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1,326 Ratings


Directed by Michael Mann
United States, 1981
Action, Drama, Crime


Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

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Thief Directed by Michael Mann
The thrill doesn’t come from narrative tension; it instead comes from what Mann is able to do with light, sound, and texture — the way he composes them all in a breathtaking dance… The vault heist is a riot of sensation and style — an elongated stretch of heightened reality that approaches pure abstraction until the moment the door finally gives way — but the sequence is rooted in deep research and a sedulous approach to realism.
February 05, 2016
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It’s understandable that “Thief” may have seemed like a promising début in 1981; it would have seemed like a promising début in 1971, 1961, or 1951. Its main virtue is a strong infusion of bracingly practical, hard-nosed details of the criminal life… Mann came onto the scene at a time when many of the icons of the nineteen-seventies were flaming out after hubristic feats, and others were being overshadowed by a new generation of kiddie-pop filmmakers led by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
February 05, 2016
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One of the most soulful heist movies ever made and containing rarely-better work from James Caan, Tuesday Weld and a white-hot Tangerine Dream score. Real thieves served as technical advisers, so you can be confident that every drill bit and saw is authentic, which would mean little if not for the passion the young Mann is already able to convey in even throwaway shots and quiet scenes like the celebrated Caan-Weld coffeeshop talk.
February 04, 2016
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