The Stickup (2002) Poster


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finally, a very meticulous thriller-with-a-twist
alannasser19 February 2003
An apparently disturbed/depressed loner is on the run after a daring bank heist. He meets a woman who sympathizes with his vulnerability and they begin a relationship which becomes jeopardized when she comes to suspect that he is the murderous stickup man. To say more could jeopardize your enjoyment of this movie.

I had sadly resigned myself, before viewing this flick, to the fact that the the chances of finding a good mystery or thriller any more are close to nil. Writing tends to be dreadful, story lines implausible and hackneyed, and the obligatory twists and "surprises" either predictable or preposterous. But here we have a nicely written and very cleverly constructed thriller-mystery whose twist is unexpected and ingeniously constructed. The technique of ongoing narrative flashbacks is most often clumsy and confusing. But in this movie the same technique is very meticulously realized and is essential to the bend in the story line that the film depends on for its punch as an exceptionally engaging thriller.

And don't be put off by the somewhat deliberate pace of the first third of the film. It's crucial to what this movie is about. Given the dismal standards that prevail in this film genre, I say this one merits a 10 out of 10.
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Up is Down; Black is White... -A Reel Treat!
Tom D Backman5 December 2002
This film features one of James (call me Jimmy!) Spader's finest (and most likeable) performances. Set in the Beautiful Sierras of Northern California, we find ourselves immediately embroiled in a desperate chase... And as the story unfolds, It Doesn't Get Boring! The characters just get deeper, and when you think something is bound to fall flat (or be predictable), the story takes a new turn! I highly recommend this film to anyone who gets the chance to watch it.
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Glad I Didn't Miss This One
jblake12437 July 2005
Once in a while you can win at the game of "remote roulette." I lucked out and caught this flick the other night while rather aimlessly looking for something decent to watch. It was being shown on a popular, premium cable network. It is a cops & robbers caper flick with more than a little twisting as it goes through its well designed plot steps with hardly any let downs along the way. I would categorize it as a black comedy-drama with a touch of noir. I thought that the dialog between the main characters, James Spader (Parker) and Leslie Stefanson (Natalie Wright)was reminiscent of Bogart & Bacall. James Spader, in my opinion, is one of the better actors in film today. It is a shame that real talent like his is not more fully recognized by the film industry, obsessed with redundant, lowest common denominator material suitable for sixth graders or special effects geeks whose every other word is "awesome." Leslie Stefanson's character is aptly named as she plays with skill and sardonic humor, a disillusioned small town girl looking for "Mr. Right." The supporting cast, particularly John Livingstone as FBI special agent Rick Kendall was above average. I just wish that there could have been a little more of the well played "Native Americans" who were involved in the story. Writer-Director Rowdy Herrington deserves praise for coming up with this low budget "sleeper" lost among the mainstream Hollywood trash currently inundating the theater and television screens of our entertainment challenged land. The authentic rural and scenic small town location creates an enchanting atmosphere that further adds to the quality of the film and even the jazz soundtrack I noticed under the closing credits was a winning pick. You will not be disappointed by this good one.
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jotix1005 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Rowdy Herrington's "The Stickup" turned out to be a surprise when it turned up recently on cable. Not having seen it before, we decided to take a chance, which paid up because of the interesting work the director gets out of the star of the film, James Spader.

"The Stickup" makes a case for appearing to be something on the surface, while being something else in reality. John Parker, the cop that decides to take a trip up north to clear his head knows about the corruption in his own department and feels horrible about the death of his good partner during a stake out in L.A.

When we see him at the beginning of the film bleeding at a church, little do we know what he has been involved in. For all appearances, John has robbed the bank and has gotten away with all the money. An FBI agent is assigned to the case; he is an inexperienced young man who appears not to have a clue of what he is doing, but by looking to clues in the video tape about the bank heist, he will solve the mystery.

The film is greatly helped by James Spader, who as John Parker is the best thing in the movie. Leslie Stefanson, is Natalie, the nurse who believes in Parker even when all the evidence points out to his guilt. David Keith is perfectly obnoxious as the sheriff.

"The Stickup" is a small film that packs a great punch!
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A Surprisingly Good Police Story
Claudio Carvalho28 February 2004
Parker (James Spader) meets Natalie (Leslie Stefanson) in a bar and has one night stand with her. On the next day, the local bank is robbed and Parker is chased and wounded by the police. The FBI rookie agent Rick Kendall (John Livingstone) is assigned for the case. This low budget movie was a great surprise for me. With a screenplay with lots of plot points, and two excellent lead actors (James Spader and John Livingstone), is a very worthwhile entertainment, recommended for fans of police story. The plot is great and the location were this film takes place is very beautiful, with wonderful landscapes. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): `Perseguição Implacável' (`Implacable Chase')
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Herrington and Spader, Together Again!
Rogue-3210 January 2005
Rowdy Herrington and James Spader teamed up originally for Jack's Back, a slick, scary and ultimately satisfying affair, with TWO - count 'em, TWO - incredible performances from the always-superb Spader. In The Stickup, Spader's back, and the result is another clever little movie that is not what it appears to be on the surface.

