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The Italian Job
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Italian Job More at IMDbPro »

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100 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

Maybe not the most original movie, but a very good one in the genre of the heist / action flicks

8/10
Author: Philip Van der Veken from Tessenderlo, Belgium
26 April 2005

A few years ago I saw this remake of the sixties classic with the Mini Coopers for the first time and I remember liking it a lot. Now, about two years later it was shown on television and I just wanted to know whether I would still like it as much as when I saw it in the cinema. Well, the answer is yes.

The movie is about a team of robbers that will do one final job in Venice, Italy. The plan is flawless and the execution perfect. They escape and won't have to work for the rest of their lives. But there is one problem they didn't take into account: Someone within their own ranks doesn't like to split the loot, but wants to keep it all for himself, even when that means he will have to kill the rest of the crew. But all but one survive and they are out for revenge. One year later, in Los Angeles this time, the surviving team members create a smart and devious plan to steal back the gold and get their revenge on the traitor...

The story on itself is of course not very original, since this is a remake of the original 1969 movie, but it has plenty of goodies to offer to make you forget about that. This is a typical heist / action movie but it certainly is one of the better ones in its kind. The action is very nice, the landscapes and Venice are real eye-candy, the story is OK and the special effects are stunning. Even the acting is very good, something which you'll not often see in an action movie. I must admit that I really liked what I saw and I give this movie a well deserved 7.5/10.

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75 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

Great film despite a few fallbacks

9/10
Author: irishboy6364
4 November 2003

Over the last few months, I have seen a lot of reviews for The Italian Job, many of them negative. The gist of almost all of these pessimistic criticisms is that, for all its modernistic bravado and high-budget technology, the film doesn't have much substance where it counts. Look, people, it's just a fun movie. This is the type of picture where you're supposed to sit back, relax, and just enjoy the steady-moving pace of the film. Like Ocean's Eleven (2001), you can concentrate on the characters and the plot at the same time without having to do much thinking (lucky for some of us). Granted, "Ocean" is a better movie, but who cares? The plot may have some holes (there's a huge one about 3/4 of the way through), the action may not be as gratifyingly gratuitous as the trailers made it out to be, and some of the dialogue may seem pointless and cheesy, but again, who really cares? Cool characters, Mini Coopers, big explosions, Charlize Theron. What more do you want? I think it's time to drop the fake Roger Ebert meets Gene Shalit act and enjoy yourself for once! Oh, and another thing, whatever you do, don't compare it to the original because, to reiterate what F. Gary Gray has told the press a million times, THIS IS NOT A REMAKE!! My advice- if you're interested in nit-picking your way through a good-humored, fun flick, don't even bother seeing The Italian Job. But, if you don't have a severe inferiority complex and/or want to see Ed Norton get jacked by a bunch of Ukranians, go ahead. The Bottom Line, my fellow moviegoers, is: Lighten Up and Have Fun, Dammit.

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68 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

Great, fun, caper flick

8/10
Author: Barky44 (barkybree@cox.net) from United States
29 June 2005

The Italian Job is a real blast to watch. It's a genuinely entertaining film, something you watch just for the sheer enjoyment of it. It's not heavy with drama or emotional hand-wringing, it has no cosmic statements about life, and it's not violent or profane. It's just a fun movie. Between watching the little Mini Coopers fly around the crowded streets of L.A. and the great bits by stereotypical computer geek-turned-crook (played gleefully by Seth Greene), I had a lot of fun watching this film.

Special kudos to the background music. They truly set a masterful tone for such a movie, so subtle yet keeps you on the edge when needed. Apparently a lot of artists contributed to the music, I found it to be the classiest part of the film.

8 out of 10. Not awe-inspiring but a great film to watch at the end of a lousy day at the office.

