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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Guilty
Set in London in the early 1970s, THE BANK JOB is based on real life events. A group of would be criminals is set up by MI5 (or 6, no one can keep them straight) to rob a bank and regain compromising photos of a royal personage. Unfortunately for our gang, not only were the photos in question (which were the "property" of corrupt revolutionary Michael X) kept in a safe...
Published on July 22, 2008 by Karen Joan

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Quit Your Bank Job...
The Good Things
*A few bits of excitement.
*Good, solid filming style. Colors and textures are rough and gritty, and even though the camera shakes around a little, it's not too overwhelming.
*Storyline is straightforward.
*Acting is not bad. A few good lines.
*Good music.

The Bad Things
*Has its slow parts, and ultimately,...
Published on July 30, 2008 by AMP

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of Your Seat Heist Thriller, July 2, 2008
This review is from: The Bank Job (DVD)
Based on the1970s true story about a group of amateur crooks who rob a British bank and get away with a little more than some cash and jewels. They think they have a once in a lifetime opportunity when they find out the bank's security system is temporarily out of service. What they don't know is that they're being used by government agents to retrieve some incriminating photos of a princess caught in the act of engaging in some undiscriminating sexual behavior. Before they know it, they are being hunted down by government agents, police and mobsters who were storing their own incriminating evidence in those very same safety deposit boxes.

"The Bank Job" is an edge of your seat heist movie. The fact that it is based on true events make this film all that much more interesting. Don't get the feeling that your getting an "Oceans" type heist movie. No high tech gadgetry or disguises here. It's shovels and jackhammers, a good ol' get your hands dirty robbery.

Jason Statham proves once and for all that he is capable of being a good actor. He nearly goes the entire movie without hitting somebody. Overall the entire cast was brilliant. "The Bank Job" has enough action, plot twists and suspense to keep you entertained throughout and will leave you feeling fully satisfied when the credits roll.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll be entertained., March 31, 2008
I thought going in that this would turn out to be just another in the long line of generic bank heist movies that came before it; it wasn't.
The heist is essentially completed by the halfway point and the rest of the movie deals with the machinations that lead to it and its repercussions.
The mix of intrigue, action and interesting characters left me very satisfied when it was time for the credits to roll.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STATHAM SCORES A BANK JOB, July 26, 2008
This review is from: The Bank Job (DVD)
Jason Statham has become an action anti-hero icon. Beginning his film career with LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, Statham continued on to film the TRANSPORTER films, CRANK and last year's WAR. The time has come for him to venture out of his pure action grind and head into the world of drama. He does so with the release this week of THE BANK JOB.

THE BANK JOB is the true story of a group of low level criminals in 1971 London who are recruited to rob a bank's safe deposit boxes. Without being aware, the group is hired to do so by the British Secret Service.

The Service' real reason for the heist is for these thieves to get a set of pictures showing Princess Margaret in an uncompromising position. Those photos belong to a black militant named Michael X (Peter De Jersey) and are his get out of jail free card when it comes to his trial. The pictures were stored there on the advice of London pornographer Lew Vogel. Unbeknownst to the Service, Vogel has his own valuable stored in the vault as well, a ledger that shows all of the payoffs to corrupt police in town.

An ex-model named Martine Love (Saffron Burrows), caught smuggling drugs, is recruited by the Service to pull off the heist in turn for her freedom. and in turn for her freedom. Martine starts the ball rolling and the criminals she chooses are an odd mixture of friends led by Terry Leather (Statham), a crook trying to go straight with a car dealership but at the same time in debt to the wrong people. The score will net him enough money to pay them off and be free.

The first part of the film details the group planning the robbery. It moves forward giving background on a multitude of players who all have something to hide and the evidence of it stored in the vault. From there we are transported to the actual heist which involves tunneling into the vault via an abandoned store two doors down.

As they tunnel their way in, they use a lookout to make sure no police arrive to check things out. But this lookout and his walkie talkie are picked up by a ham radio operator who gets the police involved. The only problem is which bank is it being looted?

