Charley Varrick (1973)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A former stunt pilot with his wife, and an accomplice rob a rural bank in New Mexico. The heist is successful but he later realizes that the bank manager was secretly involved in money laundering operation and the money they robbed belongs to mafia. Now Charley Varrick need to outsmart the police as well as the mafia.
2) Walter Matthau’s performance as Charley Varrick was outstanding. Even the audiences will left surprised with his unexpected elaborate planning.
3) Main Theme by Lalo Schifrin.
4) A lesser known and underrated Don Siegel film.

 

 


CONS –
N/A

 

 


QUOTE –
Molly: I don’t sleep with whores… at least, not knowingly.

Cliffhanger (1993)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A mid-air heist went wrong, and then two rescue mountain climbers got embroiled in the subsequent treasure hunt for the dropped suitcases containing over $100 million.
2) A MacKenna’s Gold (1969) kind of adventure movie with thrilling action sequences and a strong supporting cast.
3) A must watch 90s adventure movie of mountaineering theme.

 

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Eric Qualen: Kill a few people, they call you a murderer. Kill a million and you’re a conqueror.

The Sting (1973)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A classic caper from the team of George Roy Hill, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford who gave us Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
2) A small-time con-man [Robert Redford] took the revenge of his murdered partner from a Chicago crime boss, with the help of a veteran con-man [Paul Newman]. The movie starts slow however, the plan is so elaborate that by the time we reach the climax even the audiences will be left dumb-struck.
3) The innocent-looking waitress was the notorious assassin Salino all along. That was one shocking twist.
4) Full marks to David S. Ward for the brilliant original story.
5) Classic piano-based soundtrack featuring music of Scott Joplin including “The Entertainer”.
6) One particular aspect of this movie is the use of painted title cards before each chapter viz “The Players”, “The Set-Up,” “The Hook,” “The Tale,” “The Wire,” “The Shut-Out” and “The Sting.”

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Doyle Lonnegan: Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Kelly; how does he do it?
Johnny Hooker: He cheats.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Four friends trying to pay off their debt of £500,000 to a crime lord, led to a fiasco involving various parties fighting for weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
2) British-humour.
3) A good collection of songs in the soundtrack. “The Payback” by James Brown was played at just the right time.
4) Almost all characters are distinct with their own colorful antics.
5) Hilarious cliffhanger climax.

 

 

CONS –
1) Ruined for anyone who’s already watched Phir Hera Pheri (2006). The Bollywood version has the audacity to copy the story without giving any credit to Guy Ritchie.

 

 

QUOTE –
Barry the Baptist: When you dance with the devil, you wait for the song to stop.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A jewel heist by a team of mistrustful people trying to outdo each other to get the bounty resulting in hilarious consequences.
2) This movie is notable for great performances by the entire cast. Jamie Lee Curtis steamy performance as Wanda deserves special mention.
3) John Cleese delivered as expected as the feeble lawyer embroiled in the entire fiasco.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Archie: I Wendy- I Wanda- I wonder…

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A gripping heist-thriller with superb writing. This shows no matter how tense the primary plot is, witty writing should never be compromised.
2) The codenames used by the perpetrators clearly a big influence on future directors in heist movies. e.g. Reservoir Dogs (1992) and most recently Money Heist (2017).
3) Peter Stone’s tight screenplay.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Garber: 26 minutes? Your instructions were complicated. The money has to be counted, stacked, tied, transported. It isn’t physically possible.
Mr. Blue: You’d be surprised what’s physically possible.

Triple Frontier (2019)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A generic heist movie constitutes of few common acts: recruitment, planning, heist, snafu, & escape. In this movie, the heist part was the easiest while the escape part took an unexpected turn.
2) One hell of an adventure covering Andes Mountains, cocaine farm field, Colombian jungle, treacherous mountains across South America.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Pope: You’ve been shot 5 times for your country and you can’t even afford to send your kids to college.

The Great Train Robbery (1978)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The breathtaking stunt by Sean Connery on top of the moving train dodging bridges after bridges. The last 20 minutes of the movie are unmissable.

 
CONS –
1) The first hour of the heist is engaged in extracting the 4 keys. The third and final act saves this movie.
2) Ridiculous climactic escape.

 

 
QUOTE –
Judge: Now, on the matter of motive, we ask you: Why did you conceive, plan, and execute this dastardly and scandalous crime?
Edward Pierce: I wanted the money.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Jeff Bridges as the playful mischievous Lightfoot.

 
CONS –
1) An average heist movie. Half of the time, the movie is showing characters on-road driving cars meeting weirdos.
2) What’s the point of Lightfoot’s death at the end of the movie when it’s supposed to be a comedy movie? I don’t get it.
3) Weirdly vulgar for no particular reason.

 

QUOTE –
John Doherty: The newest bank vaults have walls of reinforced concrete 5 feet thick, backed by 6 inches of steel. The vault door is stainless steel-faced. It’s 1.5 inches of cast steel, another 12 inches of burn-resisting steel, and another 1.5 inches of open-hearthed steel… A vault door has 20 bolts, each an inch in diameter. 8 on each side, 2 top, and 2 bottom. This holds the door into a 16-inch steel jamb set in 18 inches of concrete. It’s crosshatched by steel bars running both vertical and horizontal. This door is precision-made so you can’t pour nitro between the door and the vault. If that isn’t enough, there’s microphones, electric eyes, pressure-sensitive mats, vibration detectors, tear gas, and even thermostats that detect the slightest rise in temperature. Still interested in banks?

Lightfoot: I knew you weren’t a preacher!

The Driver (1978)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A definitive cult movie by Walter Hill.  The godfather of all modern car-racing games and numerous Hollywood heist movies like Driver (2011), Baby Driver (2017), etc.
2) All the characters are nameless. That’s how brave the director is.
3) High octane car chase scenes
4) Every major and minor character seems the central character of the movie including the Exchange Man.

 
CONS –
1) A kickass soundtrack is missing. What a shame!

 

 

QUOTE –
The Detective: I respect a man that’s good at what he does. I’ll tell you something, I’m very good at what I do.