Search Results

Heist (2015)

Six long years after organizing the underrated action film The Tournament, Scott Mann finally plants his ass in the director’s chair again to deliver another underrated action film in Heist. Although deprived of originality, it’s kinda great. A loyal, longtime dealer at a riverboat casino, Vaughn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Losers) is in quite a […]

The Day of the Wolves (1971)

Seven criminals are recruited to pull a job. They are known to one another only by an elementary code and sport the same cool-guy disguise. Sound familiar? There’s no way that a TV broadcast of The Day of the Wolves managed to escape the eyes and psyche of a young Quentin Tarantino. As ringleader, No. […]

Reading Material: Mars in the Movies: A History

With movies, as with potential mates, everyone has a type toward which he or she instinctively gravitates. For me, it’s heists or spiders. For Thomas Kent Miller, it’s that angry red planet — a lifelong fascination that culminates in the publication of the book Mars in the Movies: A History. Released by McFarland & Company, […]

Killer Force (1975)

Killer Force is a slightly off-kilter heist picture, primarily because of its setting: the middle of a South African desert, with nothing but sand dunes for miles around all sides of the Syndicated Diamond Corporation. Some precious, uncut stones worth $20 million are targeted for thievin’ by a gang of criminals, and they need an […]

Point Break (2015)

Look, just because something is old does not make it great. And yet, as the Point Break remake surfed into theaters on Christmas Day 2015, I do not recall running across a single article or review that failed to refer to the 1991 original, which paired Patrick Swayze with Keanu Reeves, as “classic” — noun […]

Seven Golden Men (1965)

Seven Golden Men is the rare heist film that opens with the heist. Heck, its entire first half is the heist. There’s no planning, no telegraphing of what the caper entails; we learn what happens as it happens, and our enjoyment is heightened all the more because of it. Masterminded by the erudite Professor (Philippe […]

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Having already taken over the iconic role of Capt. Kirk in the rebooted Star Trek, Chris Pine guns for another A-list franchise in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. It’s a prequel that serves as an origin story for the badass CIA analyst embodied originally by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October, most famously by […]

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Excepting 1939’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, perhaps the most famous installment of the 14-film Sherlock Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone is its second, also from that year: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Not based directly on any one particular story from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle canon, the movie does a great job of […]

Reading Material: Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: On Classic Film Noir

Provocatively and perfectly titled, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: On Classic Film Noir attempts to be, as editor Robert Miklitsch writes, “a collection that confines itself to the extraordinary scope and depth, the embarrassment of riches” of the genre. Now that film noir has bled over into, of all things, mainstream video games, perhaps […]

Grand Slam (1967)

Freshly retired from a school in Rio de Janeiro, history professor James Anders (Edward G. Robinson, see?) will not go gently into gardening and bingo games. Instead, he returns to New York with a proposition for a childhood chum who’s grown into an über-wealthy corporate criminal (Adolfo Celi, Thunderball): Let’s steal $10 million in diamonds […]

National Treasure (2004)

What to do if you can’t get the rights to turn Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code into a movie? If you’re Walt Disney Pictures, you strip it of religious concepts and make a Da Vinci Code knockoff in National Treasure, which doesn’t work hard enough with a wide-open premise. Teaming with Con Air producer […]

The Driver (1978)

Why isn’t The Driver mentioned in the same breath as Dirty Harry, The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon and other bona fide ’70s crime classics? It’s excellent and — sorry, Warriors fans — easily Walter Hill’s personal best as writer/director. Never a great actor, Ryan O’Neal (Barry Lyndon) also is atop his game here because […]

Sabata (1969)

In Daugherty City, Texas, the U.S. Army has stored $100,000 in the bank overnight — a record amount for the institution. In an ingenious heist, Old West-style, the 2-ton safe is swiped. The next day, it’s returned — along with the dead bodies of the men who stole it — by sharpshooter Sabata (Lee Van […]

Botched (2007)

Having Botched a French diamond heist through no fault of his own, professional thief Ritchie (Blade‘s Stephen Dorff) is given one more chance by his crime boss to square his debt. That chance is stealing a priceless artifact that once belonged to Russian czar Ivan IV, located in the penthouse suite of a high-rise building […]

Project X (1968)

Not to be confused with the forgettable Matthew Broderick/monkey team-up of the ’80s or the insipid teenagers’ apoca-party flick, this Project X is one of William Castle’s lesser-known pictures, likely because it’s neither gimmicky nor Rosemary’s Baby. It deserves not to be so obscure; far more eyes should feast upon this imaginative mix of The […]