Heist (2001)

(In theaters, November 2001) David Mamet can be frustrating or entertaining, but with Heist, the emphasis is on the entertainment. 2001 has seen at least three movies about professional robbers, and Heist ends up being the film that The Score and Ocean’s Eleven so desperately tried to be. Crackling dialogue, well-defined characters and constant plot twists will bring a smile to your lips even as you recognize the usual “caper-film” structure. It all adds up to an entertaining package. It’s as gratuitously convoluted as Mamet’s previous The Spanish Prisoner, but not as annoying: you’ll hardly mind as the onscreen action unfolds in a way that would be impossible out of movies. The beauty and satisfaction of Heist over comparable movies comes mostly from the various array of clever tricks used by the thieves to con everyone including themselves. Twists, twists, twists, up to and including the final seconds. Don’t make any mistake; this isn’t a particularly noteworthy or particularly heart-felt film: you’ll recognize the mechanics and the calculations. But never mind; Heist is so entertaining that it would be a crime to dislike it.

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