6.8/10
1,672
15 user 26 critic

Ladrón que roba a ladrón (2007)

Two former thieves reunite to rob the biggest thief they know -- Moctesuma Valdez, a TV infomercial guru who's made millions selling worthless health products to poor Latino immigrants. When none of their affiliates want to go undercover as day laborers to pull off the heist, the two men turn to the real thing for help.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Miguel Varoni ...
Emilio Lopez
...
Moctesuma 'Mocte' Valdez
Ivonne Montero ...
Rafaela
...
...
Rafa
...
Anival Cano
...
Gloria
JoJo Henrickson ...
Julio Miranda
...
Veronica Valdez
...
Primitivo
...
Booth Guard
Eduardo Antonio Garcia ...
Sergio, Mocte's Bodyguard
...
Coyote
...
Building Guard #1
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Storyline

Emilio, a Colombian con man, arrives in LA with two weeks to complete his plan to rob a former colleague, Claudio Silvestrini, who's made a fortune using infomercials to peddle snake oil to Latin immigrants. Emilio's friend Alejandro, who sells pirated DVDs, has assembled a team of amateurs, who, as Alejandro says, will go unnoticed because they're immigrants. The team must gain entry to Silvestrini's well-guarded mansion, steal two keys to access a vault, and then get the money off the property. A father and his tomboy daughter, a nervous Cuban actor, a techie, and a muscle man make up the team, plus Alejandro has been courting Silvestrini's nanny. Will they be enough? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

31 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bandoleros  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,032,967 (USA) (31 August 2007)

Gross:

$4,002,313 (USA) (12 October 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not being telenovela viewers, the English-speaking crew were unfamiliar with the superstar status of the various actors and were often confused by the mobs of Spanish-speaking housewives encroaching upon the set on a daily basis. See more »

Goofs

In the office scene, the three round discs on the desk change position several times without being touched - all pointed forward, all pointed sideways and two sideways with one forward. See more »

Quotes

Emilio Lopez: [Kneeling in church] I know I'm breaking the fifth... the third... one of your commandments again, but I am doing this for a fair cause...
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User Reviews

 
Character driven caper film exceeds expectation
8 February 2008 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

I don't believe that I need to recap the plot of this movie since other commentators have done so quite clearly. However I would like to expand on three aspects of the film: the casting, comparable movies, and the technical credits.

I'm an Anglo and came across the movie by accident on Amazon.com. As such I was totally unfamiliar with the cast of this movie, most of whom appear to have extensive credits in Hispanic television series. When an actor delivers a good performance you can credit the actor. When all the actors fit their roles you have to credit the casting. Saul Lisazo, as the putative villain Moctesuma Valdez, was impressive. Both of the gang leaders, Miquel Varoni as Emilio Lopez and Fernando Colunga as Alejandro Toledo, were in character. While the latter was billed first, I assume he's better known for his television work, I would say the former was more of a standout in this film. Ruben Garfias was expressive as car jockey Rafa and Ivonne Montero was very dynamic as his motor-head daughter Rafaela. Gabriel Soto brought some charm to the usually thankless role of caper muscle man. Julie Gonzalo was attractive in the role of the nanny Gloria but Sonya Smith had little to do as Mrs. Valdez (apparently she was more actively involved in a sub-plot which was cut from the movies to reduce run time). Oscar Torres as Miguelito, a would be actor, and Jon Molerio as a security guard provide standout comedy relief. Only the computer "nerd" role of Julio Miranda was surprisingly under written given that it was played by JoJo Henrickson, the author of the screen play. It is relatively seldom that all major roles in a film are well cast. It is a high compliment when I say it makes me want to go out and look at the other work of these performers.

Commentators have compared this film to Ocean's Eleven (1960/2001) or the The Sting (1973) in terms of where it was derived from and the style of the caper. I don't know who made the first caper film, with people coming together to stage a heist, but I know it definitively precedes Ocean's Eleven (1960). Without even pausing I can think of Jules Dassin's Rafifi (1955), Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956) or John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950). In terms of style I think we must remember that this film was apparently made on a budget of US$900,000 over twenty days. Its simply not going to have the high-technology caper of a big budget Ocean's Eleven (2001). The complexity of the caper is more like that of 1960's television series Mission Impossible or Man From U.N.C.L.E. However the director and writer of this film wisely choose to concentrate on character and social commentary rather than complexity of the caper. This fits better within both the budget and the concept of invisible immigrants staging a caper. Part of the emotional satisfaction with the ending is the social commentary embedded within it.

Technical credits are normally taken for granted but deserve comment in this case. The camera work is particularly impressive, with use of continuous takes as the camera moves amongst the participants in the scene. This style binds the characters together and creates both realism and a sense of activity. I was also impressed with some of the framing of the shots, with the main characters bookending the background events. I don't think I've ever commented on subtitles in a movie. Inevitably one senses that the subtitles you are reading are a poor reflection of what's said in the original language. In this case the English subtitles, I presume by the screen writer JoJo Henrickson, are fluid and fully convey the emotions on the screen. The catchy soundtrack also adds to the professionalism of the credits.


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