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Great performances and a solid directorial debut for Scott Frank
freaky_dave29 January 2008
The Lookout was an amazing movie with splendid performances all around. It's hard to believe that Joseph Gordon Levitt was once on "3rd Rock From The Sun". He's come along way.

After a horrible accident which killed two people, seriously wounded another, and left Chris Pratt (Levitt) with a brain injury which makes it nearly impossible for him to remember things without writing them down in a notebook that he carries with him, he is no longer the cocky hockey player. Instead he now lives his life while working as a janitor in a bank and living with a blind roommate named Lewis (Jeff Daniels in a fascinating performance).

While drinking at a bar, he meets the charismatic Gary Spargo (played by Matthew Goode) who then introduces Chris to the lovely Luvlee Lemons (Isla Fischer.) They later asked him to serve as lookout while they rob the bank he works at. Chris at first doesn't agree, but Gary plays the other people in Chris' life against him in subtle ways, and after Chris finds out that some of what Gary said seems true, he agrees. The story goes on from there, but I will not even discuss the ending.

The lookout is a strong movie, and it is the phenomenal acting which holds the movie together the best. Scott Frank has a way of getting the best out of his actors here, and what we get is a psychological drama that holds your interest. At a brisk 99 minutes, it seemed over much too quickly. Some of the later scenes in the movie felt a little contrived I agree, but even they pale in comparison to the welcoming acting where even the main villain (Goode) doesn't seem totally utterly evil. Of course I can't say the same thing about his quiet henchman with the glasses.

I liked this movie a lot, but I do wish we could've gotten to know more about Luvlee Lemons. Her character seem to be pushed out later in the movie, and I found myself a little disappointed in this. Still, overall this was a very good movie.
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The Lookout delivers.
MorganGrodecki30 March 2007
I had a conversation with a friend earlier this week, regarding the lack of effort being put into films these days. In the 21st century, there are very few films worth seeing, in comparison to the earlier 80's, and 90's. Back then, there weren't 100's of movies being churned out a week, with only 1 or 2 being even half decent. This is the reason that this movie took me entirely by surprise.

The movie is centered around Chris Pratt ( Josepth Gordon-Levitt), a partially handicapped man, in his earlier 20's. Chris used to live a great life, have great friends, and amazing talent on the ice. Now, after a car accident that changed his life, he suffers from slight mental handicaps, although they are prominently random, and don't have a major effect on the movie. Chris is still recovering from his car crash, and trying to move up in his job. He works at "Noah's Central Bank" as a Janitor, but has been pushing to be a teller for ages. Desperate for companions, Chris jumps at the first person to befriend him, and slowly falls into the wrong crowd. As Chris gets deeper and deeper in with his group of friends, he's pressured to help them with a robbery. Only catch: The heist is taking place at his bank.

Although the movie seems pretty straightforward, the plot can be deceiving. First of all, if you are going to this movie expecting a movie based solely around a bank heist ( a la Inside Man), go to blockbusters and rent "Dog Day Afternoon". This movie focuses, for the most part, around Chris, and his decent from an innocent, hard working Janitor, to a confused, misled, and frustrated individual. Although not of the same Hollywood callibur as movies such as Inside Man, it is still easily worth the ticket. Which brings me to my next point.

After seeing this movie, I felt refreshed. I went into a movie, expecting explosions, poor dialogue, and close ups of bodies being blown away. I couldn't of been farther off. This movie veers away from Hollywood, and it pulls it off miraculously. The dialogue is crisp, the violence existing, but not overused, and the characters deep. I may only be so impressed by this movie because of what I was expecting, but I none the less recommend it to anyone willing to actually think during a movie, rather than watch a bunch of cars blow up.
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Whoever Has the Money Has the Power
claudio_carvalho4 May 2008
In 2003, in Kansas, the popular and reckless high school hockey player Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes to a party with his girlfriend and two friends on the backseat of his convertible through the old Route 24. In a moment, he turns the headlights off to admire the bright sky and has a tragic car crash. Four years later, his head injury still affects his memories and he uses a notebook to help him to recall his activities. He is no longer admired and works as night janitor in the Noel State Bank & Trust due to his mental incapacitation. He lives with his only friend, the blind Lewis (Jeff Daniels) that he met while recovering in a medical center, and helps him in the daily activities. When he meets Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode) in a bar, he is introduced to the sexy Luvlee (Isla Fisher) and has sex with her after a long period of abstinence. Chris gets closer to Gary, and sooner he is invited to help his gang to rob the Noel Bank. Chris is upset with his lifestyle and sees the chance to change his life, convinced that whoever has the money has the power.

