How to watch The Little Things on HBO Max: Release date, trailer and reviews

How to watch The Little Things movie on HBO Ma
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)
The Little Things details

Release date: January 29 (3 a.m. ET)
Cast: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Natalie Morales
Director: John Lee Hancock
Age rating: R
Run time: 127 min
Rotten Tomatoes score: TBD

Three Oscar winners pack a triple punch when you watch The Little Things on HBO Max. The crime thriller stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto and is the first of the 2021 films that Warner Bros. is releasing theatrically and through HBO Max on the same day.

The Little Things is set in the 1990s and follows Deputy Sheriff Joe "Deke" Deacon Washington) who teams up with a sergeant (Malek) to hunt a serial killer in Los Angeles. As the investigation unfolds, it dredges up Deke's painful past. Leto, who plays the main suspect, has received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for his performance.

The movie comes from director John Lee Hancock, who previously helmed The Rookie, The Blindside and 2019's The Highwaymen. 

In December, Warner Bros. stunned Hollywood by announcing that it would release its entire 2021 slate of movies on HBO Max and in theaters, concurrently. The studio had already made that plan for Wonder Woman 1984; now, it would deploy the same release strategy for titles including Godzilla vs King Kong, The Suicide Squad and Dune. The movies will be available on HBO Max for 31 days before leaving the streaming service. 

First up is The Little Things, a smaller-budget drama with a big-name cast. 

How to watch The Little Things: US release date

The Little Things on HBO Max is streaming now. It premiered Jan. 29 and is available on the service for 31 days (until Feb. 28). 

The HBO Max app is available on Roku, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android devices and Android TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Playstation 4 and PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, as well as Samsung TVs (2016 and later) and Chrome, Firefox and Safari web browsers. 

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HBO Max is one of the new kids on the streaming block but it's already got a ton to offer, including all of HBO's prestige series, like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and The Wire. Plus, the service has its own originals like American Pickle and The Flight Attendant. HBO Max costs $15 per month but right now, you can save 20% when you prepay six months.

How to watch The Little Things anywhere, with a VPN

Just because HBO Max isn't available everywhere doesn't mean you need to miss The Little Things if you're away from home. Watching along with the rest of the internet can be pretty easy. With the right VPN (virtual private network), you can stream the show from wherever you go.

We've evaluated many options, and the best VPN is ExpressVPN. It meets the VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. It's also affordable at $12.95 per month. (Signing up for longer periods of six months or a year reduces the cost even more.)


Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN, really shines thanks to its safety, speed and simplicity-to-use. It's also compatible with loads of devices - from iOS and Android to Roku, Apple TV and PlayStations. You'll even get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year, or there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.

How to watch The Little Things in Canada

In Canada, The Little Things is opening Jan. 29 in theaters (where open) and online as a premium video on demand rental for $24.99. 

Americans abroad who want to use their HBO Max subscription should check out a VPN service such as ExpressVPN to try it out.

How to watch The Little Things in the UK

In the UK, The Little Things is scheduled to open Feb. 12 in theaters (where open). There is no info on whether it'll also be released digitally.

The Little Things trailer

The Little Things trailer opens with Denzel Washington ominously saying, "You should've listened to that one little feeling." He seems to be talking to a corpse in a morgue. "You can talk to me," he tells her. 

He then links up with Rami Malek's slick sergeant, who's leading the investigation of a string of murders. They're very different people, but to catch a killer, two smart heads are better than one.

The Little Things cast

The Little Things cast is led by Denzel Washington as Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe "Deke" Deacon and Rami Malek as LAPD Detective Jim "Jimmy" Baxter. 

They are joined by:

  • Jared Leto as Albert Sparma, the main suspect
  • Natalie Morales as Detective Jamie Estrada
  • Terry Kinney as LASD Captain Carl Farris
  • Chris Bauer as Detective Sal Rizoli
  • Joris Jarsky as Detective Sergeant Rogers
  • Sofia Vassilieva as Tina Salvatore
  • John Harlan Kim as Officer Henderson
  • Glenn Morshower as Captain Henry Davis
  • Maya Kazan as Rhonda Rathbun
  • Tiffany Gonzalez as Julie Brock

The Little Things reviews

The Little Things reviews are a mixed bag. Here's a sampling of what the critics are saying.

A.O. Scott, The New York Times: "Thanks to Hancock’s craft and the discipline of the actors, it’s more than watchable, but you are unlikely to be haunted, disturbed or even surprised. You haven’t exactly seen this before. It just feels that way."

Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend: "Seeing Denzel Washington and Rami Malek together here certainly makes one want to see them pair up again on something with more meat on its bones, and the two actors do what they can with the material."

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: " ... a serial-killer thriller reframed as a slow-burn mood piece more consumed with character and smolder, perhaps, than in the payoff of its central mystery."

Brian Truitt, USA Today: "The Little Things is like a 1990s crime thriller that’s been sitting on a shelf for 20 or so years. Honestly, it probably should have stayed there."

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: "The Little Things is pure boilerplate. There’s scarcely a moment in the movie that doesn’t recall a dozen predecessors, in form or content or both. That the supporting cast of second-string officers features two alums of The Wire provides a sense of the procedural vibe writer-director John Lee Hancock is slickly but imprecisely approximating."

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.