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“Confession” boasts an intense, real-time thriller — one priest, one wounded man, one night in a church. Is it sinfully good or a holy mess?

Confession arrived on digital earlier this year. Read on to find out if you should Rent it, Stream it, or Skip it.

Writer-director David Beton presents us with his fourth feature film, Confession (2022), a talking heads picture with a lean runtime of an hour and twenty minutes. However, pacing problems make it feel much longer. 

The film’s three main characters share most of what the audience learns about the plot. With little to no activity moving the story along, this action thriller is a discourse on hidden agendas that brings us to a long night spent in a church.

It’s not exactly a slow burn, but the story advances at a snail’s pace.  

Confession also seems to suffer the same problem experienced by The Exorcist III — too much dialogue and little to no exposition. It is more of a visual audiobook.

Regardless of its faults, the film successfully engages the audience and maintains tension throughout.

The film’s focus is one man’s intent to set things right with his troubled past.

Victor Strong (Stephen Moyer) enters a house of worship late one evening in a wounded state and seeks assistance. He gradually opens up to Father Peter, and the audience learns of the troubled complexities of each man.

Stephen Moyer plays Victor Strong, a widowed ex-cop with many secrets, a dark past, and an estranged daughter. (If Moyer appears familiar, audiences may recognize him as Bill Compton from HBO’s wildly popular True Blood.)

Moyer carries the film without flaw and earns sympathy as the husband who lost a spouse due to his line of work.

Co-star Colm Meaney plays Father Peter, a wishy-washy religious figure who abandoned a woman with a child to walk a righteous path and serve as clergy for the military.

The night’s events will reunite father and son, and a choice again must be made. 

Clare-Hope Ashitey rounds out the cast as State Trooper Willow Wallace, a woman who is not quite what she seems.

To its credit, the film offers continued intrigue, but the plot twists are unsurprising. 

Previously shared information is recycled and nothing new is revealed.

For instance, Strong is exposed as a crooked ex-cop-turned-drug trafficker by Willow, a State trooper bent on bringing Victor to justice. Strong later doubles back and claims he is still under deep cover and has infiltrated the drug ring in question and that Willow is a bought agent of said institution.

This jumping back and forth between the plot points holds the notes of a child’s schoolyard game of pretend in which facts are easily altered.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with Confession is an underwhelming and slow-moving screenplay. Better pacing and more vital development would have benefited the movie immensely. And the unsatisfying ending amounts to little more than a lazy resolution. 

STREAM IT. Seasoned actors are utilized in this feature to the film’s credit, and the performances are the best part. But the thin storyline and lack of pacing do it no favors. If you’re a fan of gritty, crime dramas, this may be worth a watch for free. There are some interesting ideas explored, but it’s far too slow and messy to justify a rental.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3

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