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The Score (2001)

American crime thriller heist film directed by Frank Oz, starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando.

Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando make the movie worth watching.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Story: An aging thief hopes to retire and live off his ill-gotten wealth with his lover when a young kid convinces him into doing one last heist that comes with a large payout. (IMDb)


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The Score (2001): A Heist Flick That Hits Most of the Right Notes

– Retrospective & Movie Review –

The Score (2001): A Heist Flick That Hits Most of the Right Notes, Movie Review

Today, we will talk about a heist movie that’s been lurking in the shadows of cinematic history for a while – “The Score” (2001). Starring heavyweights like Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando, this film brings together some incredible talent, but does it deliver on the promise of a thrilling heist? Well, let’s dive in and find out.

First things first, I have to say that “The Score” is a slow burner. It takes its time setting up the characters, the heist, and the tension.

Directed by Frank Oz, who’s known for his work on films like “The Dark Crystal” and “Little Shop of Horrors,” the movie has a steady and measured pace. While that’s not inherently a bad thing, it might test the patience of those looking for a high-octane heist thriller right out of the gate.

Now, onto the cast. Robert De Niro, a legend in his own right, plays Nick Wells, a highly skilled, yet aging thief who’s looking to retire from a life of crime. De Niro brings a level of gravitas to the role that only he can. His portrayal of a man yearning for a peaceful life is convincing and relatable. You can’t help but root for him, even though he’s a criminal.

Edward Norton, who plays the young, unpredictable, and seemingly unhinged thief, Jack Teller, is a revelation. Norton‘s performance is electrifying, and he steals the spotlight in every scene he’s in.

The Score (2001), Edward Norton, Retrospective

His character adds a layer of unpredictability and chaos to the carefully planned heist, making the audience wonder just how things will unfold. Norton‘s performance is truly a highlight of the film.

Marlon Brando, playing Max, the cunning mastermind behind the heist, adds a touch of class to the movie. It’s a pleasure to watch De Niro and Brando share the screen, and their chemistry is undeniable. These two icons of cinema bring an elegance to the film that elevates it above your typical heist thriller.

The heist itself is where the movie really starts to shine. The plan is complex, the security measures are tight, and the stakes are high. The scenes where the characters infiltrate the Montreal Customs House are intense and suspenseful.

The attention to detail in executing the heist is impressive, and it’s where the movie truly captivates the audience. I found myself on the edge of my seat during these sequences, and that’s exactly what you want from a heist movie.

However, “The Score” isn’t without its flaws. The slow pacing, especially in the first half, might deter some viewers. If you’re looking for non-stop action and thrills, this might not be the film for you.

The Score (2001), Movie Review

Additionally, the film relies on some familiar heist movie tropes, which can make it feel a bit formulaic at times. While it doesn’t break much new ground, it still manages to be an enjoyable ride, mainly thanks to the exceptional cast.

As for the ending, I won’t give away any spoilers, but let’s just say that it’s a mixed bag. Some may find it satisfying, while others might be left wanting more. It’s a conclusion that leaves room for interpretation, which can be both a strength and a weakness, depending on your perspective.

In the end, “The Score” is a solid heist movie that benefits from the powerhouse trio of De Niro, Norton, and Brando. The slow build-up, strong character development, and intricate heist plan make it a worthwhile watch for fans of the genre.

While it may not reach the heights of classics like “Heat” or “Ocean’s Eleven,” it’s still an engaging and well-acted film that’s worth your time.

So, regarding it’s FrameClass, “The Score” is a solid “Worth a Watch” (3/5 stars). It’s not a groundbreaking masterpiece, but it’s a respectable addition to the heist movie canon, and a good choice for a movie night when you’re in the mood for a crime thriller with a touch of class. Give it a shot, and let us know what you think!


Stephen Galen Estevan

Hello there! I’m Stephen, a cinephile whose love for the silver screen transcends eras and genres. Armed with a deep passion for films, from classic masterpieces to contemporary gems, I’m here to share my insightful perspectives, reviews, and recommendations with fellow movie enthusiasts.


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Find out more about The Score:

IMDb | Wikipedia | Rotten Tomatoes | Metacritic | Letterboxd


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