Directed and written by: Christian Gudegast
Starring by: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
A gritty L.A crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff's Dept. and the state's most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles.
Reviewed bythebricksVote: 9/10
Absolutely loved the movie from start to finish. Every actor does a great job in this film. O'Shea Jackson, Paolo Schrieber, Gerard Butler did an incredible job. From start to finish, it was a riveting movie. If I ever rewatch it though, I'm going to ignore the end. It was terrible, a ripoff of The Usual Suspects. I don't even think it worked either, nor did it make sense. They had so much to work with and they just didn't follow up to create a great ending. There is an aspect of Gerard Butler's character and his team that is never answered in the movie. It's just dropped, but it was an element of the character that differentiated this film from other heist movies.
It's one of the best heist movies I've seen since Heat and Ocean's Eleven, but the ending was just maddening. It would be a classic otherwise, and it's a shame.
Reviewed byklusebaVote: 9/10
Den of Thieves might be a stereotypical movie about tough guys trying to outsmart one another but it's a really entertaining ride and worth the praise it gets.
First of all, the story is fast-paced without any lengths. Each character is introduced appropriately, the tension slowly rises until a gripping climax and the final twist is quite impressive as well.
Secondly, the acting performances are stellar. Gerard Butler fully impresses as tough and pitiless detective who convinces with unshakable determination but also shows his flaws with his aggressive recklessness. Pablo Schreiber offers a very solid performance as strong, intelligent and ambitious criminal who turns out to be much more complex than meets the eye. The secret protagonist of the movie is O'Shea Jackson Junior's character who goes through a spectacular development from being a curious bartender, becoming involved in a gang of highly trained criminals and ending up what seems to be an undercover collaborator with the local police force. Each character has important flaws and strengths which makes everyone of them particularly authentic. Identifying a clear protagonist or antagonist is nearly impossible which sets this movie apart from other genre flicks.
Thirdly, the action sequences are quite spectacular, including car chases, gun fights and hand-to-hand combat but these elements are never overused and keep the movie diversified yet credible.
Fourthly, the main heist is truly spectacular and nerve-firing as the clever criminals face quite a few serious challenges. The whole sequence lasts about half an hour but feels less than half as long because it's so gripping.
Fifthly, despite being an action movie, this film doesn't overuse special effects, employs lighting techniques smoothly and utilizes calm camera work. Stylistically, this movie goes back to the great action movies of the eighties which is quite refreshing and not headache-inducing. Great action movies don't need shaky cameras and zombies but should stick to the simplest ingredients to fully convince. This is what Den of Thieves accomplishes very successfully.
In the end, watching Den of Thieves was a surprisingly positive experience. I haven't watched such an overall enjoyable action movie in a very long time. Fans of action cinema with tough guys in the key of the Die Hard franchise just can't get around this film. I certainly don't aim to sound controversial but the only thing to point out is that this movie was made by men for men and might appear somewhat stereotypical to most women. On the other side, it's just the other way around with films like Pitch Perfect. If this movie seems to be right down your alley, you will enjoy it for sure but if it's not your type of movie, just ignore it.
Reviewed byZeeshan MahmudVote: 9/10
Absolutely brilliant. A total guy film.
Gerard Butler (Big Nick) is - as Gerard himself mentions it in Kimmel - "Silverback Gorilla". Pure alpha male in a group of bunch of alpha males.
He soon meets his match in the form of Pablo Schreiber's character Merriman. Another totally buff, totally shredded, former Special Forces who is incredibly smart and highly intelligent.
Basically the movie is a tic-tac back and forth between their lives' portrayals with some glimpses of 50's life, O Shea and others'. I get that most people are trying to compare it to Heat, but for me it was more in line with Training Day.
Now frankly, I went in with a Law Abiding Citizen mentality about a self-righteous cop(s) who break all the rules, acts as vigilante and makes their point proven with unconventional tactics.
It was actually nothing like that. It is heist film with a brilliant misdirection. It delivers all the macho, high octane action.
There are some subtleties and details that highly stands out:
-O Shea's nostrils flaring after being harassed and bullied (loved this touch of microexpression ever since I saw in the trailer)
-The way the robbers step in or wade in. Almost as if wearing fins and they first slide in and step in with one foot and then the body follows. Of course, 50 and Gerard said how they trained to get the movement down in military fashion.
-Sushi bar scene, the Rowland Heights scene which truly depicts how a real Alpha carries himself was phenomenal. Loved the tension building and flaring and the subdued suspense and of course the breakup scene was strong
-The muscle of Butler and Schreiber in the final scene with each sinewy muscle mass pumping was brilliant.. Probably they pumped irons before shooting those scenes.
-Merriman character became a surprise favorite of mine
Merriman character is not that much of a downright and outright alpha. Not a grey man either. He is just trying to have a meal and chill with his "family" or makes his point proven in the shooting range without reacting directly to Butler from getting his paper target riddled center mass.
(Possible spoiler alert)
Now as far as the spoiler or twist. Well if the movie had no twist it actually would have been boring. Another Mann-ish drama about real life grit. Although putting the twist at the end may sacrifice some of the content and make it 'cheesy' (as some might object) but THAT actually makes it more unique, original and movie-y.
Listen. Reviews are subjective. C---pola like Wonder Woman - which is comparable to cringey chick flick - gets rave reviews by "stalwart" critics and these same critics lambaste this movie.
Don't listen to anyone else. Watch a movie, judge it for yourself and then you'd have much better understanding and appreciation how life operates.
For me art is something which "I" want to enjoy and savor again and again and again and again...
This movie passes it on all accounts. A movie doesn't have to Oscar nominated with Brandeberg Concerto or discussing pilpul of Rauschenberg in Annie Hall-y style to get my respect.
All "I" care is what makes me happy. That is art for me. What "I" want to watch again and again and again..
Hence the solid 9 stars.