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Length:1 Hour 49 Minutes
Cast:David Mamet, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo

Writer-director David Mamet has demonstrated a special affinity for intricate, serpentine thrillers, and he outdoes himself with this gritty, tough-as-nails caper film. Gene Hackman stars as an aging, weary professional thief who'd like nothing better than to retire to South America with his sexy young wife (Mamet's real-life spouse, Rebecca Pidgeon). His scheming "fence," played by Danny DeVito, wants him to tackle one more job: a multimillion-dollar gold heist that'll be nearly impossible to pull off without detection. Hackman reluctantly agrees, and from that point Mamet takes his viewers on a long, winding ride: The film is a virtual tutorial in preparing an elaborate robbery. The plot twists begin almost as soon as the opening credits end, and by the time Mamet presents his startling climax you may need a scorecard to tell who's double-crossing whom. The noted playwright's famously idiosyncratic dialogue sounds perfectly natural issuing from the mouths of Hackman, DeVito, Pidgeon, Delroy Lindo, Sam Rockwell, and the director's favorite supporting player, Ricky Jay. Although the situations occasionally seem contrived and there's not much in the way of edge-of-the-seat suspense, The Heist makes an intelligent, engrossing addition to the genre and shouldn't be missed. The DVD includes theatrical trailers. Ed Hulse

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