Three generations of method acting giants unite for this crime thriller written by Kario Salem and directed by Frank Oz. Robert De Niro stars as Nick Wells, an aging thief whose specialty is safe-cracking and who is on the verge of retiring to a life of ease, running his jazz club and romancing his girlfriend Diane (Angela Bassett). But before he can ride off into the sunset, Nick is pressured to do one last job by his mentor and business partner, a flamboyant and extravagant upscale fence named Max (Marlon Brando). Max is plotting the heist of the Montreal Customs House, and he's got a man on the inside, Jackie Teller (Edward Norton), a talented but volatile crook who has managed to ingratiate himself with the facility's staff as a fellow employee suffering from cerebral palsy. Jackie bristles at Nick's interference in "his" score, however, and threatens violence when it seems he's going to be cut out of the action. In the meantime, Nick grows increasingly ill at ease about the ...
While the screenplay was credited to four writers, the one used was primarily Lem Dobbs draft as well as revisions of Scott Marshall Smith, who was on set in Montreal assisting Frank Oz and writing new material when needed. See more »
When Nick uses water from the fire sprinkler system to fill the safe, that should have triggered a water flow alarm. There is a detection switch that sounds an alarm if water begins flowing through the system (as this is typically caused by a sprinkler head discharging water to put out a fire), which would summon the Fire Department. In addition the water flowing out of the pipe should have been a dark brown color, not crystal clear as shown in the movie. The stagnant water in fire sprinkler systems always contains high amounts of rust, pipe oil, pipe sealant, and other sediment. See more »
`The Score' is a fun, stylish return to the `Rififi,' `Topkapi' school of crime drama. The object of this particular heist is a 17th Century royal scepter from France that happens to be languishing in the basement of the Montreal customhouse just asking to be taken. One of the would-be takers is Nick Wells (Robert De Niro), a seasoned heister dreaming of the quiet life of retirement but compelled to do this one last job as a favor to Max (Marlon Brando), an old buddy in hock to some pretty dangerous mob figures. Completing the triangle is Jack Teller (Edward Norton), a brilliant but brash young criminal mastermind whose high-risk temperament is placed in direct counterpoint to Nick's cool, levelheaded demeanor.
Perhaps the most amazing triumph for director Frank Oz is his success at pulling together this impressive cast of stellar heavyweights who cut across three generations of movie acting. Of course, one might wish to see them in roles more demanding of their thespian talents, but we moviegoers will take these three superstars any way we can get them. And `The Score' is certainly very entertaining on its own terms. The technical elements involved in the planning of the heist are beautifully detailed from start to finish. And Oz generates genuinely nail-biting suspense in many sequences involving close quarters and close calls. In addition, the Montreal setting is novel and fresh and it is enhanced by some very impressive wide screen photography.
A film like `The Score' lives or dies based on the intricacy of its plotting and the expertise of its craft. In both cases, `The Score' excels as an outstanding example of this noble and time-honored genre. And watching these three acting giants doing their thing in a movie together is OUR well-earned reward.
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