"The Lookout" is an excellent dramatic thriller, in spite of the common theme "bank heist. The screenplay builds perfectly the lead character Christopher Pratt from a successful and promising teenager to a frustrated mentally incapacitated and with remorse and guilty complex young man, with a total lack of professional perspectives and no-longer successful with women. The result is quite predictable, but the way the plot is disclose is amazing. The resemblance of the talented actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt with the recently deceased Heath Ledger is impressive. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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What film making is about
godwatcher17 August 2006
This is incredibly entertaining and solid piece of film making, by Scott Frank. The film travels on a road that its laid out for the audience to see steps ahead, but that never matters, b/c you are constantly in suspense over what will happen to the incredibly well drawn characters in the film. Frank also shows tons of directorial flair to accompany his writing prowess. The whole cast was amazing, Matthew Goode is completely unrecognizable and is perfect in the film. Jeff Daniels again dons a Beard and steals his scenes, every line of his dialog either makes you laugh, think or just compels the movie forward, and Joseph Gordon Levitt again proves why he is capable of being one of the next great movie stars. Go see this movie and tell your friends to do the same.

This is the kind of film Hollywood should be making,
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Deceptively captivating.
Deckard-161 April 2007
When you look at Scott Frank's writing credits --especially "Minority Report" and "Out Of Sight"-- it is really no surprise that this is an unusually smart and entertaining crime drama.

It is an "adult movie" in the best sense of that term.

This is a beautifully bleak looking movie where all the color is in the characters and their behavior. The acting is top notch. I've never seen this Levitt kid before, but he captures emotional and intellectual numbness with a finesse I haven't seen since Guy Pierce's work in "Memento". It is a tough role and he hits it out of the park. Jeff Daniels is Oscar-worthy as his best friend and Matthew Goode plays a guy who you know sheds more than one skin each year. Isla Fisher is a welcome ray of sunlight in this dark tale.

It is the anti-"300" (which I liked a lot). This movie really sneaks up on you, it doesn't bludgeon you but before you know it you are totally spellbound by it.

I'll be looking forward to the next movie directed (and written) by Scott Frank.
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Non-Formulaic Mixture of Heist Film and Character Drama
jzappa1 April 2007
What was interesting about going to see The Lookout, for me, was the uncertainty with Scott Frank, the screenwriter who makes his directorial debut here. It would be one thing if he were a screenwriter whose work I've seen was all original. If his previous screenplays had been great original works, I'd be absolutely sure that he'd be a great director, but because the only films he's written that I've seen have been adaptations of Elmore Leonard novels and a Philip K. Dick story, it was not only the first time I'd see his direction by also the first time I'd experience his own story.

I found that the script was great. I enjoy heist films possibly more than any other genre, and even though the heist itself is not so intricate and clever the way I prefer them the premise that sets up the gimmick used in the heist is quite clever. Really though, the film is not about the heist at all. It's about a very young person whose life is now completely different because of a car wreck that was all his fault. He has short term memory loss and deals with its shortcomings accompanied by horrible feelings of guilt for the deaths of his two friends and the maiming of his girlfriend. The movie at times seems a little uneven, because the makings of a thriller are intercut estrangedly with the makings of a slice-of-life drama. But both sides of the story work and it's generally fulfilling despite not being so tightly done. The movie is, upon reflection, reminiscent of realist films from the 1970s in its story and directorial style.

