Heist has many of the same elements that other David Mamet movies have. He wrote and directed it. He uses stars like Ricky Jay and Rebecca Pidgeon (his wife), mainstays of his films. He also uses the same, somewhat artificial, stilted language and gift for conversation that pepper all of his films. Mamet (State and Main, The Winslow Boy) is an accomplished playwright, and his talent for writing 'stage' conversation always makes its way into film. The results may not always sound great, but they are definitely unique. As a caper movie, Heist is not that satisfying because of its utter reliance on everybody following certain habits and reacting certain ways in situations. Everything must happen in an exact way, or else the entire plan will fail. The plans are so complex that these compounding coincidences become a joke after a while.

Joe Moore (Gene Hackman, Heartbreakers, The Mexican) is looking to retire from his criminal life. He wants nothing more than to set sail for some far of destination and live out his life in peace. He gets his face captured on camera during the initial, thrilling burglary of a jewelry store, which hastens his decision. Bergman (Danny Devito, What's the Worst That Could Happen, Screwed) begs to differ. He wants Moore on one more job, a large one involving Swiss gold. Worse, he wants his nephew, Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell, Made, Charlie's Angels) to join Moore's crew. Silk is an unstable element into Moore's well-oiled machine. Silk is inexperienced, and Moore does not trust him.

Moore's crew consists of his wife Fran (Pidgeon, State and Main, The Winslow Boy), Bobby Blane (Delroy Lindo, The One, The Last Castle), and Don Pincus (Jay, Heartbreakers, State and Main). They go about intricately planning the heist, while Moore and his crew secretly scheme to scam Bergman and Silk. The crimes themselves are meticulously laid out, with every step in place. Mamet even assumes mistakes to be part of the plan. He anticipates the actions and decisions of everybody, and incorporates them into the plan. So if somebody does not act exactly as they should, everything will fail. The odd thing is that things do go wrong, and the plans seem to go fine. Moore either planned on the error or just dumb luck prevailed.

Mamet's talent for dialogue does not work properly here. For this type of movie, such a formal way of speaking causes the actors to sound like they are reading. Even when they are yelling, they do not sound natural. This is most obvious for Hackman and Lindo. It is extremely distracting at times. Mamet's dialogue does work for Jay, mostly because he gets most of the good lines. Mamet's scripts are full of colorfully constructed allusions. However, Heist is not a movie where dialogue is that important. The only time a gem comes through is when the people are arguing with each other. Still, the acting is precise and paced, making Heist more of an actor's movie than one for audiences.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 1 minutes, Rated R for language and some violence.

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