Zoe steps out

Steven Soderbergh has repeatedly proven through such diverse films as Sex, Lies, and Videotape; The Limey; Erin Brockovich; Traffic; Contagion; Behind the Candelabra and Magic Mike that he is one of our most tirelessly eclectic directors.

Now, working with a perfect less-is-more script by David Koepp, he has again made it look easy with this engrossing, tight little techno-suspenser that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its entire brief run time.

An endearingly agoraphobic Seattle techie (a spot-on Zoe Kravitz) working at home reviewing the data stream of a startup dot-com marketing the title virtual assistant (think Siri or Alexa), detects evidence of a crime in progress and reports it to her corporate superiors. 

The company assures her that it must be reported to the FBI, but she meets only with delaying tactics and bureaucracy, and realizes she will have to leave her home and brave the homeless-filled streets, during a pandemic, to do a little sleuthing of her own. Worse, it seems as though some sinister types are now following her. 

This little micro-thriller plays on our fears that such services are listening to our every word, then cleverly turns the tables in the exciting denouement. On HBO Max. (89 min)