January 18, 2017: Den of Thieves, Movie Review (Heist Movie Supreme!)

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A Brief History

On January 18, 2017, we are one day away from the national release of the new heist movie, Den of Thieves, starring Gerard Butler as the unconventional detective matching wits with the diabolically sophisticated gang of thieves out to pull off the heist of the century.

Digging Deeper

In the finest tradition of classic heist films such as The Italian Job, Ocean’s 11, Heat, Heist, The Score, Inside Man and Tower Heist, Den of Thieves earns a place amongst all these great heist movies with all the main ingredients: twists and turns, characters dripping with personality, plenty of action, betrayal, sex and relationships, and exciting fast paced action.  The obligatory friction between police agencies is there, as are the laughs thrown in here and there.  Incredibly, the 140 minute playing time seemed like half those minutes!  Our attention and the attention of the audience was riveted to the screen and after the movie this movie fan was stunned to find out how long the film really was.

Butler is well cast as the semi-corrupt LA Sheriff’s Department detective, the main character developed in the movie.  The anti-hero is played by Pablo Schreiber, a war veteran turned super-villain, a highly skilled and organized criminal master-mind.  The other main character is the guy forced in between these two powerhouse personalities, the driver/bar tender named Donnie (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.), a more sympathetic character than either of the 2 main antagonists.  A couple of cameo appearances by MMA fighters Max Holloway and Michael Bisping are a nice touch, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has a role.

50 Cent at the 2009 American Music Awards

Action sequences are highly entertaining, with bullet holes liberally appearing in cars and windshields as you would expect in real life.  The action is furious, and people get shot, some of whom die.  Thus, the tension felt throughout the movie seems quite real.  Audience reaction throughout the movie showed the audience was highly engaged in what was happening at the time.

If you are any sort of fan of heist type movies, Den of Thieves is a must see.  While we generally have liked just about all the movies we’ve seen the past year or 2, Den of Thieves is probably the one movie we have liked best in many months.  If you have not seen the heist films listed above, you will find this movie refreshingly different and exciting.  If you have seen those movies and are a fan of the heist movie genre, you will find Den of Thieves to rank right up there with the best of those films.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see the film’s official website.

You can watch a video version of this review at:

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.