Barky

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48 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Slick, amusing caper film; Gray's best movie featuring Davis' best soundtrack

7/10
Author: lemon_magic from Wavy Wheat, Nebraska
11 December 2005

My reaction to this remake of "The Italian Job" is probably hopelessly mixed up with the events occurring in my life when I saw it; This is the first movie I saw after I had just landed a job after 8 months of unemployment and going back to school for retraining. Money was still tight, but I no longer had to choose between seeing a movie in the theaters and paying bills (or eating lunch), and the sense of relief and gratitude I was feeling at the time was enormous. In consequence, my enjoyment of "Italian Job" was probably far out of proportion to its actual worth.

Still, I picked it up used on DVD a few weeks ago and watched it again, and I still enjoyed it immensely. I have never seen the original (though I have heard it is an absolute classic), but its modern day counterpart is eminently watchable if you have a taste for modern day production values applied to older films plots and themes.

What initially won me over to this movie was the soundtrack - IMO Don Davis writes some of the most supple, textured and aurally pleasing soundtracks around. IJ opens with a sly, witty, pulsing arrangement that combines strings, guitar harmonics, brush work and quiet moments - it won me over completely from the opening seconds. And the whole movie is like this - I haven't heard this kind of ringing, chiming, pulsing soundtrack music since Stewart Copeland left the Police and started doing soundtracks for movies like "Rumble Fish". There are at least a dozen irresistibly scored motifs in here, along with some pop song remakes that range from "all right" to "inspired". For people to whom the soundtrack is important, this movie is a delight.

On to the movie: I can take or leave Mark Wahlberg, but he's okay here as the leading man, and the movie doesn't ask him to do anything he can't do well. He's the weakest "major" actor in the film, but that's because the rest of supporting cast is so strong, especially Donald Sutherland in a bit part. Mos Def, Jason Steadham, Ed Norton, Seth Green and Charlize Theron all turn in solid, fat-free performances. Norton seems to mostly be phoning it in (rumor has it that he didn't really want to be in the film), but he's still a natural even at 1/2 power. My one quibble with the casting and acting is with the character "Wrench", who seems to be a male model pretending to be an actor. His part seems to be shoehorned into the movie, and he has little chemistry with the rest of the cast (although you can blame some of that on the size of the part and the "late walk on" nature of the character). If I were a cynical sort,I would wonder who the actor slept with to get put into this movie in such a supernumerary role? Nah, never happen...

Production values, camera work, stunts, plot...everything cooks along quite nicely and Gray and his production crew pull things together pretty seamlessly (with the exception of the "Wrench" character, see above).

The dialog has a nice, light touch that rewards your indulgence, and there are several satisfying major and minor plot payoffs along the way. (My favorite moment - when Norton's character tells Wahlberg's character that he's just lost the element of surprise. Wahlberg proceeds to cold cock Norton with a right cross, and then asks him, "Were you surprised??" Hmmm, maybe you had to be there...)

Of course the movie requires a certain level of "suspension of disbelief" to work, but if you just relax and go along with it (and don't think too hard about the mechanics of cracking a safe underwater, or the likelihood of anyone being able to successfully hack and manipulate LA traffic via a laptop, etc), you'll have a fun ride.

"The Italian Job": it's lightweight summer fluff, but it's very good for what it is, and it doesn't try to be anything else. It isn't good enough for an "8" but I'd give it a "7.5".

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81 out of 133 people found the following review useful:

non-stop action film

9/10
Author: c pk from Hong Kong
23 February 2005

I enjoyed the movie very much. Everything in The Italian Job is simple. An explosive guy, a safe-cracker, a computer genius, a wheel-man and a man with a spectacular plan of stealing 35 million without using a gun. This film is entertaining although it has no central idea. It is a non-stop movie with lots of actions. All the stunt work is gorgeous. From the speedboat chase in Venice at the beginning to the chase on the busy roads in Los Angeles involving three mini coopers and even a helicopter. The best boast chase I have ever seen. I like the mini coopers. The expert thieves used mini coopers for the getaway cars. The chase between the mini coopers and the motor-bikes is amazing. They chased underground. I can say there was not a moment I was bored. Mark Wahlberg (Charlie Croker), Charlize Theron (Stella Bridger), Donald Sutherland (John Bridger), Jason Statham (Handsome Rob), Seth Green (Lyle), Mos Def (Left Ear) and Edwin Norton (Steve) really did a good job. I like the actors in this film. I have seen a lot of heist movie but The Italian Job& is one of my favourites. A great Hollywood action movie without a drop of blood. After all, I do love this kind of movie.