The cinematography and editing are adequate, yet strangely, in many scenes, particularly those that take place at the main character's family's home and those that takes place at the bank, have great atmosphere, a coziness.

What I admire about the movie is that it avoids clichés that seem on the very brink of being outrageous displays of them. For instance, there is the friendly airhead patrol cop that stops off at the bank every night to check up on things, bringing doughnuts and all, and we feel as if we know what will happen with him, and even now, one can't truly say it was or wasn't expected. The almost unbearably riveting climax, for instance, is for heist movie fans, a near-cliché, but wraps up with a fresh and new take on what we would expect. The characters are all inventive actually, and quite realistic.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a very young face without a name, will perhaps have a name now due to his deep, impressive performance in the title role. Jeff Daniels, however, has reached the point in his career where he steals every scene he is in, a la Michael Caine or Al Pacino, playing the sagacious and outgoing friend. Matthew Goode, playing the lead villain, is also a major plus for the cast. Leave it to an English actor to portray the villain with such a whispering convincing disposition that even we almost like him at first even though we are in on his scheme from the beginning. Greg Dunham, who plays another would-be cliché, the stoic sunglassed killer of only about five words in his vocabulary, avoids clichehood by somehow drawing such intense hatred from the audience that we are spared nothing by his cold and ruthless behavior.
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An absorbing study of depression and rehabilitation
jdesando25 March 2007
So you want a good heist film? See Dog Day Afternoon, as tense a study in botched robbery and kidnapping to come out of the '70's as any. Don't think the sweet Lookout will carry the same tension because it so heavily relies on the character exposition of its protagonist, Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), that the heist is just an artful ending to an absorbing study of depression and rehabilitation.

Chris, a rock-star hockey player in high school, terminates that celebrity with a reckless accident that leaves him impaired emotionally and physically. So he's easy prey for a gang that entices him to help them rob a rural Kansas bank, where he is a janitor. Up to the point of the gang contacting him, Chris tries heroically to perform actions in a logical sequence. But even his family, especially his father, is impatient with his arrested development, although they are generous in financially supporting him as he goes on the mend.

Writer/director Scott Frank rarely lets Chris out of the frame, to good effect, because the actor and his lamentable past draw us into his narrow world in sympathy but not pity. Chris is determined to arrange his life in a sequence, with the help of his notebook and roomie, a blind and perceptive, bearded, guitar-playing Jeff Daniels, whose lines provide humor and balancing perspective as Chris slips into the heist. Both actors exude realistic, humorous, world weary personas that perfectly reveal the ambivalence Chris brings to this life-defining crime.

The Lookout is a small film, released at dumping time right after the Oscars, but an invigorating study of humans under stress. It begs all of us to "lookout" where we are going, either on a lonely road with our lights turned off or in a plan to steal from farmers who have made life possible.
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The Lookout
I_John_Barrymore_I16 April 2009
This quiet, understated drama-thriller may take a while to get going, but the characters are fascinating and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels have a wonderful chemistry that lends the film an unexpected heart. As a brain-damaged student and a blind wannabe entrepreneur respectively, their relationship is very sweet and would probably work well in a buddy comedy.

There's a neat Fargo-like quality to a lot of the characters and dialogue and while it covers few locations it has that convincing small town feel.

Gordon-Levitt is a night janitor at a local bank who's targeted by a gang and finessed into acting as a lookout while they rob it. Things - as they must - go wrong and he has to summon all the faculties of his fractured mind to save himself.

Isla Fisher is quite revelatory in her small role. As Luvlee she's either rather dim-witted or incredibly cunning. Fisher's performance hints at the deeper recesses of her character but doesn't reveal what they hide. Luvlee is one of those rare characters where you find yourself genuinely hoping they won't turn out to be something other than what they appear. Ultimately there's something curiously redemptive about Gordon-Levitt's journey, where there really shouldn't be. It's a testament to the quality of his performance.

