Thief (1981) - 8,5
Very convincing depiction of a crucial moment in the life of a professional thief and organised crime in general. Very intelligent and well polished film, full of socio-cultural and psichological nuances that give it more depth than the apparently trivial plot might suggest. Beautiful neo-noir visuals, great camera work, the soundtrack consists of electronic music created by Tangerine Dream group enhancing the singular identity of this work from Michael Mann. Thief has a sober and very consistent style, a very solid linear progression, there's an apparent mindfullness for the little details and quirks of the major criminal acts (particularly Safe-cracking), I appreciated this aspect and I think it enriches Thief with educational value (not that this should be seen as an incentive to pratice the crimes here depicted, it's just an observation that aids the cinematic quality of this film in my opinion), but, for other viewers, this aspect could be boring and in turn the movie could come across as a bit empty or shallow... not the way I see it. The acting in general is very competent, I think James Cann did an excellent job playing the main character even if at times it didn't feel as natural as it could, but Jessie (played by Tuesday Weld) came across as an overly superficial person, the tears failed to appear in one crucial moment of the film, a bit more depth and accomplishment in her role would really help. Obviously wouldn't expect a woman who accepts an openly assumed criminal and rude man as an husband to be a particularly deep or smart person, but I feel that here was an opportunity to study the psyche of such kind of person more in depth which would contribute even more to the merits of this film and it would be congruent with it's cerebral nature anyway. The acting is pretty much my only qualm (besides some other minor details of no importance) but I feel that the overall quality of this movie is good enough that it transcends it's limitations, so I say without hesitation that I consider Thief to be a classic Crime Film, it's almost perfect, a model or archetype that is worth to be taken as a reference work (now I see where Drive (2011) from Nicolas Winding Refn got some of it's substance). I liked it very much and highly recommend it! Great stuff from Michael Mann! I might revise the rating.
Edited by kkl10 - 3/26/14 at 3:54pm