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The Score

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Score

Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton
Director: Frank Oz
Rated: R
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: July 2001
Genres: Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Angela Bassett, Marlon Brando, Andrew Walker, Jamie Harrold, David L. McCallum, Chris Messina

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

This high-tension crime thriller is propelled by the three-generational star power of Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Ed Norton. In the opening sequence, set during a festive party at a Boston estate, a aging thief, De Niro, cracks a safe, escapes with a diamond necklace and scoots across the border to Montreal, where he's the owner of a jazz club. But Marlon Brando, his entrepreneurial fence and partner-in-crime, needs him to do one last heist involving an antique (1661) gem-studded scepter, a priceless French national treasure, that's kept in the highly-guarded basement of the Montreal Customs House. Not only does this violate De Niro's rule of never operating in the city where you live but he'll have to coordinate with a Customs House insider, Edward Norton, a cocky, volatile night janitor who pretends he's simple-minded. "I run this job down to the last detail, understand?" De Niro tells him. "It takes discipline more than talent." Not only is the relic robbery risky but De Niro's stewardess girl-friend, Angela Bassett, has also given him an ultimatum to quit. Working from a formulaic script by Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs, Scott Marshall Smith and Daniel E. Taylor, director Frank Oz scrupulously details every moment of the theft at a highly disciplined, if occasionally excruciatingly slow, pace, particularly the final sequence. The sparking, spontaneous chemistry of De Niro, Brando and Norton is palpable. A master manipulator, Brando beguilingly mumbles and murmurs as De Niro embodies the secretive pro mastermind, while Norton recklessly tries to demand their respect. Norton's impersonation of a genial, mentally-challenged man is flawless. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Score" is suspenseful, intense 8. It's a masterful power-play by three of our major actors.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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