King of Thieves (2018) Poster

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Mundane and unimpressive
FrenchEddieFelson3 April 2019
The film is inspired from the true story of the Hatton Garden heist (thus, the script is already half-written) and the main actors are usually excellent. Despite this excellent a priori, the global result is bland, dull and devoid of passion. So boring that I was almost sleepy. As a synthesis: frustrating!
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A metaphor for the actors themselves.
nrmurray14 September 2018
This film very much feels like a metaphor for the actors themselves, one last go at making some money and it all going wrong.

The film didn't know what it wanted to be, a gritty crime drama or last of the summer wine.

No back story on the gang at all apart from 10 seconds of old footage. We're rushed into the heist scene and before you know it it's all done and dusted. That leaves time for endless squabbling of characters you don't really know anything about.

A strange casting with Michael Gambon, arguably the best actor there - cast as a bumbling idiot. Jim Broadbent playing the nasty hard man, which just doesn't suit him given the film's we're all used to seeing him in.

Ray Winston was good and played well throughout the film, but again a very tenuous relationship to the gang and zero back story makes it hard to get involved with the characters.

The production quality for me was also let down, had the feel of a low budget tv drama, though I suspect this is because they clearly blew the budget on the cast.

I'd save this one for a long haul flight or when it's free on Amazon.
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What did you expect?
gy-att15 January 2019
For those who say this movie is slow and low budget: what did you expect? This is not Transformers, there is no Mark Wahlberg or Bruce Willis from the 90's, no CGI, no John Woo feat. Michael Bay. This is just a well delivered true story, brought to you by many of the best actors of our time. And it does not want to be more, so why do you?
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There really is no honour amongst thieves.
Sleepin_Dragon16 September 2018
The wealth of acting talent and experience prompted me to want to see this, coupled with an interest in the real life story.

I'm stunned to read people find this slow, it's hardly designed as an action packed thriller. It's the telling of real life events. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the story is intriguing, the acting is first rate, plus it contains some very humorous moments.

It begins off in quite a light hearted way, it's jolly and funny, but oncr the deed is done, it takes on a more serious tone, the laughs are fewer, and the true greed of the characters comes out.

Excellent performances, Caine, Gambon, Courtenay and Winstone all excellent, but for me it was Jim Broadbent who stole the show, he was superb. Francesca Annis was lovely in it, though sadly not for very long.

It's not a classic, but well worth seeing for the wealth of acting talent. 8/10
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Slow, dull, and very disappointing.
mediablackops15 September 2018
I'm still baffled how anyone can take a true story, gather a list of very talented actors, and then come up with such slow, dull and disappointing film. I actually fell asleep briefly, halfway through.
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Great cast, but passable at best.
sbweightman27 September 2018
A passable and down to earth presentation of the true story of the Hatton Garden Heist with a cast of big names, but little else. Although it shows the thieves as doddering old fools, it also shows them as bitter and greedy career criminals and as such, you can't really root for them, especially when they devolve into squabbling. There's a good sequence as it shows the effort put in to successfully carry out the robbery, but the whole thing lacks drama, and the police investigation in the second half has no personality to it.
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No honour among thieves.
bob-the-movie-man14 September 2018
What a cast! Micheal Caine; Jim Broadbent; Tom Courtenay; Michael Gambon; Ray Winstone; Paul Whitehouse.... Just one look at the poster and you think yes, Yes, YES! But would this be a case where my expectations would be dashed?

Having seen the film at a nationwide preview showing, I'm pleased to say no, it's not. I was very much entertained.

The film tells the ridiculous true story of the "over the hill gang" - the bunch of largely pensioner-age criminals who successfully extracted what was definitely £14 million - and could have been up to £200 million - of goodies from a vault in London's Hatton Gardens jewellery district over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend in 2015. The gang is led by the "king of thieves" - Brian (Michael Caine) - highly regarded as an 'elder statesman' among the London criminal scene.

"King of Thieves" nicely follows the well trodden story-arc of the "Heist" movie, but - for me - does it with significantly greater style than the norm.

