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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Heist

Starring: Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito
Director: David Mamet
Rated: R
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: November 2001
Genres: Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Delroy Lindo, Ricky Jay, Christian Maguire, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Kaldor, Rebecca Pidgeon

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

How many double-crosses does it take to make a clever crime caper? David Mamet knows - and he dishes them out aplenty in this tantalizing, intricately constructed thriller. Gene Hackman plays a veteran thief whose photograph is snapped by a security camera during a jewelry store robbery. Knowing his career is over, he's more than ready to retire and sail around the world with his young wife, Rebecca Pidgeon. But in order to get his payoff, he and his team (Delroy Lindo, Ricky Jay) are forced to do one last heist by mobster Danny DeVito with his nefarious nephew (Sam Rockwell) watching their every move. They're going to lift a shipment of Swiss gold off a Pan Geneve cargo plane, a heist that requires intricate planning to divert airport security and elude U.S. Customs and the F.B.I.. It would be easier if they could trust each other - but they don't - for good reason, since there's little honor among these thieves. Or, as Hackman, the mastermind, puts it, "Gold makes the world go 'round...Anyone can get the goods. The trick is getting away, and it's good to have a back-up plan." The devious ingenuity of writer-director David Mamet ("The Spanish Prisoner," "State and Main") is boundless and the intricately woven plot is polished and unpredictable. Basically, nothing is as it seems so you have to watch carefully for the subtle twists and turns. While Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Ricky Jay, Sam Rockwell, even Patti LuPone as a customs officer, deliver solid performances, Rebecca Pidgeon's not even remotely convincing as the pivotal woman involved. The fact that she's Mamet's real-life wife is the only explanation for her being cast. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Heist" is an enigmatic 8. It's a spider's web of intrigue, betrayal and deception.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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