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Loophole
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Loophole More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The "so called" impossible bank heist

9/10
Author: Tony Rome from Long Island, New york
19 August 2010

This is a very good caper film. The crooks are very professional, and they do not use any forms of violence. Martin Sheen plays a down on his luck architect, drawn into assisting with a large bank heist involving the use of the underground sewer system. The pace of this film is slow, but it keeps the viewers interest. Jonathan Pryce appears in this film in an early role as one of the crooks. Albert Finney is great as the leader of the gang, and Colin Blakly is equally good as his assistant. Susanah York does not have much of a part as Martin Sheens wife. I give this film a nine out of ten. It is definitely worth a look. See it if you are a fan of caper films, see it even if your not a fan of caper films.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Experts Attempt Bank Vault Burglary In A Work Having Many Attractive Elements.

9/10
Author: rsoonsa (rsoonsa@bandbbooks.com) from Mountain Mesa, California
2 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A thoroughgoing plan toward husking London's largest and most secure holding bank of the contents of its safety deposit boxes, a quite improbable venture, is basis for action in this nicely finished film that successfully and consistently features valuable understatement in its script. American architect Stephen Booker (Martin Sheen), working and residing in England and married to an English woman (Susannah York), is facing a depressing future after an important contract for which he and his partner have bid is awarded to a competing contestant, leaving Booker's firm essentially fundless and paving the way for what will not be a standardized adventure film. The newly unemployed architect's efforts to find a new position are unsuccessful, as he is repeatedly reminded by those with oversight of the jobs for which he is applying that he is "overqualified", until he is of a sudden hired by one Mike Daniels (Albert Finney) to design a conversion of an entire city block, an assignment that will serve to elide Stephen's rampant personal debts to his banker, played incisively by Robert Morley. However, after Stephen has discovered from documents while developing plans for the project that Daniels, his new boss, is an apparent mountebank, he resigns from his new position, thereby being forced to encounter his ambitious wife's spleen, in addition to that of his banker, so that when Daniels, a proficient safebreaker, urges Booker to rejoin him as part of a carefully selected crew of criminal specialists organized for the bank break-in, Stephen decides that becoming a temporary accomplice is less intolerable than becoming increasingly destitute. And so, into mid-town London's rat infested sewer tunnels goes the skilled team of burglars toward their targeted vault (actually filmed within the Unilever Building upon the north side of Blackfriars Bridge), but their carefully devised heist, that will incidentally free Stephen Booker from his monetary obligations, is fraught with unforeseen complications, realistically presented here by cast and crew. Direction is excellent, focussing upon convincing detail supplied by a well-written screenplay that avoids turgid psychodrama in favour of the mechanics of a scheme that becomes of compelling interest to a viewer who will additionally find the characters of interest simply because their innermost thoughts are not voiced, and the intriguing possibilities suggested by the climax are stimulative. Finney handily earns the acting laurels, dominating his scenes with an engaging performance as an actuating criminal specialist, and there is fine playing by all members of the talented cast, quite synchronous to the refinements soaked throughout the script, with markedly solid turns from Colin Blakely and Alfred Lynch as two of Daniels' henchmen. The superb editing of Ralph Sheldon serves to intensify this well-crafted affair, not distributed within the United Kingdom, and it is salted with the valuable contributions tendered by Michael Reed and his camera, Maurice Cain for always appropriate designing, and Ian Wingrove for the special visual effects, in particular when the sewer exit route to be used by the thieves is flooded following an unforecast downpour.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A thoughtfully planned ripoff

