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The Guilty: What Crime Did Joe Commit?

The Guilty follows Joe Baylor, a cop now working at an emergency dispatch center. He admits to killing someone to Emily, but what happened exactly?

The Guilty sprinkles bits and pieces of Joe Baylor’s backstory, but what crime did he really commit? Jake Gyllenhaal plays Joe, a police officer intent on ignoring a life-changing event in the American remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. The Guilty, directed by Antoine Fuqua, centers Joe in his attempts to help Emily, a woman who was seemingly kidnapped by her dangerous ex-husband, though there’s something more sinister going on that colors every aspect of Joe’s life and motivations. 

When the audience is first introduced to Joe, he’s behind a desk at the emergency dispatch call center. Joe is easily frustrated and angered, itching to get back on the streets as a cop, but tasked with taking calls following his killing of a 19-year-old named Joseph. While much of the drama unravels without Joe ever leaving his temporary place of work, his crimes are only alluded to at first by way of a journalist persistently calling to speak with him about the fast-approaching court case. However, in his attempts to help Emily, he discovers a few truths about the situation that surprise him. Eventually, his realizations of Emily’s predicament get him to admit that he killed Joseph out of anger and just because he could. 

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