Overall a satisfying drama with sustained tension and some fine performances.
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A Bleak Winter,,,,,Fargo-Lite
garynorton27 February 2008
This is one of those slightly odd-ball heist movies which manages to carry off the down beat vibe and still be more-or-less convincing. Think of it as a Fargo-lite. Gordon-Lovett, following on from his excellent turn in "Brick",plays a College Ice Hockey star player, whose reckless "gift" to his girlfriend ends with her maimed and two other friends dead. Four years on, he is partially brain-damaged, confused and a self-loathing young man, going to "special needs" class to help deal with day-to-day tasks. No longer functioning as he was, he maintains a part-time janitor job at night in a small town bank. The nearest he gets to his dream ice hockey career now is using the mop as his stick and some urinal disinfectant blocks as pucks; shooting them into the waste bin. If he thought he had problems now; just wait until his new found "friend" reveals why everything in his life is starting to look up.... This has that mix of oddness that works for the most part, such as Gordon-Lovett's dependence on his a blind friend and flat-mate; played really well by Jeff Daniels. The main bad guy has value, although the femme fatale, played by Isla Fisher is probably too good to be true- and her character arc is left open-ended.

Roped and corralled into helping to rob his bank, he starts to sense all in not right-but its too late to back out now.............

All in all, I really enjoyed this until the top-and-tail ending. In a few narrated scenes at the end, the writer conspires to undo a lot of the hard work. The writers pen is dropped for a broad stroke "rainbow" paintbrush , resolving a lot of issues quite flippantly and totally ignores others. Perhaps the director should have got a re-write, but as he and the writer are one and the same, this was not to be!

Still, it was a good character driven piece of film-making overall and Gordon-Lovett is one to watch. He also bears a striking resemblance to Heath Ledger both in appearance, as well as ability.
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A frustratingly boring watch.
CineCritic251728 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Apart from the many logic holes, this movie is simply boring in a rather unpleasant way.

Our protagonist (Chris Pratt) can't handle the lifting of a spoon at the dinnertable, can't remember to pull out the car-key before exiting and has a general impediment when it comes to sequencing events (sound familiar?). Yet he is allowed to drive a car (albeit most of the time under the supervision of a blind man) and is forgiven that he drives around at night without the lights on. This thanks to a card he carries around which reads that he suffered a head injury but despite the fact that driving without lights got him his injury in the first place.

I would like to have one of them cards, I wonder what I can get away with. Maybe robbing a bank?

We passingly see our protagonist dealing with his life being mentally impaired. But never is his world really explored. Never are the people he encounters really focused on. Some flimsy scenes in some rehabilitation centre, a hasty conversation with a therapist and some repetitive scenes in which he can't remember how to perform everyday actions. With subplots that go nowhere for most of the show, the movie finally picks up some speed as the heist comes closer but this is almost already at the end of it. I wont spoil the ending by telling you what happens but I can safely say it's not up to much either.

The look and feel of this movie is that of plastic and so was the acting of many of the young actors including that of leadsman Joseph Gordon-Levitt who's performance was skin-deep throughout the whole ordeal, never showing us anything other than confusion or acted frustration. Jeff Daniels was the only actor able to put some weight into his role as Chris's blind roommate Lewis, the only 'real' character in this movie.

At no point during this movie I was even slightly entertained and with it's formulaic plotpoints failing to give this film some momentum and absence of clever dialog, the viewer is rocked asleep like a baby.

The lionizing reviews here, with popular usage of the term character-study, are uncalled-for and the current 7.5 this movie scored here on IMDb surely will not last. At best this movie is mediocre and had it been made in the early 90's before we had films like Memento and the overdose of films dealing with bank robberies, it might have scored a small 6 in my book. It being 2007 and all, I will give it a 4 in stead.
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Get ready for Joseph Gordon Levitt
madiver217 August 2006
What a contender for the awards on 2007? You should ask yourself - Joseph Gordon Levitt is ready!

What an amazing and yes a solid film. Scott Frank, you are on fire with a grand grace to bring this writing to film!