Author: lobo1955 from USA
29 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A thoughtfully planned ripoff of London's largest and most secure holding bank of the safety deposit boxes, a quite improbable venture, is basis for an action movie in this nicely finished film that successfully and consistently features valuable understatement in its script. American architect Stephen Booker (Martin Sheen), working and residing in England and married to an English woman (Susannah York), is facing a depressing future after an important contract for which he and his partner have bid is awarded to a competing consulting company, leaving Booker's firm essentially fund less and paving the way for a non standardized adventure film. The newly unemployed architect's efforts to find a new position are unsuccessful, as he is repeatedly reminded by those with oversight of the jobs for which he is applying that he is "overqualified", until he is of a suddenly hired by one Mike Daniels (Albert Finney) to design a conversion of an entire city block, an assignment that will serve to elide Stephen's rampant personal debts to his banker, played very well by Robert Morley. However, after Stephen has discovered that Daniels, his new boss, is an apparent mountebank, he resigns from his new position, thereby being forced to encounter his wife's displeasure, in addition to that of his banker, so that when Daniels, a proficient safe cracker, urges Booker to rejoin him as part of a carefully selected crew of criminal specialists organized for this bank job, Stephen decides that becoming a temporary accomplice is less intolerable than becoming increasingly destitute. And so, into mid-town London's rat infested sewer tunnels goes the skilled team of burglars toward their targeted vault, but their carefully devised heist,is fraught with unforeseen complications, realistically presented here by cast and crew. Direction is excellent, focusing upon convincing detail supplied by a well-written screenplay that avoids turgid psychodrama in favor of the mechanics of a scheme that becomes of compelling interest to a viewer who will additionally find the characters of interest simply because their innermost thoughts are not voiced, and the intriguing possibilities suggested by the climax are stimulative. Finney handily earns the acting laurels, dominating his scenes with an engaging performance as an actuating criminal specialist, and there is fine playing by all members of the talented cast, with markedly solid turns from Colin Blakely and Alfred Lynch as two of Daniels' henchmen. The superb editing of Ralph Sheldon serves to intensify this well-crafted affair, Maurice Cain for always appropriate designing, and Ian Wingrove for the special visual effects, in particular when the sewer exit route to be used by the thieves is flooded following an unfocused downpour.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Solid bank heist thriller

6/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
22 August 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

LOOPHOLE is one of those bank heist thrillers that were all the rage in the late '70s and early '80s. Other worthy additions to this sub-genre of filmmaking include SEWERS OF GOLD and A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE. This one's a little slower-paced than those, a little grittier too; it's more of a character piece, with Martin Sheen's protagonist getting plenty of back story in particular. The heist itself doesn't occur until the climax, but it is very well portrayed with a maximum of suspense. Another highlight is the supporting cast, made up of familiar character actors, all of whom do their bit; watch out for Albert Finney and the likes of Jonathan Pryce in an early role.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ably constructed thriller

7/10
Author: gcd70 from Melbourne, Australia
26 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tense, ably constructed thriller is a credit to some strong players and an astute director. Blessed with a clever original work (novel by Robert Pollock), but not such an ingenious screenplay, director John Quested has been able to draw out his movie and squeeze it for a few drops of decent suspense.

Albert Finney is perfectly debonair as the Englishman who has a penchant for safe-cracking. Having set his sights rather high for his next job, he employs the services of out of work architect Booker, well played by the young Martin Sheen. Susannah York, Coliin Blakely, Jonathan Pryce and Robert Morley also star.

Saturday, January 8, 2000 - Video

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Heist film is interesting, but still tame.

6/10
Author: Jason C. Atwood from Suffolk, Virginia
8 November 1998

LOOPHOLE has a nifty concept that sounds too good to be true, yet impossible. The unemployed American architect (Sheen) comes to England to devise a plan on robbing the safe from under the city sewers at a British bank. It actually works until.... Along the line, it's more of an adventure than a crime film, but with stars such as Albert Finney and Martin Sheen, don't get too excited about it. This really isn't your typical "bad guy" movie, rather it is tame and subtle. Both actors in their time were known to perform in novelish dramatic roles that appealed mostly to the adult crowd, so there's no modern class here, but maybe Susannah York's towel dropping scene might grab your attention. The end is peculiar and uncertain, right after you've gone through seeing a successful heist well done. All in all, an interesting movie, but if early 80s dramatic acting performances isn't your cup of tea, then you will find LOOPHOLE to be pretty boring.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Albert Finney entices Martin Sheen into a bank burglary caper

