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THE ITALIAN JOB

An intricate gold heist in Venice goes off swimmingly until a member of the criminal crew turns greedy and homicidal. A survivor of the betrayal later seeks revenge in Los Angeles.

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton,
Seth Green, Jason Statham, Donald Sutherland, Christina Cabot, Mos Def, Franky G.

DIRECTOR: Directed by F. Gary Gray


"If this sleek, ticking remake of the 1969 film starring Michael Caine and Noël Coward follows the conventions of the genre without major deviations, it still puts together the familiar elements with an impressive skill and considerable wit. With its impeccable timing, steady kinetic drive and superbly choreographed chase sequences through the canals of Venice and the streets of Los Angeles, the movie, directed by F. Gary Gray, feels like a smooth, exciting whoosh down a ski slope…Charlie is Mr. Wahlberg's latest attempt to present himself as a contemporary James Cagney-like hybrid of action hero and leading man, and once again this pug-faced actor falls short...He simply lacks the charisma of a credible ringleader and displays little passion, even when riled." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Watching ‘The Italian Job’ in a theater makes you long for a fast-forward button -- to skip past 90 eyeball-glazing minutes of generic caper plotting and cut to the chase, as it were…‘The Italian Job’ is a very loose remake of a far superior 1969 British film…increasingly wooden Mark Wahlberg, who has Caine's old role, is no more successful here than he was following in Cary Grant's footsteps in the ‘Charade’ remake, ‘The Truth About Charlie’…Wahlberg has no chemistry at all with romantic interest Charlize Theron…Edward Norton, wearing a Sean Penn mustache and a bored expression throughout as the nominal villain, is also along for the caper -- and it's painfully obvious he was forced to make this film to fulfill a contractual obligation." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"It's a remake, of a tolerable but insignificant 1969 English caper comedy: Why bother?… The Italian Job’ is a pandering, debased, generic little nothing of a movie. And I'm still trying to figure out why I loved it so inordinately…One reason is that after ‘The Matrix Reloaded's’ ugly sets and long, shapeless chase scenes, it feels terrific to be back in a mini—in all senses. Directed by F. Gary Gray, this is a snazzy piece of filmmaking: fluid but wittily syncopated; stylish without appearing to expend undue effort…the whole cast appears unusually relaxed and inventive for such a formula picture…It's a sad commentary when a basically synthetic product like ‘The Italian Job’ feels more real than anything else in the multiplex." --David Edelstein, Slate

"When you go to see ‘The Italian Job,’ you are entering a substance-free zone. This movie has no ideas, no insights, no content and no real performances. That's why it's so cool. It's pretty much, to paraphrase Hemingway on the subject of a racehorse, nothing but run. It starts running, and it never stops running. The running is highly amusing, particularly when the runners are a trio of ultra-cute Mini Coopers driven by a trio of ultra-cute mini-humans: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Jason Statham. See the pretty little people in the pretty little cars go bumpa-bumpa-bumpa. That's it…Mark Wahlberg has the texture and density of a spritz of atomized water. Why is this boy a movie star? Beats me. Ever since he stopped playing marginal grifters and maniacs, he's all but disappeared, even though his roles get bigger and bigger. In his last film he stood in for Cary Grant, and in this one he's standing in for Michael Caine. The score: Grant 1, Caine 1, Wahlberg 0." --Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"There's never more than one level to the plotting at any moment, and the dialogue is used to fill far too much time. The heists themselves never generate much tension; they're more about showing off than creating suspense…Statham has a naturally rugged comic presence and Green knows how to put a spin on weak dialogue. Wahlberg is stuck mouthing heist-movie banalities to a determined-looking Theron. And even Norton can't rise above his cliched bad guy." --Marshall Fine, The Journal News

"An elaborate techno-heist thriller, ‘The Italian Job’ features some spectacular chase scenes, but for a change, the people doing the chasing are also worth watching. It’s rare in this Jerry Bruckheimer era of slam-bang pyrotechnics that an action picture offers up characterizations that are more than just vanity poses…Gray keeps the explicit violence to a minimum, and this, too, is a rarity in the genre these days…By far the most captivating crook is Seth Green’s Lyle, who turns the generic role of computer-nerd genius into a comic tour de force…It’s a real switch: Instead of enduring the character stuff until we return to the action, we wait for the chases to be over so that we can get back to the people." --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"The predictably mismatched cast of glamorous actors (boring blank Mark Wahlberg’s alleged mastermind; Ed Norton’s sullen second-in-command; Donald Suthlerland’s kindly, clearly doomed mentor; Charlize Theron’s improbably shapely safecracker; Guy Ritchie vet Jason Statham’s hostile, womanizing wheel-man; a half-deaf explosives expert played, appropriately, by Mos Def) is competent enough. But after a while, you start wondering when the stars will show up." --Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Press

"Gray's ‘Italian Job’ is a slicker, faster-paced, high-tech upgrade that lifts the sprightly spirit and the main action set piece from the original while developing its own twists and a new ending that, though a bit too pat and eager to please, is a vast improvement…If BMW, the maker of the Mini, needs more sales inspiration, there's the repeated sight of Theron gracefully maneuvering her mile-long legs in and out of one of the cars. It's either an optical illusion or the finest acting Theron has ever done." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"This new version has it all over the original. Writers Donna Powers and Wayne Powers imaginatively rework Troy Kennedy Martin's screenplay for the original film to create a fast and furious action-adventure…The film's big plus is that its director, F. Gary Gray, takes a relaxed, light touch with the proceedings while keeping it all moving briskly. The filmmakers allow the gang members to emerge as very likable, distinctive personalities, easy to root for…‘The Italian Job’ is clearly one of the summer's smarter, more sophisticated big-scale entertainments." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"Screenwriting couple Donna and Wayne Powers have managed to downgrade what was only a half-decent 1969 crime flick to begin with…‘The Italian Job’ works most effectively as a glamorous advertisement for the lavishly showcased BMW MINIs and Dell laptops, which conspire to thwart the spidery Los Angeles infrastructure." --Jan Stuart, Newsday

"Heist movies have become all the rage of late, and ‘The Italian Job’ is one of the best…The selling point here is the brio with which director F. Gary Gray approaches the story, and the adrenaline that keeps you gripping the seat while watching…Most fun to watch (because they're clearly having the most fun onscreen) are Seth Green as a computer nerd with an unlikely score to settle and Jason Statham as a getaway driver as obsessed with the ladies as he is with the gold." --Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun