"The Score"

"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." This could sum up the plot of The Score a great new suspense drama! Nick Wells (Robert DeNiro) is a full time Quebec jazz club owner, part time master burglar. He spends his weekends burglarizing the homes of the wealthy for aging crime lord Max Baron (Marlon Brando). When a job turns out to be for naught and Max is in trouble with a rival crime boss, Nick is asked to rob the Montreal Customs House of a rare, and unknown, French national treasure. This score would be big enough to pay off Max's debt and allow Nick to retire from his secret life of crime and spend out his golden years with his flight attendant girlfriend, played by Angela Bassett. Problem is that Nick refuses to shit where he eats...he will live in Montreal, but he will not steal in Montreal.

Reluctantly he agrees and meets with Jackie Teller (Edward Norton) who is an employee at the Customs House and has the information to make it an inside job. Jackie poses as Brian, a mentally disabled employee who is basically a charity case and the perfect cover up, as no one would suspect a mentally retarded janitor as a mastermind for this elaborate heist. The snag here is that Nick doesn't like Jackie, but Max does and wants him to stay on the job. So, they agree to work together and Jackie gives details on the location of the item, security system, and layout of the building.

The job gets more and more complicated along the way and while you don't think they will be able to pull off the job, you want to see how it will turn out and how [badly] they will fail. Good news it that they do pull of the job, bad news is that there is some serious double-crossing at the end.

This movie was properly cast with DeNiro and Norton playing opposite each other. DeNiro is the mature, composed, crook who wants to retire from a life of crime, and Norton is the young, arrogant, robber who is just getting started. I believe it was deliberate that the two become rivals instead of the mentor/apprentice you would have expected. Brando's role as an aging, ineffective, crime boss who is past his prime is reflected in his current career. Angela Bassett is really just a prop in the movie and her role is slightly more than a cameo.

This is a very good movie. It gets a little slow and tired in a few places, but the end of the movie more than makes up for it.

Billz Movie Worthiness Scale: B

Billz Movie Worthiness Scale Values:

A = movie tickets and popcorn for 2 (about $40)
B = buy the DVD when it comes out ($25)
C = rent it
D = wait for it to be on cable/pay TV
E = wait for it to be on regular TV


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