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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.39%
Worth A Look40.71%
Average: 25.66%
Pretty Bad: 17.7%
Total Crap: 3.54%

7 reviews, 71 user ratings

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Italian Job, The (2003)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Don't compare it to the original and I bet you have a pretty good time."
4 stars

I'm a cynical know-it-all of a movie fan, though I love to be proven wrong. When this one started coming down the pike, my gullet started to rise; a lazy-looking remake of a classy old classic sprung from the generally tiresome high-concept factory that is Paramount Pictures. Plus there was all this hoopla about how Edward Norton had to be threatened with a lawsuit before he'd appear in the film. In other words, all signs pointed to crap. Call it the beauty of lowered expectations, but the simple truth is this: Fun Flick!

Three or four suitably slick and loud action sequences, an enjoyably colorful array of directorial touches, just enough actual drama to make you care what's going on, healthy doses of well-delivered humor, and a roster of likeable character actors... OK, so maybe it doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the 1969 Michael Caine film - but there's a wide array of quality in between "pretty good" and "adored classic".

If you've seen any of Paramount's annoyingly spoiler-happy trailers, you already know the score here: A crew of high-tech burglars are betrayed and left for dead by a duplicitious bastard; a year later the gang reunites for some revenge. Heck, even if the movie were an original screenplay, c'mon - we've seen the Double Cross Heist flick a thousand times before. (I think I've seen 8 or so in the last few years!)

The colorful cast has two potholes: lead Mark Wahlberg never once suggests the urbane slickster that the screenplay clearly needs him to be - and the clearly disinterested Edward Norton is absolutely missing that rascally little spark that's notable in nearly all of his performances. Everyone else with a speaking part deserves some praise. Charlize Theron may never need to memorize an Oscar Acceptance speech, but she acquits her adorable self suitably well here - though I find it a bit difficult to buy the waify little bunny as a world-renowned Vault Technician.

I digress; Popcorn Movies rule is in effect. As the rest of the crew, we have Seth Green, Jason Statham, Mos Def and (for an abbreviated visit) Donald Sutherland. Each are required to bring some color and humor to their sidekick roles; each actor steals scenes whole from the two leads.

Perhaps most impressive about The Italian Job is seeing how far director F. Gary Gray has come. Yes, his debut Friday is a great little comedy - but who knew the guy had this knack for expansive visuals? There are a few sequences in the film (one atop a dam, the other a lengthy chase) where I felt like I was watching John McTiernan back when he knew what he was doing.

The flashy bits are a lot of fun, the necessary 'plot stuff' is more than intriguing enough, and the flick as a whole moves quickly enough that it makes the rough spots tough to linger upon. As high-end escapist fare, you could find a worse job.