5/10
Author: msroz from United States
18 November 2016

The director of this film, John Quested, is ordinarily a producer. This film, under his inexperienced directing hand and working from a fairly lame script, is not what it should be at all. Albert Finney is a well-dressed and polished thief whose next score will be a bank's safety deposit storage vault. Martin Sheen is an architect fallen upon hard times who needs money. They'll be part of a team of 6 who will plan and carry out the caper, which involves an underground access through sewers. Although this story could conceivably have been done with some tension and pizazz, it only occasionally is really engaging. Its development is slow. The staging of the caper is far from interesting. The story plods along, helped by various incidents and the acting charisma of Finney and Sheen mainly, so that it's not a bomb. But it also is below par.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How in the hell does he get out of there?

1/10
Author: alfeu from Sao Paulo
19 May 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The whole movie goes well until it reaches its 20 final minutes, when the climax is about to happen. When you think you are going to have a lot of fun and a heck of a surprise, the movie just trolls you like you have never been trolled before. At first, I thought I was on Candy Camera or that I had seen an unofficial edited version of the movie. Unfortunately, it was neither case. It is ridiculous: the movie just ends, like a thunder. Boom: and you got the credits... At first is hard to believe, then you realize that was really it. I do not understand how the other critics do not point the obvious elephant in the room which is the lack of explanation regarding decisions taken by Martin Sheen at the end of the heist (which were a key part of the plot, at that stage of the movie) and how the other guys wrap up their activities... One guy simply dies out of nothing, for no reason, and the director does not even give us the opportunity to understand what took place... He simply appears floating dead in the water... At that moment, you just do not know if things went sour for the group or if they just went sour just for that one character. You also do not know if the poor guy got unlucky due to sabotage or forces of nature. The whole movie, in general, (until its 20 final minutes) is excellent: well produced, interesting, nicely filmed and edited. The last 20 minutes, however, destroy the whole venture and turn it into one of the worst wastes of time in the history of movies. How are people not raged with the meaningless cut in the picture? I searched several reviews to see if someone discussed the drastic unexplained cut, but it made me feel like I was in the Twilight Zone... No one touches the issue. Hahahaha... I have searched several videos in YouTube to make sure I got the version and all of them were like the one I saw, with the incredible cut right in the middle of the climax of the movie. No explanation is offered regarding the most interesting (and expected) part of the movie. It is just as if the money ended and they had to come to an abrupt "abort & shutdown". I visualize the funding people arriving at the studio and saying: "Stop everything right away. Let us go with what we have so far. Thank you, gentlemen, it was a pleasure working with you." A real shame for what could have been a fantastic movie.

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10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Dull film with a lousy finale.

5/10
Author: gridoon
25 October 1999

"Loophole" is a disappointingly dull, visually unappealing caper movie. I can recommend it only to genre addicts. The characters are anonymous and cold; you don't connect with them, so you don't care what will happen to them. Still, this minor picture isn't really bad...until its really LOUSY finale. Without revealing it, I can say that the "solution" the screenwriter finds to the characters' problems shows offensive incompetence on his part. The ending (presented as a twist) is simply unacceptable and I can't believe that these respectable actors agreed to play in a film that ended is such a LOUSY way.

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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Inspired A True Crime!

Author: sixfootjen from San Francisco, CA
11 February 2007

Actually, I haven't seen the movie -- but three men in Texas rented this movie and were inspired to re-create the crime in 1984. They held a bank president's wife and daughter hostage in exchange for a ransom of $48,000. Once the money was left in a garbage can, the men used the sewer system to gain access to the false bottom of the garbage can... just like in the movie. However, the FBI arrested one of the men, who ratted out the other two, and they were all tried and convicted. Actually, they almost got away with it -- except the woman they'd counted on to be their alibi "remembered" that they'd been at her house in the afternoon, not the morning. Amusingly, the appellate court judge who heard their appeal started his summary of the case with the line, "The background facts to this case read like a movie script." There's a reason for that, Yer Honor! (If you want to read the case, it's United States v. Moore, 786 F.2d 1308.)

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