Now Playing: “No Good Deed” fails to excite audiences

Jackson French, Columnist

Jackson French

“No Good Deed” is a suspense thriller almost devoid of tension. Despite some strong actors in the cast, the movie utterly fails to create the air of fright and suspense it aims for.

Pacing is the movie’s biggest problem. Most of “No Good Deed” takes place on a stormy night where Terri, a mother played by Taraji P. Henson, invites a smooth-talking escaped convict played by Idris Elba into her house. Naturally, the story focuses on the convict terrorizing the woman and her two children, but it takes way too long for this to happen. Along the way, the movie uses a few tricks meant to increase the suspense. None of them work.      

Things get a little better when Colin, the convict, finally shows his true nature. At this point, however, it’s too late. The story doesn’t improve, rather it just increases the intensity. The plot points don’t become any more effective or less contrived either. 


Idris Elba brings a powerhouse performance to this limp thriller. The role of escaped convict Colin Evans requires him to be smooth and gentlemanly as well as savage and menacing. Elba pulls both modes off remarkably well, but “No Good Deed” is sadly a waste of the actor’s talent. 

Another hole in this sinking ship of a movie is the stupidity demonstrated by these two supposedly intelligent characters. These kinds of films often feature people making bad decisions, but the sheer number of times Colin and Terri allow the other to attack or slip away is embarrassingly high. 

“No Good Deed” does nothing with its interesting and simple premise. It fumbles the ball time and again and leaves us with a trite, tepid movie that doesn’t deserve to be called a thriller.