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The Score

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R
2001

The Score, directed by Frank Oz, hit cinemas in the summer of 2001, boasting a star-studded cast composed of acting heavyweights including Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando. This meticulously crafted and engaging crime-thriller focuses on complex characters and their struggles as they navigate through their criminal lives.

Robert De Niro plays Nick Wells, an accomplished professional safecracker nearing retirement in Montreal. Known for his intricate and skilled approach to his craft, Wells has spent his life avoiding imprisonment by following a strict code of principles. On the reputable end of the spectrum, he also runs a jazz club, which is portrayed as a significant part of his dream for an ordinary and peaceful life. However, he still has one foot in the door of his old ways, which brings tension and jeopardy to his world.

Marlon Brando's character, Max, is a long-time acquaintance and fence for Nick's stolen goods. Max is a charming yet manipulative character who leverages Nick's loyal streak and their shared history to coax him into one last, incredibly risky heist. The target? A historic and enormously valuable French scepter, housed under high security in the Montreal Customs House. It was apparent that for such a complex task, Nick would require a partner, someone younger and entirely dedicated.

This is where Edward Norton's character, Jack Teller, steps into the frame. Jack, an ambitious and sharp criminal, is introduced as the wildcard to this operation. Norton's performance depicts Jack as a highly intelligent yet impulsive and desperate character, contrasting vastly with De Niro's calm and methodical representation of Wells. Jack's elaborate preheist planning involves him posing as a mentally challenged janitor employed at the custom house, giving him access to critical information.

As the plot unfolds, the dynamic between these three characters takes center stage. It dives into their individual motivations, the level of trust among them, and how their past experiences shape their approaches to this high stakes heist. The Score boasts exceptional character development and a plot trajectory that keeps audiences perpetually intrigued, with the suspense of the impending heist underpinning the entire narrative.

Dialogue and acting performances contribute considerably to the effect of the storyline. De Niro's portrayal of a veteran criminal, cautious and methodical in his planning, fits seamlessly with his character's many years in the job. Norton's depiction of the brazen, ambitious young criminal eager to make his mark provides the perfect foil. And Brando's Max adds a cunning manipulative edge to reinforce the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the heist.

What adds an extra layer to the plot is the montage-like exposition of a rather technical and methodical preparation for the heist. In stark contrast to most crime films portraying such operations with glamour and ease, The Score delves into the longer, more meticulous, and effortful process of preparing for such a task. This aspect of the film gives it a gritty realism that grips the audience.

Another noteworthy feature of the movie is its visually arresting cinematography. Cinematographer Rob Hahn's work shines in the detailing of the customs house interiors, making the best of the architecture to add to the storytelling process.

Additionally, the movie's musical score by Howard Shore, known for his compositions in Lord of the Rings, complements the narrative most effectively. The music reflects the mood of the characters, the suspense of the situation, and the urgency of the moments, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

In conclusion, The Score is more than your typical heist film. It thrives on its careful character development, detailed and intricate plot, and thoughtful cinematography. It uses the seasoned artistry and charisma brought in by De Niro, Norton, and Brando to create a tense yet engaging story that keeps the audience on the edge till the very end. This thematically rich, versatile film under the smooth direction of Frank Oz is well worth the watch for all those who appreciate cinema that combines the thrill of crime with profound narratives.

The Score is a Action, Crime, Thriller, Mystery movie released in 2001. It has a runtime of 124 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 71.

How to Watch The Score

Where can I stream The Score movie online? The Score is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, MGM+, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, EPIX NOW. Some platforms allow you to rent The Score for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.8/10
71/100
Director
Frank Oz
Stars
Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett
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