The heist goes off without an arrest and the crooks head out to split the spoils of their deed. At the same time, a number of government officials (pictures of each at a local brothel part of the stolen property) get in on the case, the Service wants the pictures they started this whole thing for and Vogel wants his log book.

Can Terry and the gang get away with this robbery, the biggest since the great train robbery with an estimated $3 million stolen? Or will they find themselves squeezed between the real crooks, the Secret Service and the corrupt police? You'll have to watch to find out.

The entire cast does a fantastic job of not only settling into the skin of their characters but of playing the time period to perfection as well. Statham finally gets to show he has some acting chops which hopefully will lead to more roles like this one.

Director Roger Donaldson (DANTES PEAK, COCKTAIL, NO WAY OUT) does the story justice as well, bringing it to life on the screen. In his hands what could have been a boring caper film is instead filled with rich characters and situations that leave your palms damp with anticipation and a caring for the people involved. Sure they're thieves but you hope they get away with it.

Plenty of stories to go round, plenty of threads that are all tied up by films end and plenty of action for those who expect it. But in the end this movie gives more than mere action. It gives a true story a touch of heart.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable caper flick, August 19, 2008
I saw this movie on Unbox and thoroughly enjoyed it. The movie is set in 70s-early 80s England and its fun to see the people wearing costumes from back then and driving around in the British cars from that period. Also I found the story intriguing and not out-of-the-world unrealistic as some movies tend to be, as its based on a true story. Acting in my opinion was above par and the movie did not have unnecessary scenes of violence.

So I hope you enjoy it, I certainly did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good heist movie, August 1, 2008
This review is from: The Bank Job (DVD)
The fun thing about this movie is that it isn't a prototypical heist movie. The heist was pulled off by a bunch of low lifes who basically lucked out. There was planning, but there wasn't a mastermind planning every detail. They followed their plan, but in the end they were very lucky. Everybody (the police and bad guys) was just sort of blundering around just like real life.

Jason Statham is very good, but the movie isn't particularly about him. It is a good ensemble caste. The writing, the pacing and filming is all good. The nudity surprises me, but it does set up the rest of the plot. Another neat thing is the the twist is the bank heist team gets into hot water, not only with the cops, but with dirty cops, the government, and some really bad guys in a pornography ring. The movie keeps me at the edge of my seat for most of the time.

In summary, the movie was just plain fun.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bank Job Movie Review, March 6, 2008
Sporting complex consequences for a relatively straightforward plot, The Bank Job remains intriguing throughout as each set-up leads to ever more suspenseful twists for the likeable group of ragtag antiheroes. Over-thorough character introductions cause a slower build in the early stages of the heist, but such complications likely arise from fewer liberties taken with the "based on a true story" events, and the result is a fascinating look at criminals, the corrupt, and those least guilty.

It is 1971 in East London and a fateful bank robbery begins to take shape. In order to remove the threat of radical gangster Michael X, government officials devise a plan to rob a bank on Baker Street and retrieve damning photographs from his possession. To keep the heist untraceable back to them, an independent group of thieves, led by car dealer Terry (Jason Statham) and the cunning Martine (Saffron Burrows) are unwittingly thrown into a deadly battle against corrupt officials and London's criminal underworld.

Jason Statham isn't your typical leading man, yet ever since Guy Ritchie's early films he has managed to keep coming back with bigger and better roles and is now thought of as an action film star. However it's here, in darker thrillers, that he finds a more sincere presence, especially as thief and scoundrel Terry. Each moral flaw creates a more dimensional character, and one worth rooting for.

The language of the film is genuinely intriguing, as it captures wonderfully wry British slang. Cheeky sod, 12-inch mutton dagger, a bit of bother, usual skullduggery and things turning a-custard are but a few of the verbal jousts that occur between the main characters. Devoid of euphuisms, these apparently authentic words make the dialogue a particularly potent piece of the puzzle.