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44 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Highly entertaining

7/10
Author: iwatcheverything from Texas, USA
23 November 2003

If you are looking for a film that is quick witted and won't bore you then this is the place. It is fast paced and funny with some decent acting comeing from the characters. It is always hard for me to see Mark Walhberg as anything except Marky Mark. That image is burned in my mind forever. As an actor though he is pretty good. This movie is a must see for action fans who like to see a few little twists and turns. I will have to pick this movie up one day and buy it.

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43 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

FAST PACED EXCITING MOVIE

8/10
Author: iohefy-2 from Charlotte, NC
26 June 2003

I went to see THE ITALIAN JOB with mixed reviews in my head. I was pleasantly surprised with an entertaining close to 2 hours. I thought the cast was just great and so were the special effects, with the safe and truck just dropping out of sight. If you like fast paced action movies, this is the one to see.

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46 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Very Entertaining Heist Movie & A Big Plug For MINIs

9/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
20 January 2007

I wonder how many MINI Cooper automobiles were sold thanks to this movie? It couldn't help but add to the sales of this little car, which is featured in this film, along with an attractive cast.

This is a very, very entertaining heist-and-chase film. It features a "cool" cast with Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Seth Green and Jason Statham.

The best chase scene is right at the beginning with a boat pursuit in Venice, Italy. The film doesn't overdo the violence, has a pretty intelligent script (with a few short exceptions). features interesting characters and is nicely firmed. The cat-and-mouse game between Norton and Theron's characters is suspenseful and fun to watch.

Once again, however, we are manipulated into rooting for criminals portrayed as "the good guys." How many times has this happened since the days of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in the 1960s? It's twisted Hollywood, for you. In here, one of the criminals (Norton) stole and killed the leader and father figure (Donald Sutherland) of the gang, so he's the worst of the bunch and the film's villain. Also Theron's character is in the typically overblown-feminist mode of Hollywood in which women can do all things (including driving a car) better than a man. A third minor irritation is Seth Green's smug, smart-ass attitude which we also are supposed to go along with because it's hip and cool.

Despite these hindrances, it is an extremely entertaining movie and it also doesn't overboard on the profanity or sex....and, yes, those little cars are cool. Everyone I've talked to who has seen this film, enjoyed it.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Ocean's Five.

7/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
14 June 2008

John Bridger's gang of thieves are double crossed and left for dead after a daring gold raid in Venice. The surviving members regroup and convene in L.A. to enact revenge and recapture their gold.......the job is on!

This could have been a complete disaster, I'm British and the wave of revulsion that boomed in my homeland upon hearing of this remake was explosive; "how dare they remake a British institution" was the cry. Things were not helped in the run up to the film's release by it's main star {and drawing card} Edward Norton, proclaiming that the film was a contractual obligation and that fans of his work would be better advised to give The Italian Job a miss!

Had to be a stinker then surely? Actually no it isn't. Director F. Gary Gray hasn't remade the Italian Job of 1969, in fact he hasn't even re-imaged it, the minis are in there, the gold is in there, but all the stand out moments so beloved by many in the 69 film of the same name are not to be seen at all. So what we get is a very cool heist-come revenge movie-that's maybe a tad too glossy at times, but it's got a pretty sharp script, tight action sequences and a group of actors working very well as a team. Mark Wahlberg, Mos Def, Jason Statham, Seth Green and the delectably delicious Charlize Theron all come out smelling of roses, whilst Edward Norton really had no cause for concern because his portrayal as Steve is a smarmy delight.

