There's a fence, a weary veteran safecracker, and an eager outsider. There's a valuable whatsit in the Montreal Custom House that's guarded as if it were the crown jewels. It ain't quite that, but it is a many-centuries old scepter that's worth tens of millions of dollars. It's got `last big score' written all over it. The eager young one has an assistant janitor job at the Custom House and is in the perfect position to case the joint, get the schematics, cut the video feed, what have you.
Sound familiar? Save for a end game twist or two THE SCORE is pretty much the same heist movie you've seen time and again. It's a strong enough story that doesn't stray too far at all from the tried and true. What sets this movie apart is its cast. To say THE SCORE is actor rich is an understatement. Its three leads - Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Ed Norton - have all been hailed the greatest actors of their generation. Brando plays the fence, De Niro the old pro who wants to pull off one last job before calling it quits, and Norton the neophyte looking for respect. Director Frank Oz wisely highlights characters and the `job' intrudes only when necessary. With a different cast I probably wouldn't have liked this one nearly as much as I did, but Brando, De Niro, and Norton are all on their game and a joy to behold.
The special features includes trailers, a short `making of' feature, a commentary track with Oz and cinematographer Rob Hahn and three or four unused scenes, one of which features Brando and De Niro improvising a scene. The track lasts about four minutes and shows the two going through the same minute or so long bit of business three times. I've never seen two actors of this caliber building a scene before, and it's fascinating to see them hit the same marks - Will you do it? , six million, I always pay your fair - while shading each take differently. It's my favorite four minutes on the dvd.
What the heck, heist movies have been done but they're fun. The characters in this movie are layered and interesting. A strong recommendation for THE SCORE.