Review by Eugene Kopman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the first time two great Hollywood legends, Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando, team up with one of the best current young actors, Edward Norton, in a heist movie directed by a former Muppeteer, Frank Oz. If this is not a great combination, I don't know what is, but it works like magic.
De Niro is Nick Wells, a professional break-in artist. I refer to him as an artist because they show him breaking into a safe in the opening sequence and without saying a word, I was mesmerized. Besides being a thief, he also owns a jazz nightclub/restaurant in Montreal, Canada. He also wants to quit the thief business and live with his girlfriend, Diane (Angela Bassett), in Montreal. He also lives by a motto: never rob where you live.
His old friend Max Baron (Brando) informs him that there is a score of a lifetime, but Nick will have to work with a partner and it is in the Montreal Customs House. This partner is Jack Teller (Norton), otherwise known as Brian, a mentally retarded guy who works as an assistant night janitor at the Customs House. He pretty much planned the heist but needs a break-in specialist. Nick, hesitatingly, accepts the job under one condition: that he will run the operation.
I refuse to reveal any more story, even though the previews have already done so, which angered me. If you still haven't seen a preview for this movie, DO NOT!!!
"The Score" amazingly tries to stay away from the clichés of heist movies, and does it very well. All three main actors do a phenomenal job, and Norton pulls of another double role as Jack and Brian, similar to what he did in Primal Fear (which was actually his film debut). The screenplay is short, but everything is said to the point and doesn't beat around the bush. The best lines go to Brando, by the way. Bassett wasn't on screen enough for me to really formulate an opinion, but what I saw was good. Frank Oz must have learned something from the Muppets, because his direction, along with phenomenal acting, kept me captivated throughout the whole movie.
The Score is one of the best heist movies in a long time and is a must-see not only for fans, but for anyone.
For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
The Score (2001)
Video Pick of the Week
Guide to Star Ratings