Spader's character has enough edge for 3 characters, most of the supporting cast is excellent (especially the actress who plays the nurse), and although it doesn't have the high multiple viewings factor that Jack's Back possesses (I try to watch that at least once every four or five years), it's still fun.

My IMDb rating: 7
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If you have a chance see this movie!
wellslemont3128 December 2005
I loved this movie! It doesn't go where you think it's going and it gets there fast! James Spader is one of the best actors working in films today. It was great to see him with such strong material. Leslie Stephanson and Spader had this very hot chemistry and I loved the banter between them. The Rashamon element in the plot provided an excellent opportunity for a unique film noir twist. I saw this movie at a preview with a large audience at a L.A. Museum of Modern Art/Independent Film Project screening and the place went wild. I watched it again on Showtime and enjoyed it just as much. It's great to see "under the radar pictures" like this. My hats off to everyone involved in the picture. Fine work all around. John Livingston practically steals the movie, I'll be watching for more from him. Loved the score too. If you have a chance see this movie!
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a pleasure to look at Leslie !
luckybounce13 November 2002
The beginning of the movie is as said in the comment on the net: what do you expect with such a title.A lot of shooting and car racing. For me the movie began with Leslie sitting at the bar and ordering a drink for a total stranger.From there on I followed all her moves and one-liners intensely. When she was nursing the shotwound I wished it was mine. .The casting all-over is very well done. The greenhorne FBI agent is heartwarming (he would say: "cool").The Indian chief and his son have a very short but amusing role.The plot of the movie is not that bad at all. The last half hour the plot of the story is upside down, totally different from what you would expect.However, the role of his LAPD collegues in the end is quite unbelievable. A happy end is well deserved for our couple, "love at first sight saves a lot of time". I'm glad I took the time to see it.
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ctomvelu-17 July 2008
James Spader is a former cop-turned-bank robber in THE STICKUP. In the course of the robbery and getaway, things don't go quite as planned and Spader ends up wounded. Fortunately, prior to to the robbery, he has met a nurse (Leslie Stefanson of THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER) who helps him mend in her home. Problem is, she's the ex of local deputy sheriff David Keith, who is hot on Spader's trail and keeping a close eye on his ex at the same time. John Livingston plays a boyish FBI agent sent in to take over the case, and provides some needed comic relief. The film employs several critical flashbacks without being confusing. It also is quite suspenseful. Spader as always is low-key and a pleasure to watch. A perfect little crime drama for watching on the small screen.
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Herrington's done it again!
pizowell18 January 2003
A burned out cop (Spader) from the big city travels to small town America after the death of his partner where he meets a lovely nurse. From there he sleeps with her, does her dishes, and then dresses up as Bozo and robs a bank. Simple, eh? Well, this is a Rowdy Herrington film and Rowdy Herrington films aren't to be taken at face value. The plot runs deeper than you think baby...

On the surface The Stickup looks like your typical crime drama, but never judge a book by it's cover. The Stickup is an all around well written, acted, and directed thriller that has many levels. Much like Herrington's brilliant Jack's Back, The Stickup is layered and then some. Without getting in too much detail and spoiling some of the surprises, The Stickup is a smart, witty, and damn enjoyable little movie.

Herrington has always had an ear for great dialogue and an eye for quick well choreographed action sequences. Herrington shows off both attributes here, but it's his great story that makes this baby so fun. Loaded with great witty dialogue and characters, this is Herrington in good form. The movie is also well directed by Rowdy with lots of cool flashbacks that add to the mystery of the movie. Herrington also keeps the movie moving at a brisk pace that never lagged. Good work Rowdy! Herrington and Jack's Back star James Spader reunite and damned if it didn't feel good. Spader is, as always, great in the lead. I love the guy, he's made a name for himself playing intense layered characters that either good or bad, you can't help but like. If Spader's on screen you can't take your eyes off him. Did that sound gay?

Unfortunately Herrington will always be known as the guy behind Road House and the very cliché Striking Distance. His best work lies in the films that have flew under the radar. The Stickup and Jack's Back being two shining examples of just that. Now I could go on raving about The Stickup and Jack's Back all day, but I won't. Just rent them! Herrington has an ability to take a tired concept and add life to it (except in the case of Striking Distance). You can say you've "seen it before," but not quite like this.
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