Also, this cast works and works in each and every scene. Each scene stands on it's own. And Scott 'gets' what he wants without a doubt. Matthew Goode just blew me away and you will not forget this complex character. Jeff Daniels, the pro, raises the standard that all of the cast must elevate themselves to!

Go see this film for you will not be disappointed...
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dano_scott1 December 2006
This movie was, it was stunning. I was fortunate enough to view it before it hit theatres, and, all I can say is GO SEE IT. It does not deserve the R rating, in my opinion. The director/writer and producer (who I met) worked very long and hard to find the right cast. And this film was made for a fairly low amount. The acting is spectacular, the script itself is stunning. The acting is amazing, the special effects were brilliantly done without being overdone, and even though it is a drama/thriller, it has heart. There were parts where I wanted to cry, and there were parts where I was holding my breath. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is brilliant in his acting and is perfect for the role, no one could have done it better. I highly recommend this movie.
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I love this film!
Jamaica272 December 2006
The Lookout was screened unannounced for a group of students at UC Santa Barbara (where Scott Frank went to school) on 12/1/06, the first time it has been shown as a finished film. I think the reviewer who called the film predictable must have been watching another film (or it's been re-edited since he's seen it). The story was interesting and the acting was fantastic. Jeff Daniels was wonderful but Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... WOW! Isla Fisher and Mathew Goode were great too. But when I realized that this was Scott Frank's first directing gig was I blown away! The tension in the final third was authentic. This "little" film should win some big awards.
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The lookout...for a good story.
vasudevan-arthi19 April 2009
As much as I wanted to like this film, once I watched it, I was quite disappointed. The premise of how a teenager suffering from brain trauma inflicted because of his own unaware rashness tries to redeem himself makes for a quite an interesting premise for a story. In this film, Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and three others collide head-on into a truck leaving his friends dead, girlfriend injured and him brain-damaged. So then follows the aftermath of this life altering accident. The film begins when Chris is shown to be living in an apartment with a much older blind man, Lewis (Jeff Daniels) and attending special classes that aid him to get his sensory and motor skills back to normal. He also works as a janitor at a local cooperative bank at night. Unable to perform daily tasks normally or think through clearly, Chris manages to stay sane and hope for the better. Until Gary arrives on the scene. Low on self -confidence with handicapped social skills, Chris immediately takes to Gary and his friends because they seem to accept him with ease. It doesn't take much to realize the true intentions of Gary. We just wait for it to unfold. It does but in quite a predictable manner. Chris works at a bank that Gary and company would be robbing obviously with his help. What is Chris' role and how he help them forms the remainder of the plot. No questions are too hard to answer and we very well know what will eventually happen. What irked me was the questions that kept popping in my head. How come there isn't any security guard at the bank. There seems to just one police officer on patrol who drops in to check on Chris. How come the bank is all glass-doored with the safe staring right out into the open? What about Chris' very wealthy family? Why isn't he with them? Why the hostility shown by the parents and Chris? The plot wouldn't have been the same then if these were answered. These holes kept rankling in my head through Gary's plan and Chris' actions leading to the climax that was just waiting to be run through before the finale. I knew it beforehand. The End. Gordon-Levitt is an actor who can externalize his angst and pain of the past very poignantly. I've watched few other films of his (Brick, Mysterious Skin apart from 3rd rock....) and he is indeed very talented. Supporting cast do fill up the blanks but yet are not sufficient to overcome the gaping holes in the story. That, was a letdown for me.
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Fargo without the humor
swinms28 March 2007
I liked this movie but, without Jeff Daniels providing comic relief, it would have been insufferably serious. The young actors have lots of promise, though. Matthew Goode and Isla Fisher were creepily believable despite some obvious holes in the story (eg. what happened to Luvlee?). I think it would have worked better as a black comedy in the vein of "Fargo". The setting was certainly similar with that frosty white landscape speckled with blood, violence, and nasty language. Berg, as Cork, seemed to channel Willem Defoe. Where have I seen this character before? "Wild at Heart"? Ms. Fisher's sweet yet trashy and naive character stole the movie for me - complete with her Tinsley Mortimer hairdo. Overall, I've seen these characters and this story before. Still, it is interesting and worth an hour and 45 minutes of your time.
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Not as exciting as I was expecting,,,
Terminator97C20 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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Taut character study
dfales3 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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A far from typical heist movie
Tweekums17 March 2019
Chris Pratt was a successful high school ice hockey player with a successful future in front of him... until he turns off his lights while driving to admire the glow of the fireflies. He crashes into a stalled combine harvester and is left with a serious head injury, his girlfriend loses a leg and they stop seeing each other and two other friends are killed. Four years later he is working as a janitor in a rural bank and living with his blind friend Lewis. One day he is approached in a bar by a man named Gary who says he knew him in high school. He introduces Chris to his friends, including a girl who goes by the name of 'Luvlee Lemons' who seduces him. It isn't long before their reason for befriending him becomes apparent; they want his help robbing the bank... things are going to get dangerous for Chris.

