4.9/10
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8 user 3 critic

The Best Thief in the World (2004)

Izzy, the youngest son of a troubled New York family, takes a shine to breaking into people's apartments as a way to get attention.

Director:

Jacob Kornbluth

Writer:

Jacob Kornbluth
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary-Louise Parker ... Sue Zaidman
Michael Silverman ... Izzy Zaidman
David Warshofsky ... Paul Zaidman
Audra McDonald ... Ruth
Lois Smith ... Helen
Margo Martindale ... Miss Mason
Jelani Jeffries Jelani Jeffries ... Robbie
Chelsea Harkins Chelsea Harkins ... Amy Zaidman
Jonah Bobo ... Sam Zaidman
Roberta Wallach ... Granola Woman
Tom Bloom ... Dr. Challop
Shortee Red Shortee Red ... Big Edwin
T.J. Allen T.J. Allen ... Dice
Tanya Clarke ... Mary
Wade Mylius Wade Mylius ... Harry
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Storyline

The story of a young boy (Izzy) and his family, living in New York. His father (Paul) has recently had a stroke, completely debilitating him mentally and physically. Izzy tries to escape the reality of it all by breaking into nearby homes. His mother (Sue) struggles to keep the family together, battling Izzy's outbursts and the strains of the entire situation. Written by Dan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A világ legjobb tolvaja See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Process Media See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sue: What do I know?
Izzy: What do any of us know?
Sue: Exactly, honey. Exactly.
See more »

Connections

Features Maury (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

We Three
Performed by Patti Smith Group
Written by Patti Smith
Published by Druse Music, Inc. / Stratium Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc., under license from BMG Film and Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It Takes a Thief
17 January 2004 | by baho2See all my reviews

Two years ago at Sundance I loved Josh Kornbluth's directing debut-Haiku Tunnel. So I was looking forward to his brother (and frequent collaborator) Jacob's, The Best Thief in the World. This is a drama about a seemingly good kid growing up in a lower-class area of New York. The movie is not without its poignant moments. But at times it is as if Kornbluth is working way too hard to state the obvious: Life can be very difficult for some people. And life isn't fair.

More subtle, and more important, is our understanding that despite all of these somewhat abhorrent cultural underpinnings and the anti-social behavior they may spawn, these characters have no shortage of goodness and humanity. We can recoil at their language and their living conditions, but we are cannot discount their intent. And in fact, their struggles to maintain a family under such adversity has a certain nobility that most of us can barely appreciate. Kornbluth grew up in this neighborhood, and his compassion for the people is evident throughout.

Having said all this, The Best Thief in the World suffers from many painful flaws (including the title). The characters aren't very believable. The writing is uneven. And the plot-line is barely discernible. And for many the most disturbing is that Kornbluth uses two young black boys mimicking gangsta rap between scenes. To each his own: But while I don't question the potential realism of this phenomenon, it pains me to see 5-year-old children mf'ing and talking about having sex with a line-up of women. It's unnecessary shock value and is a forced bit of borrowed interest.


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