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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

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1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---
4.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review ---
5.  Susan Granger read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
6.  Jerry Saravia read the review ---
7.  MrBrown read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Given THE SCORE's killer cast (Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett), you will probably be expecting a lot. Start to lower your expectations, because THE SCORE plays like a slow motion version of ENTRAPMENT with De Niro attempting a geriatric rendition of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Still, De Niro gives it his all, which is a lot more than can be said about Brando, who phones in his small part. Even the usually outstanding Norton delivers one of his less memorable performances. Bassett, playing a disapproving girlfriend, has a part that would be better cut out entirely. In a script full of fat, hers would be the first character that should go.

Following the standard caper formula, a seasoned pro, Nick Wells (De Niro), is hired by his old partner, Max Baron (Brando), to pull one last job. Max forces Nick to take on relative newcomer Jackie Teller (Norton) as the inside man. Nick and Jackie are to steal a French national treasure, a scepter, from the basement of the Customs Building in Montreal.

Working from a script created by no less than 4 writers (Daniel E. Taylor, Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs and Scott Marshall Smith), director Frank Oz (BOWFINGER) tries to move from comedies to thrillers. For some reason, he forgot that thrillers, especially thinly plotted ones like this one, need energy like comedies need laughs. And the writers forgot that thrillers need twists, lots of twists to keep the suspense up. Instead they gave the movie only two, and the studio gave one of these away in the trailers.

Organized into the three canonical sections, planning, heist and getaway, the movie spends almost all of the time grinding away at the preparation. Expect to spend most of your time slumped back in your seat rather than on the edge of it. Only the brief last act has any punch. One suspects, and hopes, that this movie will be buried at the summer box office by better movies and that the cast will go on to be seen doing much better work in future films.

THE SCORE runs a long 2:03. It is rated R for language and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave it ***. He said that he liked the characters, the techniques of the robbery and plot's twists.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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