(On VHS, September 2001) Lessons in cinema can come from the most unlikely sources, and so it’s halfway through Sneakers that I finally realized something that had eluded me for so long: The true origins of hacking movies (Hackers, Swordfish, etc…) are not thrillers in general, but specifically heist movies. Granted, this is an obvious revelation after you’ve seen this Robert Redford vehicle, which was made at a time where virtual heists were still in their infancy. Here, Redford heads an elite team of intrusion artists who are manipulated in stealing something for someone. Never mind who or what or why and rather focus on the elegant mechanics by which the various stunts are executed. Even if the plot is complete hokum (and it’s not… too much), the real fun of Sneakers is in the individual scenes in which our genius-level characters are allowed to strut their stuff and overcome various obstacles. (There’s a particularly joyous scene involving high-speed driving by a blind man.) Believable acting, good pacing and fascinating details complete the picture and overcome any of the niggling flaws of this thriller. Good fun.