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The Lookout
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Lookout More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

There will not be many better films this year

10/10
Author: somf from United States
30 March 2007

I find it interesting that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in what I felt was the worst or certainly the most overrated film of 2005 "Brick" and now his next crime thriller indie is one that rivals Blood Simple and Memento as a truly classic independent crime thriller. He was very good in the awful "Brick" and he is is really great here, but so is everyone in this fine cast. I love director Scott Franks style and clever script. This might be called more a character piece than a thriller with the moments between Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels being perhaps the most powerful part of the film. No, scratch that; there are a plethora of powerful parts to this film. Isla Fisher is simply beautiful and a chance encounter with her and Jeff Daniels is probably the films most quotable scene but having only seen it once I don't want to ruin Mr. Franks fine writing by misquoting from it and I also don't want to spoil anything at all about this film.

I don't think Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be remembered at awards time, but I hope he is. Jeff Daniels and Matthew Goode are equally deserving for their great work.

This is not a thriller that has you gripping the arms of your seat from the first scene. It's strengths are in the depth of the characters that Franks so skillfully brings out with wonderful camera work, a phenomenal cast and a very clever script. In essence it is more a character study than a pure thriller, and those viewers that may be disappointed by it will be looking more for thrills than this film may deliver. One of the films greatest strengths is that Levitts character is introduced to us four years after a terrible accident. We know he is in a state of recovery and at least as I watched the film I was almost subconsciously looking for signs of improvement in his mental state. Rooting for him to be the young man he once was. Don't miss this film.

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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Predictable, but entertaining

6/10
Author: seawalker from Birmingham, England
7 November 2007

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Chris Pratt (unfortunate last name there, Mr. Frank!), who is a young, good looking guy and the star of his high school hockey team. His life is changed completely when he sustains head injuries in a car crash. Four years later Chris is trying to rebuild his life and work through his physical and mental problems (he has issues with 'chronological sequencing'). Chris works a night time cleaning job in a bank. Chris is noticed by a guy called Gary Spargo, who has plans...

To be honest I thought that "The Lookout" was fairly predictable and didn't really make the most of an enticing setup. But that aside, it is also a fairly entertaining and well put together modern crime thriller.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really good as Chris Pratt. As much a cypher here as he was in a great film from a couple of years ago called "Brick". A really interesting performance. I had never heard of Matthew Goode, but he is ... Er... good as Gary Spargo. Sadly I didn't really believe Jeff Daniels as Chris Pratt's blind friend Lewis (too many mannerisms, too much the wise old sage, maybe Morgan Freeman was too expensive?) and I thought that the lovely Isla Fisher as the interestingly monickered Luvlee Lemons (she plays a stripper) was completely miscast. Too young (although she is 31 years old, so what do I know?) and too innocent looking.

A good enough film for an evening out, but again, nothing that has not been done before.

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9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

An ultimately disappointing little film.

6/10
Author: wirvine1 from United States
30 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went into The Lookout tonight with very high expectations, first because of the generally good reviews and second because of the chance to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in yet another interesting role.

Afterwards, however, I am stunned at the wealth of good reviews this film has received thus far. It might have been a good effort for a first time screenwriter, but a seasoned professional like Scott Frank? No. The plot was utterly predictable, the build-up too long, the pay off too small. Isla Fisher's character simply and literally drops off the face of the earth. I am convinced that one character is a bad John Lennon look-alike who is, in fact, artificial intelligence.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great, as great as he can be with this material, but it is the kind of thing even the best actors cannot save. The movie is not without it's moments, but I never truly believed in Chris' disability. Jeff Daniels is a blast to watch as well. Overall, an OK March movie, but I would wait for DVD in May.

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10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

what a disappointment

5/10
Author: spaektor from United States
1 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

the acting is good enough only to carry short sections of the movie. the script is great, and as you watch and wait for the movie to end, you can see how good it could have been. props to Matthew Goode, best performance in this movie. Isla Fisher was good also, not a touch of Stage 5 Clinger to her.

the entire first half could have been sharpened up and seven or eight minutes shorter. what really takes the wind out of it and detracts from the film overall, is a scene that properly demonstrates the desperation and frustration of Gordon-Levitt's character. the scene where he can't open the can just doesn't do it. no yin up front, no payoff later. the back half of the flick is like a never-ending game of Tetris stuck at level one: you know where everything goes, you just have to wait for the pieces to drop.

