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on August 23, 2011
One assumes that Henry (Keanu Reeves) has some kind of inner life. He seems to be a likable, easy-going fellow; it's just that he's a bit...inscrutable. Maybe it's his job. Working the graveyard shift night after night at a N.Y. Thruway tollbooth would put anybody in semi-comatose state. Nothing fazes the agreeable yet impassive Henry, one way or the other-although he does display a slight twitch when, one morning at breakfast, his wife (Judy Greer) broaches the subject of the couple having a child. Suddenly, we get the impression that Henry would prefer to be anywhere else but there, at that moment, having that particular conversation. What's going on? Is this a troubled marriage? Does he love his wife? Is this cipher of a man internally harboring primal doubts about life itself? Or...is he suffering in silence from a sudden attack of gas? There's really no way of discerning.

We never get a chance to find out exactly what Henry is contemplating, because that is precisely the moment that Fate intervenes. An old high school chum named Eddie Vibes (Fisher Stevens) unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, with a drunken cohort in tow. Both men are dubiously outfitted for a game of baseball. Eddie wants to know if Henry can give them a ride to their "game". Nothing about this questionable early-morning scenario seems to raise any red flags for the ever-malleable Henry. Even Eddie's request to stop at the bank "on the way"-and to park the car out front and wait while his passengers go inside-fails to elicit the tiniest raised eyebrow from Henry. Needless to say, the heist goes awry, Henry's car stalls, his "friends" flee...and guess who ends up in stir?

Although he owes them squat, Henry doesn't rat out the real culprits and takes the fall, while his demeanor remains unchanged. At this point, one might surmise that Henry is either some kind of transcendent Zen master...or a clueless moron (not unlike the protagonist of "Forrest Gump" or Chance the gardener in "Being There"). Ah, but our little wooden boy is about to meet his Geppetto. Max (James Caan) is a veteran con man. He's one of those oddball convicts who actually "likes" prison-which is why he has been sabotaging his own parole hearings and enabling himself to continue living on the state's dime. He becomes a mentor/father figure to Henry, who takes it to heart when Max advises him that he needs to find a Dream, and then pursue it. So what is Henry's resultant epiphany? Since he's already done the time, he might as well now do the crime. Classic heist caper tropes ensue, with a love interest tossed in for good measure(Vera Farmiga).

There's a little déjà vu running through this film (the second effort from "44 Inch Chest" director Malcolm Venville). Sacha Gervasi and David White's script may have been "inspired" by some vintage heist flicks; specifically, Alexander Mackendrick's 1955 comedy "The Ladykillers", and Lloyd Bacon's "Larceny, Inc." from 1942 (essentially remade by Woody Allen as "Small Time Crooks"). I thought that James Caan was recycling his "Mr. Henry" persona from Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket" a wee bit. While the film has classic screwball tropes, it lacks the kinetic pace of Lubitsch or Sturges. That being said, I still found Venville's film to be quite engaging and entertaining-within its own unique universe (yes, even the somnambulant-as-usual Keanu). I was reminded of Vincent Gallo's criminally underappreciated "Buffalo '66"; in addition the fact that it also was filmed in and around the Buffalo area, it's another one of those low-key comedies with oddly endearing characters that "sneaks up" on you, especially once you realize how genuinely touching and sweet it really is at its core. And there's no crime in that, is there?
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HENRY'S CRIME is a dark comedy that actually carries a fairly good afterburn. The story is solid, the characters are unusual, and the setting in Buffalo, NY is appropriately dark and dank. This is a tale of how people react to their own personalities, moving through the world seemingly oblivious to those around them, afraid to create dreams much less go after them.

