The Art Of The Steal Capsule Review [TIFF 2013]
Please note that this a capsule review. Our full review is under embargo until the film’s release date, which is September 20th.
Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned heist movie? I bet that’s what director Jonathan Sobol thought when he went to make The Art of the Steal, a conventional but for the most part, pretty harmless heist film.
The caper story follows Kurt Russell’s Crunch Calhoun, a legendary art thief who after being jailed for five and a half years due to a betrayal by someone he trusted, is now retired and living life as a motorcycle daredevil. When fate comes knocking on his door though, he heads back for the proverbial one last job with his brother Nicky (Matt Dillon). Together, the two assemble their old crew, along with a new addition (Jay Baruchel), and they set out to steal one of the world’s most valuable books.
Like I said above, and as that summary demonstrates, The Art of the Steal doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. In fact, if you’ve seen any heist film from the past couple of decades, then you’ve seen The Art of the Steal. Structured like any other caper story, Sobol’s film includes all the cliched, one-note character types that the genre is known for and also follows all the expected plot beats, complete with an ending that, despite a few clever twists (which admittedly, do leave some plot holes), isn’t too difficult to predict if you’d been watching closely.
That being said, what Sobol’s film may lack in originality and uniqueness, it makes up for in style, some solid performances and a few genuine laughs that make the whole thing fairly enjoyable. There’s no fancy gadgets here, no high-tech wizardry, no globe-trotting adventure, no death-defying stunts, no over the top villains, none of that. The Art Of The Steal is just a good old fashioned heist movie, and who doesn’t love that?
Though it doesn't offer up much in the way of originality, The Art of The Steal is a harmless, and often humorous caper film that will keep you entertained throughout.