The Score (2001)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Caper, Crime Thriller  |   Release Date - Jul 13, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - Germany , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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The Score brings three generations of master actors together with fantastic results. Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Ed Norton take what amounts to a standard heist film and raise it well above the level of cops and robbers. De Niro acts with his eyes in a less-is-more-approach, giving his character, the seasoned thief Nick, the proper weight and experience to counter Norton's cock-sure youth and arrogance. Norton more than holds his own next to the two legends and further demonstrates that he is one of the best actors of his generation. Much was made of the off-camera antics of Brando, but when all is said and done, he gives his best showing since The Freshman. As Max, a gay fence who needs this one last score, Brando is both sarcastic and serious in the same breath, turning in the performance fans hoped he was still capable of. Angela Bassett is stuck with the girlfriend who issues the ultimatum, the job or me. It's unfortunate she is not given more to work with and instead is reduced to a shallow stereotype. Frank Oz (Bowfinger) makes the smart decision to let his incredible cast do what they do best -- act. For a film about a robbery, there is surprising little gunplay and not one car chase. Oz lets the story progress and the tension build without forcing his hand, creating more of a character piece than an action film. He also demonstrates an excellent eye for locations and shoots Montreal as lovingly as Woody Allen shoots New York. Although the story is one that has been told several times before, all involved refuse to allow the stale plot to drag them down with it. What's left is a smart film that can be enjoyed as a fun genre piece.