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The Good Thief

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Good Thief

Starring: Nick Nolte, Tcheky Karyo
Director: Neil Jordan
Rated: R
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: April 2003
Genres: Drama, Suspense, Thriller

*Also starring: Said Taghmaoui, Emir Kusturica, Mark Polish, Michael Polish, Jason Flemyng, Ralph Fiennes, Nino Kukhanidze

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

THE GOOD THIEF, written and directed by Neil Jordan, is a near miss that is frequently too clever for its own good. A tone poem about an old thief, the production is consistently more beautiful than the story is interesting. Its shots of the Riviera at night are absolutely breath-taking.

With a face like an old punching bag, Nick Nolte delivers an annoying performance as Bob, the thief with six convictions who is trying for one last big score. Nolte is the only actor in this film, set in France, whose native language is English, yet he manages to be the only one whose English is nearly indecipherable. Mumbling one line after another, he makes you wish that they had hired another actor to dub his lines into something more intelligible.

THE GOOD THIEF is a heist movie with the usual set of twists. Bob and one of his teams are planning on making like they are going to rob a casino with fake paintings on the walls, while his other team steals the real paintings in a nearby building. Of course, the original paintings are secured with an "unbreakable" security system, which they break. Watching the action is sometimes fun, but the sense of dj vu spoils a lot of it.

The most promising part of the story involves Nino Kukhanidze, who plays Anne, a sexy 17-year-old girl that Bob rescues. With a detached, stoner attitude, her character keeps making you think the movie will turn into some sort of guilty pleasure, la Brian De Palma's FEMME FATALE, but it never does. What we're left with is a mildly diverting caper of the type that we've seen numerous times before.

THE GOOD THIEF runs 1:48. It is rated R for "language, sexuality, drug content and some violence" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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