Yes, it's very much a "Brit-flick", and I'm not sure how it will play outside of the UK. But the film's script, penned by Joe Penhall ("The Road", "Enduring Love"), plays beautifully to the extreme age of its cast - the average age of the actors playing the gang is over 67... and that includes the 35-year old Charlie "Stardust" Cox (who is actually very good as the young foil for the older blades)! There is lots of laugh-out-loud dialogue relating to bodily deficiencies and ailments and the tendencies of old-folk to nod off at inconvenient times! However, its not very deep stuff, giving little background to the characters. And if you are of a sensitive disposition, the language used in the film is pretty extreme: F-bombs and C-bombs are dropped in every other sentence.

The film is delivered with visual style by "The Theory of Everything" director James Marsh. He cleverly reflects that all of the older leads have past records: the film nicely interweaving tiny snippets of past British crime movies to illustrate the career exploits of the now-creaky old folks. (If in the epilepsy-inducing opening titles you thought you caught a subliminal shot of the gold from "The Italian Job" - the superior 1969 version - then you were right!) As well as "The Italian Job", the snippets also includes "The Lavender Hill Mob" and (if I'm not mistaken) the late George Sewell in "Robbery".

It's all delivered to a deafeningly intrusive - but in a good way - jazz-style soundtrack by the continually up-and-coming Benjamin Wallfisch. But it is the acting of the senior leads that makes the film fly for me. Caine is just MAGNIFICENT, at the age of 85 with the same screen presence he had (as featured) stepping out of that prison in "The Italian Job"; Winstone is as good as ever in playing a menacing thug, and even gets to do a Michael Caine impression!; Gambon is hilarious as the weak-bladdered "Billy the Fish". But it is Broadbent that really impresses: he generally appears in films as a genial but slightly ditzy old gent in films like the "Potter" series; "Paddington" and "Bridget Jones". While he has played borderline darker roles ("The Lady in the Van" for example), he rarely goes full "Sexy Beast" evil.... but here he is borderline psycho and displays blistering form. A head-to-head unblinking confrontation between Broadbent and Caine is a high-point in the whole film... just electrifying. I'd love to see BAFTA nominations for them both in Acting/Supporting Acting categories.

In summary, it's a sweary but stylishly-executed heist movie that has enough humour to thoroughly entertain this cinema-goer. The film is on general release in the UK from September 14th and comes with my recommendation.
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Waste of talent
roquefort-0587924 September 2018
The star-studded cast is woefully let down by an appalling script and even weaker direction. What on earth were they thinking?

They are visibly just going through the motions, not even trying to make the best of the painfully tedious lines they are given. The scriptwriter should be shot - no amount of rhyming slang and over the top obscenities can poke some life into this dog's dinner of a film.

Do not waste your money on going to see it.
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Awesome geriatric film!
TheTopDawgCritic14 January 2019
This film was funny and performances were outstanding. Great directing and writing based on true events. Not sure what everyone's whining about, this film was an awesome geriatric film! Don't listen to the wannabe critics, this film is plain fun and entertaining! A well deserved 8/10 from me.
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Very poor, slow and unnecessary
danny-harris6724 September 2018
I don't normally write a review but I felt it necessary in this case. For a start, the film is unbelievably dull and very slow paced. The only really exciting bit is the heist and even that has its low points. Great acting but otherwise not worth watching. Also lots of swearing! Normally I don't mind but it was just distracting and it seemed as though the writers didn't know what other dialogue to use
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Feels like a TV movie
the_jps23 September 2018
It's distracting entertainment, but it has a made-for-TV feel, which ITV might commission for a soggy bank holiday. Cinematically uninspiring. The script is pandering to a similar audience; I can imagine some giggling at the swearing, farting and buttocks.
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Totally disappointing
pipedpiper20 January 2019
So slow it could have been an advertisement for Geritol definitely disappointing not worth watching
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lookout-1016 March 2019
As a Michael Caine fan I was really looking forward to this movie but sadly let down. Agree the review "A Metaphor for the actors themselves" : one last go at making some money and got it all wrong. Too much time wasted in establishing their geriatric credentials. The heist itself was ho hum and how it fell apart a dull comedy. Save your money. Much better cop shows on the small screen.
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Humour, Treachery, Robbery and Great Entertainment.
caledoniancraig-78-43125917 September 2018
The King of Thieves film came with a great endorsement - a cast laden with great talent. It delivers on many fronts for me.