Flatline Henry Torne (Keanu Reeves) works the night shift in a freeway tollbooth, quite alone, and seemingly undisturbed by his isolation. At dawn he goes home to his tiny house where he greets his wife, nurse Debbie (Judy Geer) who wants to talk about beginning a family but as usual things distract the couple's ability to have a conversation. Friends pick up Henry to have him replace a member of the neighborhood baseball team and Henry goes along (as he does with everything that comes his way) only to wind up as the driver of a getaway car for his 'teammates' as they pause to rob a bank. Henry is so loopy that he is not sure what happened and is arrested by the bank cop Frank (Bill Duke) and without much effort in protecting his innocence, Henry is convicted and imprisoned. There he meets Max Saltzman (James Caan) who loves being in the protection of prison (low goals in life). When Henry comes up for parole, Max wishes him luck in finding a dream (or waking up to life) and Henry wanders back to his home: Debbie has married worthless Joe (Danny Hoch) and is pregnant - and none of this seems to bother Henry either. Henry decides to return to the bank he was convicted of 'robbing' and is struck by a cellphone carrying driving actress Julie (Vera Farmiga). Henry has feelings (surprise!) for Julie, follows her into the theater next to the bank where Julie is rehearsing Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard'. Things finally begin to move: the theater is connected to the bank by a tunnel, Henry visits Max and convinces him to get out on parole, and the two men plan to actually rob the bank Henry was sent to prison for not robbing! From here the puzzle takes twists and turns but the result is Henry's finally waking up to his emotions (with Julie), with a 'dream' of robbing the bank to repay the fact that he was unjustly incarcerated, and nothing - and everything - goes as planned with big surprises in the end.

Malcolm Venville directs this plodding venture written by Sacha Gervasi, David White, and Stephen Hamel. Much of the plot is rather silly but that seems somehow proper for a character as bland as Henry (played with appropriate flatness by Reeves). Farmiga and Caan add the sparkle that keeps the boat afloat. Just when viewers are about to groan over this story, it reminds everyone of some of the people who are sleepwalking through life, whether blandly or anxiously, and by film's end the importance of dreams and an appreciation of the events that make our lives interesting and quirky provides some valuable food for thought. Grady Harp, September 11
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on January 4, 2016
I found this gem by accident and am so happy I did! I am Keanu Reeves fan, but this movie also starred James Caan and Vera Farmiga. James Caan is one of the greatest actors of our times, and his performance in this film is on point. He plays his character is such a way that even though he is a career criminal, he is still like able and you find yourself rooting for him throughout the film. Vera Farming I recognized from the series Bates Motel. Her character is actually quite similar. She plays a somewhat self obsessed, shut off want to actress who won't let anyone or anything stand in her way. Henry, played by Keanu Reeves, plays a man who is so board and feels so ambivalent and trapped by his life that he would rather go to prison for a crime he didn't commit in hopes it will give him a fresh start, than defend himself when he could easily have gotten off. Once released from prison he discovered his "dream" and decides rob the bank he has already wrongly served time for robbing. Henry and Julie (the would be actress) meet in an unusual way and a very strange and unorthodox romance ensues. This film is worth a watch. The ending, while somewhat predictable, is satisfying and leaves you feeling good about the characters you have come to care about. You know they have all found what they needed, justice is served, and happiness is found.
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on January 12, 2015
This is a movie you can watch over and over again. The acting was great and the script was very creative. You can really analyze this film due to the different layers and meanings. You can see it as it is, that is take it literally, or you can see the symbolism in each character and situation. I also think this movie is very inspiring and motivates you to take charge of your life and know what you want in life.
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on October 9, 2013
I love Keanu Reeves since I was 15 years old. Have watch every movie of him and they are all pretty much, great!, but I have to say, I did not like this one as much, think the director waist his talent big time!.
Can't' wait to see his next movie,
I bet 47 Ronin will be awesome!!
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on June 28, 2014
It has a few good parts, but not nearly enough to make a cohesive whole. Judging by the sluggish pacing, and other woefully underdeveloped parts of the film, It's like the director was telling a story much less than he was saying "yipeeeeeeeee! I'm making a movie starring Keanu Reeves!! YEAH!!"

