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Thief 1981
R

  • Michael Mann
  • March 27, 1981
  • 122 mins
  • English
  • Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Tonight, his take home pay is $410,000... tax free.
Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specialized in high-profile diamond heists. He plans to use his ill-gotten income to retire from crime and build a nice life for himself complete with a home, wife and kids. To accelerate the process, he signs on with a top gangster for a big score.

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Caan is great but his character annoys me. He's an asshole. It's slow. Slow is fine when the time is used building character in ways that add some real depth. This is slow paces and sees characters just wanting things with no real depth. It's predictable. The music is awful. My second Michael Mann movie experience and I guess I don't like him.

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Thief is a very well made thriller, very clever and gritty with a stellar performance by James Caan.

The film is centered on Frank an ex-con and a jewel thief but he is tired and he wants to get out of the criminal life to finally live a normal life, build up a family and be happy. But Frank decides to accept a job for a local gangster, it is going to be his last work but getting out of the crime life will be harder than he thought it would be.

Michael Mann's direction is very stylish with great camera work. I have to mention the safe cracking scenes that were shot in an amazing way. I never thought that it would be so beautiful to see some long minutes scenes with thiefs opening safes! Visually is so beautiful with a great cinematography. The night scenes are particularly great to look at, the streets look gorgeous, great colours and neon lights. The whole atmosphere is great. Very intense soundtrack completing each scene.

James Caan is absolutely amazing as Frank and Frank he is such an interesting character. What is most fascinating about him is the fact that behind his criminal side he desires so much to be a normal person. He wants a normal life and Cann's performance is so believable. The long scene in a diner where Frank tells to Jessie, his girlfriend, how he feels about his life is so touching. I was fascinated with his words! And like this, there's another great moments throughout the film but this particular scene is the one that I certainly will remember more about.

A very accomplished debut of Michael Mann, another underrated classic that need to be more recognized.

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One of Michael Mann's best, before "Heat" there was "Thief".

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