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king of thieves

DIRECTOR: james marsh (the theory of everything, the mercy, shadowdancer)
STARRING: michael caine, jim broadbent, ray winstone, and charlie cox


REVIEWER: lyall carter


A crew of retired crooks pulls off a major heist in London's jewellery district, but what begins as a nostalgic last hurrah for the group quickly becomes a brutal nightmare when greed overtakes them.

When you have the calibre of cast that King of Thieves does: Caine, Broadbent, Winstone, Courtenay, Gambon, Whitehouse, and Cox you would expect an absolutely outstanding film. While its entertaining and the aforementioned cast is wonderful you can't escape the feeling that King of Thieves needs a little bit of a tidy up.


At a funeral reception Brian Reader (Caine) hatches a plan with a rag tag bunch of elderly crooks to take down the infamous Hatton Road Safe deposit in London over the Easter weekend. What follows is a mad capper of thieving, paranoia, and double crossing.

Often the pacing of the story (it can be too slow or things unfold too quickly) or the tone (it can be a laugh out loud comedy then suddenly go really dark) in a film can be a little off. Usually you can brush over it but the change in tone in King of Thieves is quite jarring. 

At the beginning it feels like a buddy comedy one last burglary hurrah kinda film. Then it turns on a dime and becomes this dark, back stabbing dramatic beast. Which leaves you, as an audience member, a little bewildered and not quite sure what to make of it. 

What makes King of Thieves enjoyable is the cast which are all superb. Usually when it comes to an ensemble cast one of the members really shines. But in King of Thieves every player is perfect and when they get their screen time they more than shine. 

The tone of the film constantly changes which can be jarring, but the cast more than make up for it making King of Thieves an enjoyable ride.


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King of Thieves is available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 


Including a couple of deleted scenes there are only three special features including a short making of featurette, an interview with Michael Caine, and a short doco Bringing the Ensemble Together


The featurette is interesting and explores the true story that King of Thieves is based on, how it was developed into a film, and the actors involved. But Bringing the Ensemble Together doesn't really explore anything new and basically uses footage from the featurette.

The interview with Michael Caine is interesting and as well as hearing about his experience on King of Thieves he also tells stories about his life as an actor. 

Overall not a lot to the features but the interview with Michael Caine is worth its weight in gold. 


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