Bone was lame. why did Daniels' blind character squint in the morning light? the shootout at the bank looked like it was shot on HDV or something. wtf happened to Luvlee? she just blows town? and i can't believe Carla Gugino doesn't reappear; what a waste of talent, and ass to boot. thank god she's on Entourage. and the look into camera at the end, with that god-awful VO? i cringed. i'd rather watch re-runs of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Minority Report, Malice, Heaven's Prisoners, Out of Sight... all awesome scripts that were stylistically and technically well-executed to deliver maximum emotional punch. well, maybe not Heaven's prisoners. but anyway, the difference to me is clearly the direction. sorry to say it, being a Gaucho 'n all.

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10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Decent movie that is very enjoyable

10/10
Author: MovieCriticMarvelfan from california
15 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Albeit so predictable after the "real" plot is revealed. Still I got to recommend the film because it has great acting , and the movie overall was well polished.

(Spoilers) Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Chris Pratt who was out cruising with his friends. They get into an auto accident and pretty much Chris is the only survivor. He falls into a coma and awakens four years later and is trying painfully to pick up the shattered pieces of his life.

He's pretty much hit rock bottom, he's the janitor of a bank that doesn't appreciate him and his boss Mr. Turdle doesn't want to take a chance on him becoming a real banker.

Anyways, Pratt meets Gary Bargo (Matthew Goode who gives a great performance as the villain). Gary pretty much comes across as Mr. Cool, and Pratt even tries to steal his lines to pick up girls every time failing. Gary comes across as an OK guy but he has an agenda. Gary wants to rob banks and knowing that Pratt works at one wants Chris to help. Yeah it gets predictable after this point, but there are interesting bits in here.

Chris has a great friend named Lewis Canfield (played by Jeff Daniels who is utterly brilliant here) whose blind. Lewis is sort of the guardian for Chris because Chris's dad is really an ahole. The type of guy that says he wants to help out his son but doesn't want to put his money where his mouth and deliver the goods (i.e. shell out the money for him to succeed). Enter, Gary again who realizes this and tells Pratt that his parents are basically sustaining Chris but at the same time not really helping him enough to be independent.

Gary sweetens the plan to rob the bank by introducing him to Luvlee Lemons (played by Isla Fisher who my God is incredibly beautiful and talented). Some people will debate that Luvlee is there to use Pratt but it's obvious by her absence by the end of this movie that she really did not love him.

Anyways, the plan goes but Pratt gets cold feet about carrying out the bank robbery but Gary will make him follow it whether he wants to or not…… Like I said, it becomes predictable when the bank robbery scenario is introduced but this movie has such exceptional performances by everyone involved that I still have to recommend it. I think anyone whose seen this would have to agree. I saw it at a screening a couple of days in California and the audience loved it.

I liked it too, and really have to say that while some of it was predictable I really enjoyed it. Thumbs up!!!!

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11 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

perfect follow up to Brick

9/10
Author: ctg0724 from United States
21 August 2007

Joseph Gordan-Levitt is currently my favorite young actor. He is much more respectable than these other youth celebrities. But more importantly, he gets himself into much better movies.

The Lookout is storytelling at its best. Though a touch predictable, you don't know exactly how things are going to turn out the way you know they are going to. Its Memento meets Brick; a young guy who has screwed up memory after an accident in which he was changed forever and now is trying to get his life back.

All other actors delivered. No one tried to hog up the camera. It was gritty without being too blood-thirsty, dark but not lacking those special moments and intense but not making you feel like you are on a never ending roller coaster. One minute into the film, it didn't waste any time. 9/10 for me.

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13 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Utterly predictable, unimpressive performances

5/10
Author: louisrom from United States
2 April 2007

I am shocked at the rave reviews this movie received from people I respect very much. I went in with fairly high expectations and was just bored to death. I found all of the characters unconvincing, though Daniels to a lesser extent.

If the director's goal was to make Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character expressionless, he succeeded. Somehow, I don't think that was his goal. His character, Chris Pratt, communicated little inner conflict, guilt, remorse, anger.

Frankly, I think this movie was just a case of bad directing or worse casting -- Pratt was a drone, Gary, the uber-evil bankrobber, was rote, predictable and unconvincing, even Pratt's parents were virtually blank.

For me, no one in this movie effectively communicated the emotions one would think they should be feeling from scene to scene.

The script was fairly solid and as I watched the film I kept telling myself who could have bailed out this poor directorial performance.

I thought of the following ...