When I sat down to watch this I expected a fairly typical heist movie but it turned out to be far from typical. The opening scene was quite a shock despite not showing details of the accident and what follows was an introduction to Chris's new life; classes to help deal with his impairment, his job, difficulties coping with simple things and his longing to see his old girlfriend again. Even after he meets Gary and Luvlee it is a while before it becomes obvious that they are planning to use him in a robbery. The robbery itself doesn't last long but is intense and provides some shocks. There is a fairly bleak feel to the whole film; the fact that it is set in snow-covered surroundings only adds to this. The film contains plenty of interesting characters; Chris, with his difficulties, is far from a typical protagonist; his friend Ted, a sheriff's deputy who appears to be a comedy character, turns out to be more interesting than expected and Luvlee is quite ambiguous. The cast is solid; most notably Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is rarely off screen and really impresses as Chris; Jeff Daniels is believable as his blind friend Lewis; Isla Fisher is a delight as Luvlee and Matthew Goode is solid as Gary. Overall I'd say this may not have been what I expected but it is definitely worth watching.
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Powerful Performances Excels this Overlooked Heist Drama
Floated27 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Lookout tells the story of an ex hockey athlete (Joseph Gordon- Levitt) who had a great life leading up until a tragic accident in which him, his girlfriend (at the time) and a couple of friends crashed into a combined on the side of the road. Fast forward 4 years later and we still that Chris has brain damage and is slightly handicapped (he makes notes of what to do each day by writing in his notepad- Memento influence). We also noticed that he now lives with a blind older man Lewis (Jeff Daniels) in which is discussed on why later in the film.

The Lookout is a very fascination film in which plays more of a character study than its typical heist film. The first half of the film we really get to know Chris, as we see what he does (works as a janitor at a local bank), where he lives and how he faces his problems surrounding him. The first 40 or so minutes of the film takes us on his journey as we see Chris get more nervous as we see him introduced by Gary (Matthetw Goode). He meets him at his local bar in which he happened to know Chris years ago along with his sister (we aren't sure whether or not he is lying but as the film goes along we get more clues). Around 42:40 we see Chris stumble in the basement of his friends's house in which we see Gary, along with his three other friends. Chris spots pictures on the wall then notices that Gary has a few photos of the bank where Chris works at. Chris getting nervous asks a strew of questions, and around this point in the film is where the film gets its faster pace and we finally see that Gary is not the guy Chris was lead to believe. I found it predictable in which Gary was simply using Chris for the sake of robing the bank. It was clear from the first moment in which they start talking that Gary wanted something out of him (in which he also sets him up with one on his friends a dancer/stripper Luvely- played by Isla Fisher). At this point the havoc starts and the films takes a turn for the better because we are now seeing Chris panic and wondering how and what he will do in this situation.

