[Screen It]


(2001) (Robert De Niro, Edward Norton) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Minor Extreme Moderate Moderate
Moderate None Heavy None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor None Mild Moderate

Drama: A professional safecracker takes one last job with a young but determined partner as they try to steal a priceless, seventeenth century scepter from a high security installation.
Nick Wells (ROBERT DE NIRO) is a professional safecracker who's set to retire from a life of crime so that he can settle down in Montreal with his flight attendant girlfriend, Diane (ANGELA BASSETT). Yet, his longtime friend and fence, Max (MARLON BRANDO), has come up with a potentially lucrative job that's too big to pass up.

It seems that a priceless 17th century scepter has been impounded at the local customs office and a criminal there, Jackie Teller (EDWARD NORTON), who's been posing as a part-time janitor with cerebral palsy, has been casing the joint, figuring out how to steal the piece.

All he needs is someone to crack the safe where it's being held and that's why he needs Nick, who reluctantly agrees to take the job. From the point on, the two men must not only figure out exactly how to penetrate the building's high security measures, but also how to deal with various complications that arise as they try to pull off the heist without getting caught.

If they're fans of someone in the cast or movies featuring proficient criminals, they just might, although this one seems most likely interesting to older teens at best.
For language.
  • ROBERT DE NIRO plays a professional safecracker who decides to take one last big job before retiring and settling down with Diane. He uses strong profanity and drinks.
  • ANGELA BASSETT plays his flight attendant girlfriend who only agrees to settle down with him if he gives up his criminal behavior. She briefly uses strong profanity.
  • MARLON BRANDO plays Nick's longtime friend and fence who persuades him to take the job. He uses strong profanity.
  • EDWARD NORTON plays the young and cocky originator of the plan who feigns having cerebral palsy or something similar to fool his coworkers into complacency. He also uses strong profanity.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is listed as extreme due to at least 44 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. One line of dialogue is sexually explicit, while we briefly see a miscellaneous couple making out and fooling around on a sofa.

    The major characters (and many minor ones) are all criminals involved, one way or another, in attempting to steal a priceless scepter from a customs house. Their attempts at doing so lead to some suspenseful scenes (where the viewer is likely to worry that they'll be caught in the act), as well as some violence (a brief fight, and some threatening behavior involving the use of handguns). Some kids may want to try imitating the safecracking that occurs here, while others might act like another who pretends to have cerebral palsy (or something similar) to fool others. Finally, various characters drink in several scenes.

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in it.

  • People have drinks at a party. A woman from that party then comes into a room and lights up a joint that she briefly smokes.
  • Nick orders a Scotch on the rocks in his club and then he and Max have drinks.
  • Nick and Diane have wine.
  • People have drinks in a jazz club, including Nick.
  • Nick has a drink and Max then pours himself one.
  • Nick has champagne waiting for Diane and himself.
  • A beer keg falls off a truck and fractures, sending beer spraying everywhere.
  • Nick and Jackie have drinks in a club, as do others.
  • Max has a bottle of champagne next to him.
  • Jackie has a little blood from his nose after one of Nick's thugs briefly attacks him.
  • Nick is a professional safecracker who breaks into safes to steal valuable loot inside them.
  • Max is his fence who sells those stolen goods and sets him up with another job.
  • Jackie is a young thief who's been casing out the customs house so that he and others can steal a priceless antique scepter. He also poses as having cerebral palsy or something similar to fool his coworkers into complacency about his true motives.
  • Another of Nick's friends is a computer hacker who steals code (and lives at home with his mother whom he calls a "bitch" in one scene - but not to her face), and he comes across an employee who agrees to sell access code numbers for his own profit.
  • A criminal turns on another and threatens to shoot him (but doesn't).
  • Some viewers may find the various scenes where Nick and/or Jackie are nearly caught by others (that occur more often toward the end as the criminals race to complete their task), along with scenes listed under "Violence" as somewhat suspenseful.
  • During a criminal transaction, a man pulls a gun and holds it on Jackie, who then defuses the situation by showing that he has a gun as well. In the end, no one is harmed.
  • Handguns: Worn and/or used to threaten others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Bat: Used by a thug to attack Jackie (who in turn, uses it back on that man).
  • Virtual gun: Seen in a role-playing video game played by one of Nick's associates.
  • Automatic weapons: Carried by police as they rush into a building.
  • Phrases: "Have you lost your f*cking mind?" "Who the f*ck is this kid?" "What the f*ck /do you know/is that?" "Don't be so f*cking creative," "Get the f*ck out of my house," "We got f*cked by bugs" (nonsexual), "I am f*cked up," "F*ck you," "I hope you're not f*cking me up," "We're f*cked," "Don't f*cking argue with me," "You look like sh*t," "Sh*t happens," "I don't give a sh*t," "When you guys get your sh*t together, give me a call," "Low level sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Scared the sh*t out of me," "You don't know sh*t," "Dumb pr*ck," "Ass pinchers," "Retard," "Jerk off" (nonsexual), "Nut" (crazy person), "Numb nuts" (for a person), "Freaking out," "Pissed," "Why don't you kiss my ass?" "What the hell /is this/are you doing down here?" "Pissing in our own pool," "Shut up" and "Bitch."
  • It's possible some kids could be enticed to try their hand at cracking safes.
  • Jackie poses as having cerebral palsy or something similar to fool his coworkers into complacency about his true motives.
  • Max gives Nick "the finger" in somewhat of a friendly fashion.
  • None.
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • At least 44 "f" words (1 used sexually), 15 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "pr*ck"), 7 asses (4 used with "hole" and 1 of those is also seen on a computer screen), 5 hells, 6 uses of "Jesus," 4 of "Jesus Christ," and 1 use each of "Christ Almighty," "For Christ's sakes," "God," "My God," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh my God."
  • A man and woman sneak away into a room where they make out (standing) before he climbs on top of her on a sofa. We then see him moving between her legs (both are clothed, but her small dress shows both cleavage and a great deal of her thigh that's up alongside the man's body) as they make out some more, but he stops and leaves when she's determined to smoke a joint.
  • After Nick asks Diane how he knows she's okay, she replies, "I suppose I could f*ck you," causing Nick to state, "That would work." The two then kiss, but we don't know if anything else happens right then.
  • A jazz singer shows some cleavage.
  • Jackie tells some men to relax and have a smoke. They state that they don't smoke and Jackie replies that he doesn't either.
  • None.
  • Making a living as a criminal and then trying to give that up.
  • Nick grabs a woman who discovers him breaking into a safe and puts his hand over her mouth, telling her not to turn around.
  • One of Nick's thugs pushes Jackie back into his fridge, bashes his head down onto a counter/table and then hits him with a bat. After the thug threatens him with future violence, Jackie hits the man in the throat, grabs the bat and hits him several times, sending him to the floor.
  • During a criminal transaction, a man pulls a gun and holds it on Jackie, who defuses the situation by showing that he has a gun as well. In the end, no one is harmed.
  • Jackie grabs a man who's walked in on him, pushes him against a fence and holds a gun on him, threatening to harm him if he makes any noise.
  • Nick uses a depth charge of sorts to blow open a safe from the inside.
  • Jackie aims a gun at another man and then fires two warning shots near him to make him comply with his demands.

  • Reviewed July 10, 2001 / Posted July 13, 2001

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