It has many laugh out loud moments and is very non-pc which is very refreshing. The main cast of Caine, Courtenay, Broadbent, Whitehouse and Winstone worked superbly together and bounce off each other really well.

It is intriguing seeing them plot the robbery and along the way we see snippets of each character (well actor) in their youth using snaps of them from films they were in many years earlier.

Caine portrays a man who is left alone and very sad when his lifelong partner passes away and you feel his loneliness in the scenes in his large and empty house.

Broadbent plays the bullying and double-crossing member of the gang and cuts an intimidating figure backed up by Ray Winstone as they look to take the largest cut from the robbery much to Caine's anger.

All in all it makes for great entertainment with a pleasing soundtrack to boot. Highly recommended and I await the DVD release eagerly.
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What a waste of talent
daz-3140318 January 2019
Some of my favourite old time brittish actors, so this should have been red hot with lots of clever banter, instead just a lot of swearing, bad script, really dodgy music from an era that was rich in great music. Someone should make it again but do a proper job.
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This is an enjoyable film.
mcleanmuir29 January 2019
It's about a bunch of old guys who performed a robbery so don't expect fast and furious. It's well acted and has some very subtle funny moments. Courtney is very good in his role.
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Not a classic, but an entertaining nostalgia-fest
hughrcarson28 September 2018
Compare and contrast, if you will, two 2018 cinematic releases that are based upon actual events.

Bart Layton's American Animals, is a tale of young impressionable college students who, by way of an attempted heist at their own University library, aimed to get rich quick whilst simultaneously making a name for themselves, whereas James Marsh's King of Thieves, chronicles the still relatively fresh-in-the-memory events of the jewellery heist that transpired down on London's Hatton Garden, back in 2015.

Whilst both films are similar in their subject matter, it's the manner in which the respective protagonists go about their nefarious deeds that couldn't be any more different.

In Layton's American Animals, a combination of anxiety, lack of experience and a general naivety ultimately prove to be the boys' undoing, whereas Michael Caine and his grizzly cohorts couldn't really have been any more lackadaisical in their approach if they'd tried.

At least that's how they're depicted.

Just how close to the truth such a depiction actually is, only Brian, Basil, Billy, Terry, Danny and John will know. And that is of course assuming that they've somehow managed to watch Marsh's film from behind the bars of their respective prison cells.

One would suspect that they probably have.

Authentic depiction or not, one thing is certain, King of Thieves is high on entertainment, and in Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone and Tom Courtenay, Marsh's film boasts a stella cast portraying masterfully this long-in-the-tooth gang of career criminals. Lock Stock and Six Smoking Pensioners.... And Charlie Cox... if you will.

Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

Admittedly it is possibly a little harsh to lump Paul Whitehouse into that pensioner bracket together with the rest of Dad's Army. Mr Whitehouse, at a mere sixty tender years of age, is after all a good decade or so younger than the majority of his fellow cast members here. Then again, he does now officially qualify for a free bus pass. So, let's just say he's in on a technicality.

We digress...

Perhaps it's down to the casting of so many recognisable 'national treasures' in Marsh's film, but there's definitely a generous sense of empathy that's generated towards this 'loveable' gang of rogues as they go about their business with their collective carefree, bordering on languid approach to the task.

Been there, seen it, done it.

Oh, but how things change when the cracks begin to appear and the problems mount up, laying bare the rather ugly traits of greed, power and duplicity for all to see.

Indeed, it's quite the transformation watching the likes of serial nice guy Jim Broadbent morph from a cuddly old bugger into something of a devious back stabber, though this is not exactly new territory for Broadbent if one casts one's mind back far enough. His tremendous portrayal of uber-snide Detective Chief Inspector Roy Slater in John Sullivan's timeless sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, remains to this day one of his most convincing and memorable roles.

Though it arguably lacks a little 'oomph', in certain places, King of Thieves is nevertheless tremendous fun, with a strong emphasis on the comedic element of what, presumably, would have actually been a very serious undertaking for all involved.