Following the plan, Chris of course decides to take note on the heist and allows to take orders from Gary. Right an hour into the film we see Chris standing outside looking for the truck in which has its stash of money. We then see him call Gary and the heist plans then takes notice. Around 10-12 minutes later we see that the plan is in action as they are inside the bank and Chris has taken advantage of stealing the cash. Few scenes later, the cop whom stops by the bank to see if everything is okay, returns unexpectedly and notices that something is up when he is shouting Chris' name but he doesn't show up. Later on he notices something out of place and spots Chris' reflection in the back so as he is walking away, drops his donut box, then Gary and his crew pop out from behind the walls and start shooting. Of course since he saw, they decided to kill him which was of course to happen. The violence in this scene was very quick and to its point. Afterwards Chris is in more panic as he flees from the scene stealing their car and heads away. Having the bags of money in the truck of the car, Gary decides to take a visit at Chris' house where he sees Lewis. Chris then calls the house, Lewis picks up and Chris notes that Gary and his crew are there. They wanted the cash so Chris decides to take matters in his own hands by settling a meeting time and location. Upon doing so, we see that he visits his father's house late at night (his father or mother don't notice) and stashes a shotgun inside one of the bags of money.

Finally towards the ending in its final last few scenes, Chris having made the phone call to Gary telling him where to meet up, they eventually do meet (Chris having the bags of money, Gary having Lewis hostage) then the havoc starts. As Chris is taking out the bags of money from his truck, Bones- Gary's crew member is watching him with his shotgun in hand. He then throws him one of the sack for him to stash away in Gary's car. While this is happening, he takes Lewis out the car and puts him on the ground facing full forward having the shotgun right in his face (Lewis being blind does not know what exactly is happening). As Bones is about to shoot, Chris takes the other bag of money and takes fire of the shotgun (the gun is still inside the bag but he has his grip, and feels where the trigger is) shooting Bones right in the face killing him. We then see Gary lying down in pain (from getting shot by the cop at the heist scene), and see Chris approach him as he is lying there helpless. He kicks away his inhaler then the scene briefly ends. We don't see whether he kills him but we are lead to believe he does.

Fast forward again, and we see Chris speaking in tone about what happened. "Once upon a time, I woke up, and I robbed the Noel town bank". Then we see that he confessed to being apart of the heist and his punish was given. As continuing telling his tale, we note that his restaurant with Lewis is doing well and he still has plans on skating. The performances were all brilliantly done, as JGL delivers one of his best performances. === As a rewatch (02/17/19') and after almost over 6 years since the initial watch (11/07/13'), the Lookout remains a highly entertaining and inspiration drama. This film is much more than a typical bank heist film thriller, as it deals with more meaningful insight and a character in which we lead to root for in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, along with the film being more depressing, thought provoking and inspirational.

Barely remembering much about the film, though some little brief scenes, the film remains as great as remembered. One of the better quotes comes from a crucial moment in the film, "Whoever has the money has the power". Over a decade since its release, the Lookout remains a very overlooked and hidden gem of a film. A must see.
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Go see The Lookout! You won't regret it!
ranilovezyou15 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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Familiar Yet New
fwomp17 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A wholly original but — at the same time — familiar film, THE LOOKOUT has that bank heist noir feel with a human twist.

I started searching out Scott Frank films (writer and director of The Lookout) after watching GET SHORTY many years back. His snappy dialogue and unique look at 'fish-out-of-water' characters caught my attention and I've been pleased with his most, if not all, of his work.

Add to this film the talents of relative newcomer Joseph Gordon-Levitt (BRICK) and veteran Jeff Daniels (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK) and I was intrigued say the least.

The familiar element is the bank heist reminiscent of THE SQUEEZE (1978) with Lee Van Cleef. The unfamiliar comes from Chris Pratt played by the aforementioned Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's damaged goods. Not just mentally but physically. Involved in a car crash that killed several friends, injured another, and left Chris with a traumatic brain injury, the audience is left to ponder what would have become of an all-star athlete who now has serious lapses in memory and can only hold down a janitorial job at a local bank.