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originally posted: 05/30/03 14:07:40
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User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell not bad but nothing special 4 stars
2/20/11 Ark Good stuff! 4 stars
3/29/10 Monday Morning They should have used Town Cars, not Mini-Coopers. 2 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White great plot and mini cooper heaven 5 stars
3/20/07 Stanley Thai A solid thriller. 3 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday I've seen it a few times, and I enjoy it, but I can never remember it. 3 stars
1/05/07 Watch This Movie. Entertaining even after you watch it a few times. 4 stars
9/28/06 Indrid Cold An amiable but forgettable Ocean's Eleven-style heist movie. 3 stars
3/30/06 Stephanie Francis i loving it because it my favorite miovie ever 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer If you can't write a good "HEIST" movie... remake a classic. OR NOT!!! 3 stars
1/19/06 R.W.Welch Less inspired than the original but generally entertaining. 4 stars
1/15/06 tatum Slightly better than the original 4 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor The ride at Canada's Wonderland was better 3 stars
12/06/05 J.D. Pittman III It was slick. Their driving skills were almost equal to mine. 4 stars
11/27/05 Quigley better than ocean's eleven by a long shot. well acted, funny, and really cool. 5 stars
8/25/05 tony Awsome.No question about it! 5 stars
8/19/05 ES blah, meh, who cares= a movie no one will adore 2 stars
7/03/05 Ronin Typical Hollywood product. Nicely packaged piece of crap. Charlize Theron is great though. 3 stars
6/14/05 Agent Sands The heists are great, but I didn't care for much else. GREAT technical filmmaking! 4 stars
4/03/05 Phil M. Aficionado Ho hum. I guess I should skip contrived action flicks that are ridiculous on their face 3 stars
3/07/05 Charlie Good, the original is definitely better, but the remake still rocks! 4 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Nothing original here, but entertaining anyway 4 stars
1/14/05 Tjalda L. Schiel Wahlberg is soooo dull. Mini Coopers are soooo hot! 3 stars
12/30/04 Katie Evridge Great action movie 5 stars
12/28/04 efrain Ho-Hum 3 stars
9/05/04 McReady In Antartica Not great, not bad either, Stella with her ponytail is bueatiful, cool chases 3 stars
7/26/04 Melissa Much better than I expected. Kept me riveted to the couch! 4 stars
5/02/04 Monster W. Kung So-so heist movie. Wahlberg has no charisma, as usual. 3 stars
4/27/04 el yosharto napster is really fucking hot!i loves him so iz handsome rob n charlie nice abs stella sux! 5 stars
3/05/04 max It made me want a mini. Thats bout it. 2 stars
3/04/04 Agent Sands Changed my mind. Original is better. This is 2 serious for its own good sometimes. 4 stars
2/08/04 homeburger88 Stella Bridger is so hott in this movie 5 stars
12/23/03 HorrorScribbler Mark steals gold, Seth and Mos Def steal movie 4 stars
12/13/03 Agent Sands A little better than the original. The heists are brilliant. Good cast & music. 4 stars
11/14/03 snowconehead Not inventive or clever, but decent enough to watch 3 stars
11/07/03 Capt' Fox Typical action/caper flick. Ok time waster - average movie. 3 stars
10/24/03 ILLEGALLY BLONDE Charlize Theron finally shows talent, even if by trying TOO hard not to be Ashley Judd. 4 stars
10/23/03 JJ This very entertaining caper movie is really worth watching with a good plot and action! 4 stars
10/15/03 Ronald A Weiss If you forget what happened in 1969, this is ok 4 stars
10/06/03 Kitty Great the 1st time round, okay the 2nd time round but the 3rd time was like "Kill me now.." 3 stars
9/25/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng I love this movie. Mark Wahlberg is wicked! A brillant all-star cast. 5 stars
9/21/03 Jonathan Nicholas Shit, If it wasnt called the italian job, you wouldnt see a simularity to original. 1 stars
9/06/03 alien assassin Better than most remakes. 4 stars
9/01/03 marzio nothing special, but at least not boring 3 stars
8/28/03 Mr. Hat Definitely 1 of the best heist movies ever. And I watch lots. All cast & crew R excellent!! 5 stars
8/19/03 Robert Beveridge seriously underwhelming 2 stars
8/18/03 Boris Great fun! Does everything have to be rocket science, people? 5 stars
8/15/03 Paul Dempsey This job should put Marky Mark on the unemployed list for good! 1 stars
8/15/03 JJ from da block Italian job blows...and the mini cooper is a honda civic station wagon from yesteryear 1 stars
7/10/03 Joe Charlize would do a better job with my 8" hammer in her ass. 2 stars
7/09/03 yot kim not very good 1 stars
7/09/03 6th Sense Ho-hum heist movie, been there, done that. . . 3 stars
7/04/03 Jake Awsome movie, video game is even better 5 stars
6/27/03 toneely This film is a great litle escape!! I loved it!! 5 stars
6/18/03 Fonq35 go watch the fucking original 2 stars
6/16/03 Andrew Carden Theron Is Great, but She Cannot Save This Inept Film... 2 stars
6/15/03 Benjamin Lesbian Thoroughly enjoyable heist film. Not as clever as Ocean's 11, but still worth your cash. 4 stars
6/14/03 Mini-Cab This here's a story about the Mini Cooper, the car chases are really super duper... 4 stars
6/14/03 Jax Sweet. I don't know. My boyfriend thought it was okay, too. 4 stars
6/11/03 FLiK was better than 2 fast 2 furious... 4 stars
6/10/03 F. Gary Gray To Scott Weinberg: bear in mind that the guy who made this also did A Man Apart 2 stars
6/09/03 MicBang Good flick 4 stars
6/06/03 your worse goddamn nightmare it was all fluff and fireworks, but entertaining at the least 3 stars
6/05/03 vagile no surprises but good fun 4 stars
6/04/03 Jack Bourbon Nice finish to Norton's slimy character. Better flick than expected. 4 stars
6/01/03 malcolm well-acted, nice characters in spite of being a summer popcorn film 4 stars
6/01/03 ajay if you're going *for* Charlize, then don't. It's a good heist movie though. 4 stars
6/01/03 37!!!!! I like car chases! I like Charlize Theron! I like this movie...good summer fun! 5 stars
6/01/03 mee good 4 stars
6/01/03 maximus probably worth a look. nothing we haven't seen before but entertaining enough 4 stars
5/26/03 Greg Edmiston Just saw a sneak peak.... it was fucking insane! A- 5 stars
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  30-May-2003 (PG-13)



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