‘Den of Thieves’ Review

Den-of-Thieves-2018-movie-posterDen of Thieves is a heist film co-written, directed and produced by Christian Gudegast. The film stars Gerard Butler, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Pablo Schreiber, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. The story follows an elite group of County Sheriff Deputies who look to stop a gang of thieves that plan to rob the Federal Reserve in Los Angeles. For the past few years January has been seen as a dumping ground for studios to drop their bad movies, but rarely audiences are treated to a gem! Christian Gudegast does a decent job directing this film. He gives most of the characters enough screen time and gives the audience hints of the characters’ backstory and home life to keep us intrigued. He does a great job at hiding the true culprit of the film until the end, while at the same time letting you know throughout the entire film. When a director drops little clues for the audience to pick up it’s great, because most of the time we don’t because we are unsure what clues we are supposed to be looking for. The cast of the film is great. Pablo Schreiber does well and is intimidating as Ray Merrimen. Schreiber truly shows his range as an actor as he is known for more comedic roles. Merriman is a no-nonsense marine veteran who’s become a master thief for unknown reasons. He is very skilled and very dangerous and will do anything to complete the mission. Gerard Butler shows a return to form in playing Detective Nick “Big Nick” O’Brien. He’s a shady LA sheriff who will do anything to stop Merrimen’s crew from completing their latest robbery. While his tactics are not always “legal” and somewhat corrupt he is never shown crossing the line and doing something illegal. Butler is also allowed to show off O’Brien’s softer side as we see he has a family and is struggling to balance his job and family life…. something that O’Brien knows he should be doing a better job at. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is the standout as Donnie. He is the youngest member and getaway driver of Merrimen’s crew. Jackson Jr. can really channel his youth in this role as his character appears to be in over his head and is just trying to make a few bucks. He keeps his head down and doesn’t ask too many questions. The film could have been helped by exploring more of Merrimen’s backstory which is hinted at a couple times by O’Brien’s team. There are also a few badly lit scenes in addition to some tiresome dialogue, but it’s not enough to take away the enjoyment of the film. I give Den of Thieves a Decent 8.5/10. It’s The Usual Suspects for this generation with an urban twist.

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