Apple TV has a brilliant line-up of movies and series for 2023, and one of the most anticipated titles amongst them all has been Sharper. Sharper gained a lot of traction when it was first announced, and that was mostly because of the star-studded cast led by Sebastian Stan, Julianne Moore, John Lithgow, Justice Smith, and Brianna Middleton, but we’ll have to admit Stan and Moore’s performance definitely stood out in an otherwise slightly above-average con movie.
We’re to talk about everything that worked for Sharper, and the things that didn’t, ultimately giving our verdict on whether you should stream it or skip it.
We have previously talked about Sharper on our website and the cast had set our expectations high but we did wonder just how Sharper would live up to the hype, because at the end of the day, it is a movie filled with cons, and the uniqueness might just dwindle away.
We’re afraid that’s exactly what happened with Sharper, but we stuck by it until the end, and let’s just say, we aren’t filled with too much regret. This article will contain some spoilers, so proceed with caution, especially if you haven’t watched Sharper yet.
One Con, Two Con, Three Con, Four.
As we mentioned in the introduction, Sharper is all about cons. Before we review this movie, let’s summarize the plot for you, so you have a better idea about how the movie progresses because although the narrative is pretty straightforward, there might be a few moments where you might ask yourself, “who is the conman, and who is getting conned?” Sharper has a sweet and simple start, and if you know the premise or genre of the movie, you know that sweet and simple isn’t going to stick around for long.
The first two characters we are introduced to are Tom and Sandra. They have a simple meet-cute, which leads to a dinner date, and eventually blossoms into a well-formed relationship.
This goes on for the first fifteen minutes of the movie, and the whole while you just know it is too good to be true because Sharper is far from a romance movie.
Things begin to unfold between Sandra and Tom when she’s desperate for money to help her brother out, and Tom has his father’s money, which he offers to Sandra upfront, no questions asked.
We aren’t just talking about a few grand, but a total of $350,000. Of course, after that, Tom doesn’t hear from Sandra, and that was the first con of Sharper.
Next, we are introduced to how Sandra came into this business, which leads us to Max, who might be a fan favorite, but most of the credit goes to Sebastian Stan for portraying this character well.
Max is a seasoned con man and he takes Sandra under his wing. Now, this is where timelines get a little blurry but Sharper still tries to maintain a straightforward narrative without confusing the viewers too much.
Max decides to crash an event his mother and her new beau are throwing, and here it is established that Max is a spoilt rotten mamma’s boy who knows very little about boundaries.
However, in every step of the movie, we have to be a little apprehensive about the characters and their relationships because Sharper had established that there will be more than one common con.
We were about to be wary because this isn’t the biggest plot twist in cinema, but Madeline, Max’s mother, isn’t really his mother, but his partner in crime instead, and a partner of sorts too.
Madeline and Max are trying to pull an even bigger con on Richard, the rich husband, and while it works out perfectly, Madeline decides to pull a con on Max by leaving him and calling the cops. As we said, multiple cons, almost too many.
The con game in Sharper doesn’t end here, in fact, it was far from over. Richard has died, leaving his son Tom and his wife Madeline living together. Tom brings back Sandra into their life because he is desperate to give her another chance and get clean, but Sandra being back puts Madeline at risk because of her involvement with Max.
This might seem a little confusing, but Sharper has done an above-average job playing it all out. Now, we won’t spoil the final con for you, but let’s just say, each and every character in Sharper gets conned at some point in the movie.
If you are familiar with the heist and thriller genre, then Sharper’s plot twists will do absolutely nothing for you, because you will see them coming from miles away, and that’s the harsh reality of this movie.
We believe that the writers tried very hard to have these plot twists nuzzled into the movie several times, that by the end, it almost got too predictable. Sharper is also labeled as a psychological thriller, but we didn’t see much of that in the movie, so we’d call it a dramatic thriller, just to put it under the right box of genres.
Ultimately, Sharper had an incredibly strong cast that kept us hooked to the movie until the very end, and if it weren’t for the cast, we might have stopped somewhere around the third con. Sometimes, being able to predict the twists in movies is fun, but when it you can predict it over and over again, it loses its charm, and we’re afraid that’s what happened with Sharper.
In terms of being entertaining, Sharper did a great job with plenty of focus on showing the contrast between two different lifestyles and the amount of importance that money holds in someone’s life. Sharper ended on a happy note, with Sandra and Tom being reunited and going to dinner at their usual Japanese restaurant.
Of course, viewers (and us) have a few questions about Max and Madeline. They lost everything towards the end, but does that mean they team up once again and try to win back the money they lost? Or do they go their separate ways? Well, if we ever get a movie with the focus staying on just Sebastian Stan and Julianne Moore, then we might just have to give it a watch.
Our final verdict for Sharper might be a plot twist, or you might have predicted it, but we’d recommend heading over to Apple TV and giving Sharper a watch. It might not have the most unique story or plot twists, but it is definitely a one-time watch at least.
If nothing, you will at least be entertained throughout the movie, despite the runtime being over the usual 90-minute mark. There are several things that worked for Sharper, and some that didn’t, but at the end of the day, it was a good drama, with a sprinkle of romance, and a whole lot of deception.
If you have already watched Sharper, we would love to know in the comments section what you thought about this movie.
If you haven’t watched it yet, you know our final verdict, so you might have to take two hours of your day and stream Sharper!
Deepti is a prolific content writer for OpenMediaHub who specializes in movies, tv shows, and web series, along with occasional reviews. Her interests lie in watching different genres and reading comics books, although her main passion is writing for as long as she remembers.