man

    Transgender Actor Zach Barack Joins Sony's 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'

    Newcomer and transgender actor Zach Barack appears in a ground-breaking supporting role in Sony/Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” sources confirm to Variety. Barack can be seen in the new trailer, which was released on Tuesday. Tom Holland is returning to play Peter Parker, with Zendaya and Marisa Tomei also coming back for the sequel. Jake [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content