Review: In ‘Den of Thieves,’ Gerard Butler Trails a Former Marine


Gerard Butler as Big Nick, a cop obsessed with a a former Marine planning a heist.

STX Entertainment

“Den of Thieves” opens with unfootnoted statistics about Los Angeles, “the bank robbery capital of the world,” where such heists apparently occur every 48 minutes. That’s about the rate at which this surprisingly long, wildly ambitious, thoroughly ludicrous crime thriller delivers its own big scores.

Itself a plundering of “The Driver,” the original “Point Break” and “Heat,” the movie is less concerned with the mechanics of police work than with the mind meld that forms between an obsessed cop, Big Nick (Gerard Butler), and his target, Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), who leads a group of Marines turned bank robbers planning to crack a branch of the Federal Reserve.


Den Of Thieves

A Los Angeles crime saga in the vein of “Heat”, DEN OF THIEVES follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a se

By STX ENTERTAINMENT on Publish Date January 18, 2018.

Image courtesy of Internet Video Archive.

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To catch them, Nick recruits a mole, Donnie (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) — a bartender who moonlights as a getaway driver — then inexplicably blows his own cover. Is there a reason, other than the writer and director Christian Gudegast’s desire for a stylish confrontation, for Nick to turn up when Merrimen is at the shooting range? In the funniest, most gratuitous tangent, a member of Merrimen’s crew played by Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent, has the others intimidate his daughter’s prom date.

With almost compulsive detail, “Den of Thieves” rattles off title cards identifying places and major characters, some of whose names sound like Los Angeles suburbs. The would-be regional authenticity is marred by obviously off-location work. It’s no surprise when the ubiquitous Georgia peach logo surfaces in the credits.

Still, the film is generous with action and twists, even if some don’t track. For January, a month Hollywood reserves for dogs, this is an admirably weird movie.

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