The entire subplot about Michael X and his blackmailing of the British government is useful in its supposed tie to facts, but as filmed scenes in the movie, they are hardly necessary. Photographs of a princess caught in the act of promiscuity are at the root of the blackmail plot, which then goes on to include further damaging materials from Sonia Bern's brothel, also of factual importance, but equally unnecessary in the film. Michael X's involvement could have been entailed in a briefing by the 506 crew, who spill out the usual generic explanations of villains, and even Bern's entanglement could have been narrated through the details of the photos. While most of these moments have their entertainment value, essentially they serve to drag out the film's running time.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and The Bank Job definitely falls into that category. Pimps, thieves, spies, and government officials all collide in a robbery gone right and then terribly wrong, lending the inquisitive to ponder over how much (or little) is fabricated in this thriller. The robbery itself is merely the setup to an intricate conclusion, even though the film takes time to create plenty of suspense throughout the not-so-carefully planned heist. Though the people making demands continually change, our attention is always seated with Jason Statham's unusually intense performance. When the credits roll and the explanation that "the names have been changed to protect the guilty" flashes onscreen, we realize what a delightfully flourished yet entertaining tale of "doing the wrong thing" The Bank Job really is.

- The Massie Twins
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is no Ocean's-style heist film, March 7, 2008
Despite a weak, B-rate feeling opening, The Bank Job manages to pull itself up and shape into a wildly engaging, gritty, realistic heist film that holds nothing back and does not have the comfy, playful feel of the Ocean's films. And here's the kick: its' based on a true story.

Yes that's right, it is based on the true story of the 1971 Baker Street Bank robbery in England, considered to be one of the biggest bank robberies in British history. Terry Leather (played by Jason Statham) is in a spot of trouble. He owes money to some criminal bigwig, so when an old friend Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) comes along with a proposition for him and his two mates to rob a small bank's safety deposit box vault, he takes it. As they begin their job everything fits perfectly into place and moves along at a smooth almost too smooth pace as very quickly the little proposition spirals madly out of control with secrets and double crossing being revealed, all before coming to a surprising ending.

I was disappointed that characters were not as fleshed out and developed as I would have liked. However, Terry is done very well and I feel Jason Statham, the most underrated action movie star, has an almost Bruce Willis-type presence.

The acting and dialogue was good, Saffron Burrows gives a bristling nuanced performance, and Terry's two mates Daniel Mays and Stephen Campbell Moore both bring a balanced energy to gang of criminals.

The Bank Job is a rough, somewhat violent heist film that does not have a fun feel to it, however as it picks up from the mediocre beginning it holds you with a raw intensity that rewards you even more once the credits roll as you read the real life aftermath of the characters.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Crime Flick Set In 1970's London, March 8, 2008
Chris Luallen (Nashville, Tennessee) - See all my reviews
The British secret service is anxious to retrieve lurid photos of Princess Margaret caught in a threesome while on vacation in the Caribbean. The pics have come into possesion of one Michael X, a Black Power radical who is also involved in a wide array of criminal activities. So when Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) is picked up for drug smuggling an MI 5 agent cuts her a deal in exchange for her setting up a bank robbery to get the photos that Michael X has stored in a safe deposit box.

Martine contacts an old flame named Terry Leather (Jason Statham) and they plan the robbery with the help of a gang of fellow small time crooks. Terry and cohorts get away with the loot. But are upset to discover Martine's secret deal with the MI 5 concerning the photos. From here all manner of chaos ensues involving the MI 5, corrupt police officers, Michael X and a porn dealer named Vogel.