DiCaprio as Chris Pratt (of course, they probably could not afford him) Liam Neasom in a cameo as Pratt's father Michael Imperiale (Sopranos) as Gary.

The list of better choices goes on and on ...

The film made me care little about Pratt, it did nothing to suggest a real connection was made between Pratt and his bank-robber girlfriend (hence, no conflict), there were no breakout scenes of discovery when the protagonist finds what people are up to ...

It plain sucked.

I would like to argue the merits of the film in a professional sense ... but, for me, this was a B-rate film. It is perhaps the only film I've seen in years that made me wonder what the b-roll looked like because -- to use a word from the film -- there was no "sequencing," no logical connect-the-dots a=b, which makes c, which causes d, and explains e...

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15 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Go see The Lookout! You won't regret it!

10/10
Author: ranilovezyou from United States
15 March 2007

I had the opportunity and the pleasure to see The Lookout in an advanced screening in Seattle. This movie is FANTASTIC! It is well written, well acted, and well shot. There were many "on the edge of your seat" scenes. There were even a few moments where the entire audience gasped all at once. Everyone applauded at the end. It was just that good.

Not only is it thrilling, but it has a lot of heart, and a sense of humor. It was easy to connect with the characters because we saw them laugh, cry, and everything in between. Scott Frank, Matthew Goode, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were on hand for a Q&A session after the screening. So much heart went into this, that I would hate for it not to do well. If it's playing in your area, I would highly recommend going, and taking all of your friends! I definitely want to see it again, and plan to buy it once it is out on DVD. Don't miss it!

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21 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Not as exciting as I was expecting,,,

5/10
Author: Terminator97C from United States
20 April 2007

Take your typical film-noir plot, mix that with the idea from "Memento", and sprinkle on a little bit of "Fargo" for taste. Put it in the oven for a few minutes and you have "The Lookout."

This sounds like a great idea for a new movie, but this recipe has no flavor. The movie is just stale. It tries to combine all of these cool elements from other films, but just cannot get them mix together in the right amounts.

"The Lookout" tells the story of super famous high school hockey player Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who gets into a vicious car accident. This wreck leaves Pratt with a short term memory disability and a significant amount of guilt. Some of his friends were also involved in the crash.

Pratt now does not fit in anywhere in snowy Kansas City. His head injury makes him socially awkward, he is unable to remember easy things like names, and blurts out inappropriate comments.

Pratt's only friend is his roommate Lewis (Jeff Daniels), who is blind. The sad part is Lewis appears to have an easier time living than Pratt.

The only job Pratt is able to perform is a night janitor at a local bank. Pratt, by what seems like chance finally makes new friends. However, these friends are planning a bank robbery at the same bank Pratt works at, and they need someone to be the lookout.

But, like Pratt is told by his new friend, whoever has the money has the power.

The reason "The Lookout" is stale, is because it takes way to long to develop the story. Getting to the climax is just unexciting. It gets a little boring.

When we finally do get to the heist, the movie takes off in full force. The scenes are gripping with a raw intensity, but this is only during the last part of the movie. If only the rest of the movie was made with this much passion and dedication. The parts leading up to the heist just seems like dramatic filler.

"The Lookout" is directed by first timer Scott Frank. He does show many moments of promise. If he focuses on a strictly action film, I think he will be quite successful because the action in this film looks like it has come from an experienced filmmaker.

Gordon-Levitt does another fine job of playing the protagonist in a film-noir movie, the other film being "Brick." His face throughout the film harshly displays the anguish and frustration he constantly experiences with his mental disability.

Frank really tries hard to make this film work, but he needs to complete his storytelling first. He drops some characters and sub-plots before we really know what their purpose was in the first place. It seems that Frank attempted to bring elements from all of his favorite films into his own. Good idea, but it just becomes jumbled and unfinished.

Frank might have the money, but he doesn't yet have the power to create a great film.

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21 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Taut character study

9/10
Author: dfales from Wilmington, NC
3 April 2007

I was puzzled by the range of views about this film before actually viewing it. I correctly guessed that my interests were more closely aligned with those reviewers that rated it highly (thankfully.) Without having seen the trailer and not expecting a thriller, I was able to accept it for what I think it was intended to be...a character study of a damaged character. There were moments when I hoped the pacing would pick up, but for a directorial debut, it was awesome. The acting throughout was excellent. This deserves awards but that process has become too political to predict. If dazzling cgi and spectacular effects are not your measures of merit, you are going to enjoy this one.

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