What King of Thieves may lack in pace and energy it more than makes up for by way of the on-screen chemistry between the cast members who, it's unimaginable to consider, weren't having an absolute blast in making this film.

Not a classic by any means, but one that will probably sufficiently please both fans of the heist movie genre and nostalgia buffs, alike.

This and hundreds of other films are reviewed on my WaywardWolfBlog
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cabarron-7811416 September 2018
Depressing story of greedy old men behaving selfishly. Nothing likeable about any of them! The police investigation scenes are impressive, silently observing the ageing clowns via CCTV and planted microphones.
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This is bad, really bad...
robjtudor22 May 2019
The wealth of talent within this film bares no resemblance to what you actually see. This film is truly awful. Given the potential it has I can't explain how this has been so poorly executed. I can't think of one redeeming feature about it and it pains me that I sat all the way through it..

It makes you wonder how James Marsh got this so wrong?? The Theory of Everything has been his best film by far and was excellent. This is truly awful by comparison..

The set-up of the job feels rushed and has no suspense or substance to it. The characters have no depth to them at all and at times it's cringing to watch as they have petty arguments that don't make sense, don't add to the purpose to the plot. Other than Ray Winstone and to a certain extent Michael Caine they all look a bit lost like they have no script or direction.

I implore anyone who has a degree of respect for anyone in this film don't watch it as you will be sadly disappointed.
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Not impressed
ginamkerr16 September 2018
Don't usually write these but have just watched this rubbish. Save your money unless you want to watch a film with the most swearing in the shortest space of time. It should win an award for that.
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Well worth a watch (if they don't nick it).
jasongkgreen7 October 2018
There were mixed reviews but with this story and line up I couldn't resist seeing and taking my dad. I am glad I did. Yes the characters weren't the lovable diamond geezers and I appreciated this. There is no honour in thieves and the messes they were pretty much all in in their lives was much more true to reality.

A good story and fundamentally a film carried by Ray, Michael, Tom, Jim and Paul. I laughed out loud at several places and the whole thing was a worthy and fun journey. The banter won and I felt at home with the "blokes". 7/10
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Slow and dud
somjeet-roy7 October 2018
The whole storyline feels so washed up and the way the movie progresses makes it so dull that you will find people yawning by the end of the movie. The robbery itself is so badly portrayed in the movie that you will hardly find your foot on the gas pedal, let alone any suttle suspense.
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I don't get it
enricoN71 October 2018
Heist films are usually about a great intrigue, phenomenal bad guy-good guy pursuits or psychological twists. What was this about? Very linear all-against-all story, no twist what so ever and very very slow. The only thing I can conclude is that it must be so easy and dull to rob Hatton Garden that it's hard to make an exciting movie out of it... I may give it a crack next week end.
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A worthwhile caper but not the best of heist movies out there
GoldenBlunderbuss14 September 2018
The bulk of the biggest heist ever carried out on UK soul that everyone (at least in Britain) knows about is done by the hour mark. The rest of the film tackles the group politics, mistrusts and backstabbing that tore the geriatric heist crew apart. This is no bad thing as it appears to be the best part of the true story from which this film derives it's material.

Michael Caine leads the charge on a cast supercharged with British talent: Tom Courtney, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Paul Whitehorse and an underused Michale Gambon. The interaction between this rag tag group of British acting talent, transposed perfectly to the gang of criminal minds at the story's core, is electric to watch especially considering how much the actors seem to be playing characterised versions of themselves or past famous roles. Indeed, the last few scenes use archive footage of the actors' past roles (Caine in The Ipcress File, etc) to highlight their characters' criminal pasts to great effect.

It's a fine heist film that still manages to create tension despite the audience knowing full well how the story ends - however, it doesn't add a whole lot to a genre that's been overcrowded for decades. That's not to say it should be avoided; nay, it offers the best chance of us Joe Public in understanding what happened over that extremely profitable Easter Weekend.

Best quote: TBC
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Stars do not a classic make.
willslatt9 December 2018
Weak story. Little real drama. Lazy Dialogue. Such a waste of talented actors.
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