If you're the type that likes to organize and analyze, you can pretty easily split the caper genre into two groups: the ones where the audience is told about the plan beforehand and the ones where they aren't. The former type can get by on action sequences and gadgets, but the latter has to be a little smarter--it's crucial that the misdirection works well. A good caper movie can give you all of the pieces of the puzzle and still surprise you in the end. I'd say this was a pretty good one. It was well-written with an interesting premise and the performances were all pretty solid. Christopher Plummer was particularly good (which is no surprise, really), as was Denzel Washington. Apart from my normal pet peeve about accents (Clive, man, I love your work, really, but you should really stick to English roles) my only real complaint is that the movie made me overthink things. Really, the plot was a pretty straightforward caper, but there were lots of little details--a large poster in the background of one scene, the music under the opening credits, several lines of dialogue pertaining to race and religion--that had me expecting a plot twist involving terrorism or something. I guess I was paying just a bit too much attention, but that's alright since it didn't really diminish my enjoyment of the film.
Viewed: 3/31/2006 | Released: 3/23/2006 | Score: B