I have jokingly titled this film Ocean's 5, but that is in no way detrimental to The Italian Job, it lacks the jazzy coolness of Soderbergh's Ocean's 11, but its a fun and enjoyable picture all in its own right, its rating of just under 7 here on IMDb is actually spot on. 7/10

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28 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

A sickening travesty of a classic film

1/10
Author: Ibsen3 from United Kingdom
20 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I must admit, I was against this movie from the outset but I tried my hardest to be impartial, I really did, but the very idea of remaking a sophisticated, witty, entertaining, quirky British classic full of character has to be dubious from the outset.

People in my house were watching this so I swallowed my pride and told myself to be professional about films (I have studied them at Uni after all).

As expected for an American film of this sort, the movie began with a chase which wasn't bad. Indeed, many of the action sequences are credible and this alone lifts the mark.

Yet the characterisation was abysmal, the set-pieces could very easily have been spliced from any American schlock blockbuster you might have had the misfortune to watch and it lacked all character.

Seeming to take a skewed angle on the original film with a failed initial robbery, the US version does the predictable thing and introduces an emotional factor with the death of Donald Sutherland's character. This allows our US cousins plenty of opportunity for sycophantic, dewy-eyed vengeance-seeking against the 'evil-doers' which it milks to predictable excesses. This is never more so evident as in the scenes featuring Charlize Theron (oh pretty! oh so pretty! Look at her pretty, wounded Bambi eyes, everyone!) which were thoroughly nauseating. Her entrance scene, particularly, was like something out of Resident Evil or Tomb Raider which were both a) more entertaining and b) had better beginnings because they couldn't mess up a game like they could with British cinema which was already chock-full of spark, people you genuinely feel something for and moments of inspiration. But I digress, the whole inclusion of a pretty girl for the sake of it just seems like the most ham-fisted manoeuvre I've seen in some time and exposes cynical Hollywood blockbuster-lust for what it is.

If you like any of these actors, by the way, and you agree with any of the above comments, DO NOT GO TO SEE THIS FILM! If I had the opportunity of watching 'Fight Club' or 'American History X' after seeing Ed Norton in this, I would have declined. Likewise Jason Statham with 'Lock Stock' (and I suppose 'The Transporter' is okay if you like that sort of thing).

Sadly, all the set-pieces are designed in the most transparent possible way to get you thinking, 'Wow! He's smart!', 'Coo! He's cool!', 'Hey! What a tough guy!'. Then there's the 'funny PC guy' who has 'comic relief' splattered across his forehead but whose humour content can be anticipated two minutes in advance. To be honest, if you've seen one or two films like it, you might easily confuse the two as clones from the Jerry Bruckheimer stable. Not that Jerry is irredeemably awful, by the way, but he just uses the clichés to excess as everyone knows (or should).

This is where I have to come clean. I didn't manage to make it to the end, so I couldn't even say whether the brilliant ending in the Michael Caine version made it but, I'm sorry, it's just one of those extremely rare films that, if I'd seen it at a cinema, I would have walked out and staged a small protest outside. It's not just that it is another identical by-the-numbers Ocean's 14 or something (Ocean's Eleven was fine but don't bother with the rest!) with all the glitz, glamour, fake sass and pantomime heroics of such a film but I couldn't recognise anything from the original at all.

So, if you are expecting 'THE Italian JOB' and not 'OCEAN'S 14' albeit badly written with a less established cast and characters, some disingenuous elements and cardboard cut-out script-writing then DO NOT WATCH! I don't mind people liking a bit of mindless fun but this is a criminal hatchet-job that does not deserve in any way to parade itself under the title of a classic. Seriously, show some pride! I felt thoroughly justified in my outraged and sickened reaction when I first heard that the film would be made. Avoid at all costs!

P.S. Some of the action sequences aren't bad at all so add an extra '1' to the mark if you like this sort of thing.

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