It's an entertaining enough ride, though pretty much a typical crime genre movie in most respects. But the setting in 1970's London takes it a notch higher in terms of entertainment value. Also the fact that it is based on such an extreme and outrageous true story makes it more interesting. This is a darker and more violent side of British society than most Americans are usually exposed to. But it's a fun escape for those seeking some fast paced entertainment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 5 Star from Terry, August 31, 2008
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This review is from: The Bank Job (DVD)
Jason Statham got an excellent part in this one. I thought it was a very good movie. The fact that it was based on a true story added to the heist being an intense one. If your attention started to lag (it did not) Saffron Burrows was there to pick it up. If you like Statham, buy it. If you don't, rent it. Definitely worth your time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bank Job (Blu-ray), January 30, 2009
This review is from: The Bank Job [Blu-ray] + Digital Copy (Blu-ray)
Movie - 4.0

Something I've always noticed since watching Jason Statham is that the differences between his Hollywood and British movies are very distinct. His Hollywood titles are usually mindless action entertainment fluff, whereas his British (aka BETTER) movies are a lot more dramatic and/or whimsically written. Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch (the only two I've seen) are great, great pieces of film full of quirky characters, plot twists, excellent scripts, and a very dark style of comedy. The Bank Job is a slightly faulted return to form, portraying yet another heist gone bad, but with our protagonists coming out on top at the end. I liked it. As typical of myself and British scripts, I took a liking to the dialogue and subtle frankness that Brits have in their language such as their accents and colloquialisms (I find it funny to call someone a wanker or say the word "bollocks"). On top of that, the film itself did a very good job of pacing all 3 acts: the setup, the job, and the getaway. Drama and thrills abound in this movie with good writing, decent characters, and a retro feel to the '70s. I was rather impressed by the staging, set designs, and costumes, having been born in the '80s myself, and thus not as familiar with what was. The one complaint I did have, though, was with the tone of the film. Of the 3 British gangster/heist movies I've seen (Lock, Stock, Snatch, and Layer Cake), I found Bank Job to be just a tad lacking in terms of a strong screenplay. Guy Ritchie put a great deal of quirkiness into Lock, Stock and Snatch, while Matthew Vaughn put a lot of grit into Layer Cake. However, I simply felt Bank Job fell short of this by not putting enough emphasis on any particular aspect of the story or characters. But regardless, it's still a very good movie for what they had to work with (being based on a true story and all).

Video - 4.0

What a strange and fickle job of cinematography. I saw so many instances of reference video, but then other scenes would be too high in contrast or too saturated in hue. It's a good transfer, don't get me wrong. It's just a damn inconsistent one from shot to shot at times. Black levels are solid, and there's very little, if any grain present from what I saw. Sharpness is pretty high quality as well, but getting back to those contrast and hue problems, it had a tendency to make skin tones look a bit smudgy every now and then. But some up close shots were amazingly detailed. It was so clear you could see every line, wrinkle, and pore in a person's face as if they were standing right in front of you. Too bad it just didn't stay that way the entire time.

Audio - 4.5

Being a drama, dialogue takes up a majority of the sound stage. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how well discrete sound effects and music were placed throughout the entire length of the film in this DTS-HD 7.1 track. The side and rear speakers actually had quite a bit of directionality in terms of very subtle dings, taps, and other various background noises, which may seem like overkill for a drama, but impressive, nonetheless. Overall sound is very crisp, and I'd even say it's just short of demo'ing a 7.1 setup. I subtract that extra half point because, well, dramas aren't really demo quality material anyway. Great effort by Lionsgate, though.

Extras - 2.5

Only two segments are presented in widescreen SD, one about production of the movie, the other about the actual story. They're interesting to a degree, but hardly worth watching aside for a little trivia.

Overall - 4.0

The Bank Job is a very good heist movie that better showcases the acting abilities of Jason Statham. It's not quite on par with other titles branching from the Guy Ritchie/Matthew Vaughn mold, but there's enough drama, thrills, and even some sensuality in this particular one to keep you entertained if you're looking for a refreshing change of pace to get the absurdities of Transporter 2 or Crank out of your head. The video is a bit finicky, but the audio is excellent, making The Bank Job a solid recommendation for heist/thriller fans.
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The Bank Job [Blu-ray] + Digital Copy
The Bank Job [Blu-ray] + Digital Copy by Roger Donaldson (Blu-ray - 2008)
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