Movie Review: The Score (2001)

TheScoreby Brad Nelson   4/22/14
First off, here is your background music for this review. I find that movie reviews can, and should, be a fully immersive experience.

I’ve yet to make it all the way through Jeremy Iron and Robert De Niro in The Mission, a movie that Mr. Kung recommended to me. But it got me on a bit of a De Niro bender. So I happened upon this movie on Netflix, which is available for streaming: The Score. I had never heard of it. But how bad could it be? It stars Robert De Niro, Bananarama, Ed Norton (no….not that one), and Marlon Brando (all 400 pounds of him).

It’s a criminal caper. Brando’s the boss, De Niro is the safe cracker, and Ed Norton has the inside info on the safe they’re going to try to crack. Angela Bassett plays the understanding girlfriend-of-a-hood who is dying for De Niro to give up his unlawful ways so that they can spend more quality time together — preferably on some remote tropical island.

De Nero is somewhat of the same mind. But he’s talked into doing one more score — and it’s a big one. There’s a French scepter worth millions being temporarily (and secretly…or so the government thinks) stored in Montreal’s custom house. If De Niro can grab it, he and his girlfriend are set for life. This booty will also take care of Brando’s debts to some unsavory people he’s gotten in deep with.

This is a fairly plot-driven movie, as you’d expect, so there’s not much more I can say about it. The plot isn’t particular earth-shakingly original. But it rolls along well enough and is interesting. Norton is particularly good. He plays a retarded fellow working in that Montreal customs house. But he’s not actually mentally challenged. He pretends to be in order to not arouse suspicion amongst his fellow workers who are mostly security guards. His job is as a janitor, and he uses his harmless demeanor as a free pass to case the joint.

The movie moves along swell enough. This isn’t Shakepeare, but there are enough twists and turns to make it watchable. Brando plays a minor character but, still, we’re talking Brando and De Niro together again. That’s no small thing (nor is Brando). And they are fun to watch. This is definitely a good popcorn film. And if you are a fellow De Niro fan, you might enjoy seeing him somewhat reprise his role as Harry Tuttle in 1985’s Brazil. • (1450 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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3 Responses to Movie Review: The Score (2001)

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I saw Brazil, which has alternate versions depending on where they end it (as is also true with the great mercenary adventure movie, The Wild Geese, the movie paean to Moise Tshombe). So is this set in that same nightmare world, or do we just have that same character (who actually played a relatively minor role in Brazil)? In any case, I might have to keep it in mind sometime if they have it on AMC or some other such channel (TCM probably would consider it too recent).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It’s probably just an accident. But I think you’ll find that this image of Harry Tuttle in Brazil bears a striking resemblance to Nick Wells in The Score.

      By the way, I had incorrectly said that De Niro played Harry Buttle in Brazil (now fixed). If you’re familiar with that film — and it seems you are — you’ll appreciate my mixing this up with Tuttle. It was Harry Tuttle whom De Niro played in Brazil.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, I remember that confusing Tuttle and Buttle (due to an inconveniently timed fly) was the starting-point of Brazil, but I can’t remember which was which. I assume De Niro was the actual target, not the accidental victim.

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