The Score
Too many cooks? DeNiro, Norton and Brando plan the big heist...
dir Frank Oz
scr Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs, Scott Marshall Smith
with Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett, Gary Farmer, Paul Soles, Jamie Harrold, Serge Houde, Jean Rene Ouellet, Martin Drainville, Claude Despins, Richard Waugh
release US 13.Jul.01; UK 14.Sep.01
Paramount
01/US 2h03

2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
there are no partners in crime It's rather difficult to do anything new in a heist drama, and the filmmakers here don't even try. But at least it's efficient, well-made and entertaining. Nick (DeNiro) is a veteran cat burglar whose colourful friend Max (Brando) talks him into doing "one last job" before settling down with his lady friend (Basset). But there are warning bells galore: Nick must work with a hot-headed young partner (Norton), Max is up to his ears in debt to a big-time hood, and the job is in his hometown Montreal. Nick has always had a policy of never "working" anywhere near home. And sure enough, there are wrinkles, complications, crosses and double-crosses to come.

This is easily Oz's most assured film as a director--mature and cleverly put together, never in a hurry, avoiding the obvious flashiness in lieu of character development and carefully set-up sequences that both propel the story and give insight. And it helps that he has such a powerful cast--everyone is terrific, making the on-set fireworks well worth it. DeNiro and Norton are up to their usual solid standards. Brando is especially good, magnetically holding the screen with hilarious little bits of business that combine menace and camp. Bassett doesn't get much to do, alas, as the film's only female character. With the excellent acting and production values, the overwhelming lack of originality can't sink the film. But it tries. Not one of the Big Plot Twists works even remotely, because we've all seen each variation before. It's like a mix-and-match script as we say, "Ah, it's going down this road, is it?" As a result, there's very little suspense either, despite some sequences that try to ratchet up the tension. No, the only joys in a film like this are small details added by the cast and director. And there are just enough of those here to make this one watchable.
themes, language cert 15 25.Jul.01

there are no partners in crime send your review to Shadows... R E A D E R   R E V I E W S

"I have read enough fiction, I sorta saw this one coming. Robert DeNiro is an aging thief, and a good one - he goes for high buck scores, the million dollar ones, and he is getting ready to retire. Edward Norton is the young guy who discovers a real big score and has done the research that can make it happen. Okay, so how many of us have seen the storyline where the young guy wants to outdo the old guy? That being said, the movie is good - many times I was sitting on the edge of my seat, and I have to say I was impressed with Norton's acting - he did a great job. This is an enjoyable thriller, with a twist-ending and some high-tech crime stuff. I am glad I saw it." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 19.Jul.01
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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