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Starring: Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton, John Lithgow
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Apple TV+ and A24 neo-noir thriller directed by Benjamin Caron. Sharper (2023) is set amongst New York City’s bedrooms, barrooms and boardrooms, where no one is who they seem as characters compete for riches and power in a high stakes game of ambition, greed, lust, and jealousy.
Our Favorite Quotes:'We're all human. We're just doing the best we can.' - Madeline (Sharper) Click To Tweet
Tom: [after he meets Sandra] There’s actually this little Japanese restaurant on Mott Street. If you’re not doing anything later, dinner’s on me.
Tom: No. You probably have a boyfriend.
Sandra: No, I don’t. I’m single. I’m single. And I kind of like being single.
Sandra: Must be nice being surrounded by books all day.
Tom: It’s the best.
Sandra: Have you ever had your heart broken?
Tom: Yeah. Once or twice.
Sandra: [to Tom] He’s the only family I got. “All happy families are alike.” And all that. No matter how many times he screws me over, I can’t not help him. He’s my brother. I love him.
Tom: I live with my dad and his new wife. And my dad and I don’t really get along. He thinks I’m a disappointment. “All happy families are alike.” And all that, right?
Sandra: [to Tom] But you’re not a disappointment.
Sandra: You’re saying you have that money just sitting in a bank?
Tom: Yeah. More. Yeah. My father has money.
Sandra: Why is this the first time I’m hearing about this?
Tom: Why does that matter? Maybe I didn’t want you to know.
Sandra: [after Tom offers to pay her the money she needs for her brother] I appreciate the offer. I really do. But let’s face it, we’re practically strangers.
Tom: First of all, it’s not my money. It’s my father’s money. And it’s not like he earned it in some noble way. He has a hedge fund. And second of all, f*** you for saying we’re strangers. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
[after which he gives her the money and she disappears from his life]
Max: [after we see Sandra’s a drug addict and an ex-convict] You can sleep there. Or you can leave.
Sandra: And what happens if I stay?
Max: You work for me.
Max: [to Sandra] We’re going to give people the impression that you’re somebody that you’re not. And when I’m done with you, it’s going to be a hundred percent convincing. We’re going to teach you a little about everything. So that you can lie about anything.
Sandra: Am I the first?
Max: First what?
Sandra: First girl you’ve done this with?
Sandra: Why did you pick me?
Max: I saw something in you.
Max: [to Sandra] You figured it out. You’re a natural. Right? You were quick. You stayed cool. You improvised. That’s what we do.
Max: [to Sandra] You can’t cheat an honest man. Right? That’s why we never feel sorry for the mark.
'All happy families are alike. But each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' - Sandra (Sharper) Click To Tweet
Richard Hobbes: [after Max turns up in Madeline’s life] It’s up to him to do better. He’s an adult.
Madeline: No, he isn’t. And that’s my fault. He’s always been my little Max. And he can’t swim without me.
Richard Hobbes: All night, all I could think about was being alone with you.
Madeline: You’re alone with me now.
Richard Hobbes: [as Tipsy is arresting Max] I’m going to pay you for your time.
‘Tipsy’ Detective Collins: I can’t do that. No. I’m sorry.
Richard Hobbes: Take the f***ing money, Detective.
Madeline: Stop. He’s not a cop.
Madeline: [to Richard] This is what Max does. He plays these little confidence games. That’s what this is, isn’t it? This is one of your games, right?
'Don't ever tell anyone anything, or you'll miss them forever.' - Sandra (Sharper) Click To Tweet
Madeline: I gave you everything, you know. You had every advantage. You didn’t want for anything, and this is what you do to me? You humiliate me in front of him?
Max: It’s just a little…
Madeline: [after she slaps Max] I want you to leave. I don’t want you here anymore.
Richard Hobbes: All that work for one thousand dollars. Let me give you a piece of advice, Max. If you’re going to steal, steal a lot.
Max: [after we see that him and Madeline are lovers, referring to Richard] I don’t like the way you look at him.
Madeline: Oh, come on.
Max: You like him a little bit.
Madeline: Of course I like him. He’s a billionaire.
Max: That’s not what I’m talking about.
Max: Maybe I don’t want to do this anymore.
Madeline: Why not? Don’t be jealous. You know I don’t like old men. You know what I like.
Madeline: Tell me what I like.
Max: You like me.
Madeline: I like you. Why do I like you?
Max: Because I get you what you want.
Madeline: So, get me what I want.
'You can't cheat an honest man.' - Max (Sharper) Click To Tweet
Max: I wanted to apologize about last night. It was inappropriate.
Richard Hobbes: That’s a hell of an understatement.
Richard Hobbes: [referring to Tom] That was my son. I always assumed he would inherit all this. Then his mother died and he didn’t take it well. He doesn’t have the fortitude to work here. He’s weak.
Richard Hobbes: [referring to Tom] Now he wants to open a bookstore.
Max: Not exactly a sound investment.
Richard Hobbes: No. But I’m going to give it to him anyway. You know why, Max? Because we only get one life. And I will not be my son’s jailer for his brief time on earth.
Richard Hobbes: I want you to be honest with yourself, Max. If I were to hire you to work for me, how do you think it would end?
Max: Not well.
Richard Hobbes: I agree.
'Let me give you a piece of advice. If you're going to steal, steal a lot.' - Richard Hobbes (Sharper) Click To Tweet
Max: [after Richard offers him a monthly income] You want me gone.
Richard Hobbes: You cause your mother anguish, Max. And I will not have it.
Max: So, what am I then? A bad investment?
Richard Hobbes: I didn’t get where I am making bad investments.
Max: Is that what I’m worth, Richard? Sixty thousand dollars a month?