James Caan is always great, and Mr. Reeves is decent, but it's never clear why his character is the way he is. During the first third of the movie, it doesn't seem like the character wants anything, and that's just frustrating for any mainstream audience. So much so that in the last half of the movie, when he develops feelings for Vera Farmiga's character, there's no clear reason why, and the audience could care less by that point.
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on August 16, 2012
I decided to watch the movie on Netflix because Keanu Reeves was in it and I'm glad I did. While the plot slows down quite a bit, it still seems to have the proper pacing for the story being told.

Keanu plays Henry, a man that seems almost bored with his extremely uninteresting life. He goes to work, he comes home and that's about it. He doesn't have any goals and seems to be numb or indecisive about his feelings toward his current life including his wife. He's the guy that wants to make others happy and goes along with whatever comes his way.

During the movie you see Henry finally decide on a goal.. finally know what he wants in life. He has a purpose and eventually feelings and opinions about what's going on around him and the people around him.

This is a good movie to watch and Keanu along with the rest of cast are very good.
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on November 23, 2014
Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga and James Caan are the very best. I have followed all three of them for a long time. This movie is a wonderful romantic comedy that I would recommend to others. I bought this DVD and I am glad I did. I have watched it more than once and always get a "feel good" chuckle out of it. There are a lot of good "gotcha moments" in it.

The story begins as Henry (Keanu Reeves) has been in prison for a bank robbery he never committed. His history is one of being a toll booth operator and was married, but by the time he gets released from prison his wife is remarried and pregnant. Upon visiting the Buffalo Bank he gets hit by a car driven by Julie (Vera Farmiga)) She is acting in a play where the theater connects to the bank vault. Having done the time Henry feels that he may as well do the crime. James Caan (Max) is released from prison and he helps Henry rob the bank. He always does a great job of acting. Thus enters Julie and Henry having a date and ending up in a relationship. Eventually Henry becomes a main character in Julie's play. Thus we have a play within a play in the storyline.

Julie explains to Henry that Chekhov was dying and it was his last work and it consisted of the "Cherry Orchard" being about a woman and her family estate in Russia, which was her family home in her youth and where she felt safe, and is forced to sell it in order to let go of the past and create a new life in order to survive. Both Henry and Julie find their self in the same position. They both need a new start to survive.

There are so many good parts to this movie which includes the romance and the robbery to name a couple of them. Henry gets shot in the leg during the bank robbery, but makes it back to the stage and refuses to leave without Julie meeting him. Julie questions Henry's love for her thinking all he cares about is money. All of this is done on stage in front of the audience.

In the final scene Henry asks Julie onstage what she is running from and what she is afraid of. In their argument, he tells her that she is afraid of him being in love with her. Julie finally, after much coaxing by Henry, the stage cast members, such as,( Darek and Simon ), and the audience watching the play, encourage her to meet Henry in Moscow. Because of the bank robbery and the storyline Moscow really means going to California and Henry and Julie meeting there.

The last scene has great acting with the addition of the director named "Darek", played by actor Peter Stormare, and the stage manager named "Simon" played by Currie Graham. A great job by both of them. Henry and Julie clearly have great chemistry here. The reactions to them by the cast members also helped make the last scene a really good one. Character actors always "add to" in scenes like this one and they certainly did here. In the end, Julie decides she wants to be with Henry. I like romantic comedies and this was a good one.
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on October 1, 2015
i actually kind of liked this movie. didnt expect much, but i am a huge Keanu fan and usually like Vera Farmiga. it was funny, and somewhat romantic. id say its a good chick flick. glad i can add it to my collection
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on July 18, 2015
This movie is absolutely horrible! Don't waste your time and money on this one. I love all the actors in this movie, but the story and acting is pretty bad and it's not that old either! I know everybody is probably saying it's because Keanu Reeves is in it, but it's not because of him. This movie is just plain and simple...BAD! I really don't know what to say except stay away form this and spend your money on something else. Trust me!
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