Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA/Germany, 2001. Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Pictures, Horseshoe Bay Productions, Lee Rich Productions, Cineartists AG, Lions Gate Films, MP Film Management, Mel’s Cite du Cinema, Vierte Beteiligung KC Medien AG & Co. KG. Story by Daniel E. Taylor, Kario Salem, Screenplay by Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs, Scott Marshall Smith. Cinematography by Rob Hahn. Produced by Gary Foster, Lee Rich. Music by Howard Shore. Production Design by Jackson De Govia. Costume Design by Aude Bronson-Howard. Film Editing by Richard Pearson.
Excellent heist film that opens with a deliciously cool mellow pace and effectively tightens the screws for maximum tension in the last third. Robert De Niro is terrific as a tired, ageing thief who wants to get out of the big-take business, retire with his girlfriend (an underused Angela Bassett) and run his gorgeous Montreal jazz club. Marlon Brando is energetic and memorable as the crime ring guru who insists De Niro does one more job before retiring: stealing an ancient royal relic now in custody at the Montreal customs office. Not only is he pushed into doing this job, but De Niro is also faced with taking on a new partner (Edward Norton), who may not be as devoted to the team as he seems. Frank Oz directs with the perfect touch, the photography is absolutely breathtaking and the music (including an appearance by jazz star Cassandra Wilson) couldn’t be better.