Denzel Washington plays Joe Deacon, a deputy in a small California town in the early 1990s. He's sent into Los Angeles to pick up some evidence - where we find out that he knows a lot of the police and used to work there. Young hotshot detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) who replaced him takes an interest in Deacon because Deacon had the best clearance record in the department before he left. "Deke" takes vacation time from his deputy job to work L.A. cases on the side (probably not a good thing ...).
Washington is as good as usual, playing a messed up cop with secrets. I can't judge Malek's acting: he looks really weird to me and his face doesn't convey much emotion. But Jared Leto as their primary suspect is incredibly creepy and unpleasant, enjoying the attention and deliberately provoking them.
I didn't find the movie as tense as it was trying to be, although it's not exactly relaxing. It's well constructed, but not really to my taste: I prefer straight-up detective movies, and while this appears to be that, it is, instead, a character study. In the end it's not really enough of anything to be a great movie, more like "not bad."