Gene Hackman plays a thief coerced into one last score. I looked forward to this movie and wanted it to be great, but it was, alas, merely very good. Let me explain. "Heist" was written and directed by David Mamet, and Mamet is the film industry’s greatest living screenwriter. Mamet’s greatest strength is dialogue - intelligent, rapid-fire dialogue. "Heist," however, is a classic caper movie in the mold of Rififi and Topkapi, which means there are long stretches of action and tension with no dialogue. Mamet writing a caper movie is like having Picasso paint your house - it’ll still look good, but what a waste of talent. Having said that, let me say further that "Heist" is still a very good movie, and if you like Gene Hackman or twisty plots, you will certainly enjoy "Heist." But, if you’re expecting David Mamet at the top of his game, you’d better ratchet your hopes down a notch before you go.
[2009: Saw it again in December 2005. It's holding up well pretty well. I think I was spoiled by having "The Spanish Prisoner" and "State and Main" be my first Mamet pictures. Those two were fabulous.]