Richard Hobbes: I’m offering you an opportunity.
Max: [to Richard] I want cash up-front. Get me the cash, and you get my mom all to yourself. I’ll be gone. You won’t even hear from me. Not even a f***ing postcard.
‘Tipsy’ Detective Collins: [after Richard pays off Max] It was a beautiful con though, right?
Max: You can thank Madeline for that.
Madeline: Do you love me?
Madeline: I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is the money is all yours.
Max: Okay. What’s the bad news?
Madeline: The bad news is you were right.
Max: Right about what?
Madeline: The old man loves me. He wants to marry me, so I’m staying.
Madeline: Maybe I don’t want to sit around in a bar all day pulling short cons for the rest of my life.
Max: You can’t be serious. Sooner or later the old man is going to ask questions.
Madeline: But I’m the good thing, right? I’m the good thing he’s got.
Max: Yeah. I know you. You stay, you’ll slip.
Madeline: No, I won’t. I’m too good. And if they’re not looking for you, they don’t see you.
Max: Are you really doing this?
Madeline: Yeah. I don’t want to play the mom anymore. It’s boring.
Max: [to Madeline] So, you used me?
Lawyer: Richard left the bulk of his estate to Madeline.
Madeline: That’s ridiculous. It should be Tom’s.
Lawyer: Richard was very clear.
Lawyer: I can tell you that with complete sincerity. He thought the world of you.
Tom: Yeah, okay. No offense, but my father’s last wishes tell me exactly what he thought of me.
Tom: You’re not my mom!
Madeline: No, you’re right. I’m not. Because if I were, I’d tell you to grow the f*** up. People get their hearts broken every day. It happens to everybody, okay? All the time. But most kids aren’t entitled enough to hire men to find the girl who did it.
Tom: She stole money from me.
Madeline: That’s not why you’re doing it. You want to see her again. Right? You can lie to yourself, but you can’t lie to me.
Madeline: [to Tom] I don’t think that you’re a loser. I think that you’re human. I think we’re all human. We’re just doing the best we can.
Tom: [after his security team track down Sandra] It’s weird. It’s like, it’s her, but it’s not her.
Tom: [referring to Sandra] She wasn’t working alone. There’s this guy who was her accomplice. He taught her everything and trained her. He planned the whole thing. She said that he has some sort of connection to us.
Madeline: What kind of connection?
Tom: She said that he knew all about me. She said that it seemed personal.
Madeline: Did she describe him? Did she say what he looked like at all?
Tom: No, but he cheated her too. He left her with nothing.
Pat Braddock: [referring to Sandra] I mean, are you ready for when she sobers up, and you have to see the real her?
Tom: I’m dying to see the real her.
Sandra: [to Madeline] Max told me the whole score. That you set the cops on him, but then had to beg him to come back. How there was an old man who was dying, and was going to leave behind a fortune, and all we needed to do was nudge aside the son so that his very full of s**t widow could inherit it all.
Sandra: [to Madeline] I want Max. I want to see Max. I want to look into his face, and I want him to see what he did to me.
Max: You want me back?
Max: You want me back to fix this.
Madeline: F***, yes.
Sandra: How can you do what you do?
Madeline: You got taken. That’s what we do. So now, the question is, how do we make this right by you?
Sandra: I want him to apologize.
Madeline: Well, he can’t. Because he’s not sorry.
Sandra: Did you feel anything for me?
Max: I felt nothing.
Pat Braddock: The inheritance belongs to Tom. And you’re going to give it back to him. It’s his money.
Madeline: If it was Tom’s money, he would have his money. But it’s my money. And you know what I’m going to do with my money? I’m going to take a billion dollars and aim it in your direction.
Tom: Because it’s all about the money for you, right? That’s all any of you care about is the money. Right, Sandra?
Tom: [pointing his gun at Madeline] You did this. You ruined us. Look at me. Look what you did to me. Look what you did to my dad!
Pat Braddock: [referring to Tom] You killed him.
Madeline: I didn’t. He shot himself. You saw it.
Pat Braddock: Call the police.
Madeline: No! He killed himself.
Madeline: I’ll give the money back. I’ll give it to the Foundation.
Pat Braddock: What are you talking about? You’re just going to give it up?
Madeline: Yes. I don’t want to go to jail for something I didn’t do!
Max: You seem very calm for someone who lost a lot of money.
Madeline: Well, I’m a professional.
Max: You gave away billions of dollars.
Madeline: Is that what I did?
Max: Did you?
Madeline: I don’t know. Did I? I mean, I gave the money to the Foundation. The head of the Foundation is Tom. Or should I say, was.
Sandra: You’re still talking about money.
Max: Yes. Yes, we are.
Sandra: Tom is dead. We killed him.
Madeline: [referring to Sandra] We got to get rid of her.
Max: We can’t. She’s a witness. She knows too much.
Madeline: What is it? Did she get to you?
Madeline: It’s okay. I mean, it happens.
Max: She didn’t get to me.
Madeline: [after finding out the stain on her shirt is not blood] Are you behind this?
Max: Behind what?
Madeline: You got me to give away the money.
Max: No, I did no such thing.
Madeline: No. Tom’s alive. You f***ed me.
Sandra: [flashback] Is this real?
Tom: This is real.
Sandra: How can I be sure?
Sandra: [after we see how Sandra and Tom conned Madeline and Max] You got a lot of money, Tom. I hope you can do some good with it.
Tom: I will. Thank you.
Sandra: You’re thanking me? I got everything taken from you.
Tom: You also got it back.
Sandra: So, there’s this great little Japanese restaurant on Mott Street. If you’re not doing anything, dinner’s on me.
Tom: Well, I am single. And I kind of like being single.