Don Cheadle is back on top and this time it’s not because of an Avengers movie. No Sudden Move is streaming at #1 on HBO Max and comes from Steven Soderbergh, the director behind the Ocean’s trilogy. The movie follows a 1950s Detroit gangster, Curt Goynes (Cheadle), who is looking to score some cash after being released from prison so he can leave town.
Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle), along with gangsters Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin) is recruited by Doug Jones (Brendan Fraser) to go to the home of Matt Wertz (David Harbour), an accountant, to keep Matt’s family hostage while Matt is forced to his office to retrieve a document from his boss.
When Matt arrives, the document in question is not in the safe. Matt, in a panic to keep his family safe, takes a fake document to Doug, then returns to his home where his family is still being held. Much to Curt and Ronald’s surprise, Charley readies himself to execute the entire family.
Curt, not wanting any part of a mass execution, kills Charley.
Things only get more complicated for Curt and Ronald, who were expecting an easy score. Doug phones the Wertz residence immediately after Charley’s death, telling Curt (Don Cheadle) to execute the family as well as Ronald. Again, Curt has misgivings with the task and he and Ronald decide to team up but before they leave, they advise Matt to say he killed Charley in self-defense.
Curt and Ronald then take Matt to his boss’ home to retrieve the real document, which turns out to be plans for a brand-new auto part. Curt and Ronald also find out they now have a huge bounty on their heads.
Soderbergh then introduces Ray Liotta as Frank Capelli, the mob boss who contracted the blackmail scheme. Frank’s wife, the oft Frank-battered Vanessa, just so happens to be having an affair with Ronald.
The twists and double-crosses start to mount as Jon Hamm’s Detective Joe Finney enters the picture. Once Curt (Don Cheadle) and Ronald (Benicio del Toro) realize just how valuable the document is truly worth, their price in turning it over increases, as does the hunt for them.
It would be a shame to reveal who survives the roller coaster of a story, so we won’t.
Steven Soderbergh has crafted a well-directed piece from a script written by Ed Solomon. This is his sixth “heist” movie, following 1998s Out of Sight, the Ocean’s trilogy, and 2017s Lucky Logan, so it is territory Soderbergh is well familiar with. Solomon’s story, while a crime caper, touches on other elements of the times; mainly those revolving around the racial tension of Detroit in the ‘50s.
As the story also revolves around automobiles, Solomon has grabbed his story from the true happenings surrounding Detroit’s carmakers at the time. Telling more of this historical background may be giving away too much of the film.
Don Cheadle shines as Curt Goynes, as does the rest of the all-star cast. You want to be sympathetic to Goynes’ path, but knowing he is a hardened criminal sometimes makes it hard to root for him. The same goes for Del Toro’s Ronald.
Don Cheadle is a veteran of both film and television. His start revolved around TV with roles on series such as Sidekicks, Fame, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, Night Court, Booker, and The Golden Palace.
While he still found roles on television, Don Cheadle began to move to the feature side of the business with movies like Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Devil in a Blue Dress, Rosewood, Boogie Nights, and The Rat Pack where he played Sammy David Jr.
Out of Sight was Don Cheadle’s first of six film collaboration’s with Soderbergh and he followed that up with the Ocean’s trilogy, and the riveting film Traffic.
Don Cheadle is perhaps best known as James Rhodes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He took over the role originated by Terrance Howard when Howard decided he wasn’t keen on taking a pay cut for the second Iron Man movie. Down went Howard, up came Cheadle and he has been with the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since 2010s Iron Man 2.
In total, Don Cheadle has played “Rhodey” nine times and is set to star in the upcoming Disney+ series Marvel’s Armor Wars. The MCU is not the only project keeping Cheadle busy. He was recently seen on the TV series Black Monday and alongside his Disney+ project, Cheadle has Space Jam: A New Legacy that is about to be released as well as a number of other films in various forms of production.
For now, you can see Don Cheadle at his best in the twisty crime-thriller No Sudden Move on HBO Max.