David Harbour in “No Sudden Move.” HBOMax photo

Celebrated Director Steven Soderbergh — he of “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Traffic” and “Logan Lucky” — has a summer treat for you, so it may be time to bust out the popcorn and get ready to enjoy “No Sudden Move” several times over. The movie is that good.

One source described the basic plot like this: “An automotive executive has a secret report (about) a car part that can limit car pollution. The executive is hiding it from his bosses and trying to sell it to bigger car companies eager to bury the report because in the 1950s, those corporations hadn’t yet admitted that burning gasoline causes air pollution.”

But the film is about more than that dastardly plan. Soderbergh gives us a modern-history lesson about Black residents in mid-1950s Detroit, coldly displaced from their poverty-stricken neighborhoods to make way for freeways and office buildings.

The director introduces us to two moronic losers who exist in the rubble of a moribund Detroit. One is the ambitious but uneducated ex-con Curtis Goynes (Don Cheadle); the other, the slow-witted drunk Ronald Russo (Benicio Del Toro).

On this day in the 50s, the two have been pulled out of their respective gutters, tethered to a jittery, gunslinging miscreant named Charley (Kieran Culkin), and sent to the home of hapless accountant Matt Wertz (David Harbour). There, they are to babysit, at gunpoint, Wertz’s wife and kids (the gifted trio of Amy Seimetz, Noah Jupe and Lucy Holt), so that Charley can take Wertz to his office to steal a diary and some blueprints.

These documents represent an automotive-industry plan to change the face of Detroit and get America ready for the future. Trillions of dollars and the lives of average Americans are involved.

“No Sudden Move,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, is a brilliantly crafted neo-noir thriller, blessed with top-level actors who will surprise you at every turn. Now streaming on HBO Max, the movie features the best work of Del Toro and Cheadle in years.

Soderbergh weaves a tense tale that no one should miss, and the same is true for David Holmes’ musical score. It’s a satisfying throwback to old-timey, noir musical strands, replete with references to the likes of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” and Max Steiner’s “The Big Sleep.”

“No Sudden Move” deserves a spot in that same pantheon.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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