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Overall Rating
3.37

Awesome: 19.05%
Worth A Look36.51%
Average: 20.63%
Pretty Bad: 9.52%
Total Crap: 14.29%

4 reviews, 39 user ratings



Heist (2001)
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by EricDSnider

"Chock-full of David Mamet-y goodness."
4 stars

This year already gave us one good old-fashioned caper film with "The Score," and now we get a second one: "Heist," which is good, old-fashioned, and a caper film that has no pretenses about being anything else.

That being the case, you wonder why it's not a little better. Without all the importance or dramatic depth of a "serious" film getting in the way, writer/director David Mamet ought to have found more fun in the twists and turns of a genre flick. "Heist" is a kick to watch, but it feels like it could have been more -- especially from a brilliant writer like Mamet.

Gene Hackman -- whom I have never not loved in a movie -- plays aging thief Joe Moore, described as being "so cool, when he goes to sleep, sheep count him." Having been observed accidentally by a surveillance camera during a recent robbery, he is eager now to retire with his wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) and his beautiful boat.

However, as is generally the case in movies with titles like "Heist," Joe must do One Last Job. Making it even more complicated, he and his partners, Bobby (Delroy Lindo) and Pinky (Ricky Jay), are saddled with the green nephew (Sam Rockwell) of their fence (Danny DeVito).

The job involves stealing gold from a cargo plane, though we don't know that for a while. For even longer, we don't know where the gold has actually wound up. Mamet seems to take great delight in folding the movie on top of itself again and again: Someone gets double-crossed and then double-crosses someone else, who turns out to have been triple-crossing everyone all along. It becomes predictable after a while. We start waiting uneasily for a scene to finish and a character to walk away feeling good about having screwed everyone, just so we can hear the other characters let on that they, in fact, are the ones who screwed him. You can only ride a roller coaster so many times before the track becomes too familiar.

The acting is splendid throughout, with the notable exception of Rebecca Pidgeon. As I observed with "State & Main," it is ironic that David Mamet's own wife would be the WORST one at making his dialogue sound natural. You hate to be gossipy and suggest she keeps getting roles in his movies only because she's his wife, but I can think of a dozen actresses just off the top of my head who would have been better in this femme fatale-ish role, and who could have spoken the dialogue better.

"Heist" is full of that classic Mamet-style dialogue, including a description of Joe's wife as being so slick, "she could talk her way out of a sunburn." That puts it a cut above most caper films, which tend to eschew the sort of verbal elegance Mamet embraces. "Heist" is less than the sum of its parts, but its parts are fun to watch.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5619&reviewer=247
originally posted: 11/10/01 07:57:52
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User Comments

11/23/13 Mr. Oliver Accessible&fun yet not a cozy genre film. Requires that you keep up. B+ Mamet 4 stars
10/24/10 Ministry Pompous, weak characters, insults audience's intelligence 1 stars
3/07/10 PAUL SHORTT ENJOYABLE BUT THIN 3 stars
6/14/07 Kadabr Brilliant film. Probably too smart for most viewers and critics. 5 stars
1/26/07 Artist Bill No BS in this one ..great Mamet style. loved it. 5 stars
3/29/06 Josh Standlee I liked the cast, but this movie was pure fucking shit! Hackman's worst! 1 stars
6/14/05 Indrid Cold Something about Mamet's stilted, hipster dialog bugs me. A nice juicy story though. 4 stars
6/09/05 Agent Sands One of the 3 greatest heist films of all time, & more 1-liners than a Don Rickles marathon. 5 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Not Hackmans best work. Some stupid plot lines, Glad I rented it for a buck! 3 stars
8/11/04 Monster W. Kung Terrible. Story goes from boring to absurd like in the shoot-out in daylight... please... 2 stars
3/24/04 George Jung Perfect. 5 stars
3/22/04 john predictable and utterly lifeless - the worst I have ever seen by Mamet 1 stars
10/16/03 francis director and some of the actors going through the motions, Hackman and Di Vito excepted 3 stars
7/17/03 Mr. Hat Filled with slick, clever cons & heists, exciting double-crosses, & great plays on words. 4 stars
5/04/03 Phil M. Aficionado It was between average and worth a look. Depends on taste. 3 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon Gene Hackman teams with Mamet? Can you believe it? Great scenes, confusing story, though. 4 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Witless crap from the overrated David Mamet. Not a good scene to be had. 1 stars
1/01/03 Andy Todes logic, sense, and plausability were held up, beaten, robbed, gagged and left for dead 1 stars
12/02/02 Jim More double-crosses than a shoe store. 4 stars
9/11/02 The Bomb 69 became repetitve with the crooks backstabbing each other until the end 3 stars
8/04/02 KMG THIS MOVIE ISN'T GOOD UNTIL YOU'VE WATCHED IT THE 2ND TIME 4 stars
7/27/02 Punk_Ass Crappy acting, little dialog, very predictable. Bascily a pile of suck 2 stars
6/18/02 Dark Barøn Very predictable, poor writing, bad acting. 2 stars
5/26/02 Charles Tatum The twists and turns become predictable 4 stars
4/29/02 David A. This one really smells! It's like "Ocean's 11" in drag. Gene gets the gold! (Wow. yawn.) 1 stars
4/24/02 Iago What a horrible piece of shit! Slow with stupid dialouge. 1 stars
4/04/02 lauren mccreight trys way too hard to be cool.....it ain't. 2 stars
3/24/02 J. Chusing Bites The Big One 2 stars
12/16/01 spaceworm DeVito's "money" line was a money line. HAckman (and Lindo) any day. 5 stars
12/12/01 Simeon Briggs Err, isnt this just a film where all the lines bare no relevence to that which preceeds it? 3 stars
12/07/01 Dominik Duprelle The dialogue. Mr Hackman, Mr Lindo. Quality entertainment. 4 stars
12/01/01 Phoenix Poor script. Hackman, De Vito, and Lindo deserve better. 2 stars
11/28/01 KMG Really slow at first, but Hackman just keeps on foolin' em! 4 stars
11/27/01 sdfr Mamet can spin a yarn as well as he can write dialogue. There's never a dull moment here. 4 stars
11/15/01 Tony C good for the "young, dumb and full of cum" 3 stars
11/14/01 spaceworm Look to the mid-seventies for the few times Hackman wasn't on the money. Elect him king. 4 stars
11/12/01 poetchuck Interesting twists, Hackman superb, Wife needs dialogue coach 5 stars
11/12/01 chouck bad dialog, over acting and a plot that was too full of itself 1 stars
11/10/01 Suzz Wooden acting; ridiculous screenplay; idiotic plot 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Nov-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  14-Feb-2002


Directed by
  David Mamet

Written by
  David Mamet

Cast
  Gene Hackman
  Danny DeVito
  Ricky Jay
  Sam Rockwell
  Delroy Lindo
  Rebecca Pidgeon



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