TIFF 2013: The Art of the Steal Review

The Art of the Steal

The Art of the Steal


Director: Jonathan Sobol

A huge disappointment given the talent involved, this wannabe tough guy caper comedy is every bit as polite and unpleasant as a Canadian Guy Ritchie rip off would sound on paper.

Former getaway driver Crunch Calhoun (Kurt Russell) has just been released from prison after his brother Nicky (Matt Dillon) turned States Evidence on him. He’s drawn out of his current life as a hack motorcycle stunt rider for one last job stealing The Gospel According to James, a priceless Gutenberg printed relic the Catholic Church has tried to suppress for centuries. Forced into working with Nicky again, he brings along his new protégée Francie (Jay Baruchel) to keep things on the level.

While the cast tries very hard to make it all work (especially Baruchel and Terence Stamp, playing a former crook turned FBI informant), Sobol’s plotting is nonsensical and it’s incredibly harsh, ugly, and bland to look at. The countless twists and double crosses don’t add up to much, leading to a conclusion that seems novel but is delivered with all the conviction of air seeping out of a balloon. Sobol tries to add some flashy edits and plenty of tough guy posturing, but not a heck of a lot helps outside of the solid performances all around. (Andrew Parker)

For a full length review from the film’s theatrical release, please click here.

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