201-Words-or-Less Film Review Home


David Mametís Heist, though unremarkable, is essentially everything it should be, given the title: a lean and mean caper flick, with abundant plot twists, sharp dialogue, and great performances by the likes of Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, and Delroy Lindo. Rating: 6 out of 10.

201-Words-or-Less Film Review

Profanities flew a mile a minute in Mametís dark and heroless Glengary Glen Ross, but in the lighter The Spanish Prisoner he made the menace palpable without a single swear word. Heist falls somewhere in the middle. Mametís dialogue (youíll need multiple viewings to catch all the witticisms) is too snappy to be anywhere near realistic, but donít let that be a hangup. Heís trying for cool, not realistic, and it mostly works.

On the downside, Heist lacks two redeeming qualities of Mametís best work. First, there is no pure-hearted protagonist in the midst of all the muck. That may not be a liability for some, but I would have liked a little ray of light (though Heist is nowhere near as dark as Glen Ross). Second, a good gauge of Mametís films is often the performance of his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, and she is only okay here as an incompletely-characterized (though certainly witty) femme fatale. She owned the screen in The Spanish Prisoner and State and Main; not so here.

All told, if you like heist flicks with great acting, cool twists, and tight scripts, and you donít mind some rough language and understated violence, you should enjoy this one.

Word Count: 201

Copyright 2002 by Toby Baldwin

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Year: 2001
Writer/Director: David Mamet
Running Time: 111 minutes
Rated R by the MPAA for "language and some violence."

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