Living with another handicapped man named Lewis (Jeff Daniels), the two are an odd, disabled pair. Lewis helps keep Chris on-track with his brain-injured therapy, while Chris plods along trying to make sense of the changes in his life that aren't really changes at all ...just problems with memory. His frustrations are palpable, including his problems he has with his father who doles out guilt money only as he sees fit.

Into the picture comes a group of bank robbers with their eyes on Chris. Included in the group is a lovely young lady named ...well ...Luvlee (Isla Fisher). Gaining Chris' trust (and sexual advances) Luvlee soon reveals her true nature. Handing Chris into the deadly hands of her cohort Gary (Matthew Goode, MATCH POINT), Chris finds himself at the center of the heist at the bank where he works and stuck without a way out. Or does he have one? The fact that the audience is left guessing as to the depth of Chris' brain damage is a nice ending. How much he actually knows of what he's doing and why is an unusual turn on a familiar film road. The weaving in and out of the night of Chris' deadly car crash with his current no-win situation is pulled off exceptionally well and had me glued to my seat. And Jeff Daniels' masterful portrayal of a blind man with a set of chops also added immensely to the film's success. And Luvlee is pretty nice to look at, too (wink!).

A good heist film that has helped relaunch the genre in a new direction ...far removed from things like the OCEAN'S films.
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Interesting characters, well acted but forgettable.
eshwarmail30 December 2012
Too laid out to be mysterious, not gripping enough for a thriller, not compelling for a drama but not bad to be ignored. Depends too much on the atmosphere it has set and the characters tend to be tad too predictable but keep on trying to act mysterious. Though beautifully acted, well developed characters and the screenplay for what its worth holds together, I didn't really seem to care what happens in the end.

Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) drives 3 of his friends to an accident on their prom night ending his short but a successful stint in hockey. He suffers from memory loss after the accident and cannot even remember his day-to-day activities. The story is set 4 years after the accident and now he is attending life skills classes that helps people similar to him, labels and maintains a notepad to remember his daily activities, living with a blind partner Lewis (Jeff Daniels) and works as a janitor in a bank at night. While frustrated with his hopeless life and controlling family, his life starts to look ahead when a stranger Gary (Matthew Goode) gives him an offer to rob the bank he works in (but first seduces him with Luvlee (Isla Fisher)).

The protagonist's condition is not well thought out and is used wherever convenient, some characters are just cut out from the movie abruptly like the co-survivor of the accident Janet (Carla Gugino) or Isla Fisher during the later part of the movie. The way the climax is set up, there is nothing that leaves you to guess - only surprise is that you keep thinking 'thats not gonna happen, it would be too predictable'. Acting and some character development is top notch and the runtime has nothing to complain about. If an attempt is to be very realistic (which is to most extent), it should also be tightly scripted. Otherwise it is just plain awkward.

Interesting characters, well acted but forgettable.
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not as good as some would let you believe
pepekwa15 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This was an interesting sleeper hit which got some rave reviews on here. A lot of people said this was more of a thinking person's movie and not a "popcorn" flick although there are some action sequences later on for those deprived. While this was a well thought out idea, the film took a long time to get going, after 40 minutes, i was saying, "yeh he's got a brain injury, some of his functions are limited, what else!" The movie desperately needed some sub-plots to keep it moving. No complaints with the cast, Matthew Goode was a chilling villain and did a great Midwestern accent for an English guy and its always a pleasure to see the very delectable Mrs borat in any film while Jeff Daniels stole the show as the blind best mate. As well as the movie only plodding along for the first hour, for me there were other plot holes like why Chris would have been allowed to drive, he strange role his family played in this as they were both cold and compassionate at the same time and why he would have the role he did in the bank heist amongst other things. The ending also disappointed as he really should have been charged in some way for being complicit in the bank raid and while I'm very much an anti Hollywood happy ending person, there should have been something else happening, I'm not sure what but it all ended on an anti-climax for me. These faults aside, its still a good movie and it would be interesting to see what the writer/director would do with a bigger budget and if he just concentrated on directing.
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Utterly predictable, unimpressive performances
louisrom2 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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perfect follow up to Brick
ctg072421 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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