American Heist [MOVIE REVIEW #TIFF14]

film, Toronto Adventures

Friends of mine get a block of tickets for TIFF every year and are just awesome enough to take the bf and I to a screening or two. On Saturday we attended a screening American Heist at the Scotiabank Theatre. I don’t usually write film reviews, but I feel inclined to rate this film. I always thought that films at TIFF have to be amazing; with the best of the best stories, plots, writing, and acting. Apparently I was wrong.


American Heist is the combination of every gangster/bank-robbing film you have ever seen. Every cliche can be found in this film, along with a terrible script and sub-par acting. The film begins with Frankie (Adrien Brody) getting out of jail after completing a 10-year-stint. He dances his way out of the prison wearing a leather jacket that covers up his tattoo of Frank Sinatra, and a yellow-gold chain around his neck. His moves are as awkward as the two thugs waiting to pick him up (one being Akon). After a night celebrating his freedom in a strip club filled with cocaine, he’s brought to a warehouse and is slapped around by another thug (Tory Kittles).

Earlier on we meet Frankie’s brother Jimmy/James (Hayden hottie Christensen), a mechanic trying to get loans from the bank to open up his own shop and turn his life around. Jimmy got into trouble because of Frankie, went to jail for a bit, and completely cut ties with his brother. Frankie and the thugs he works for need Jimmy to help them rob a bank, since he can make bombs and drive like no one else. Basically it’s these thugs against the banks, trying to take back America or whatever. Some twist of fate (a broken car) brings Jimmy’s ex-girlfriend into the mix, who just happens to be a police dispatcher. Emily is played by Jordana Brewster, and even though she is a decent actress, the cheesiness of her lines takes away all of the character’s credibility. 

The story is a good idea but not executed well. The poor acting and cheesy lines screw up any chance of the movie making sense or holding onto the viewer’s attention. The word “bro” is significantly over-used and highly distracting. On top of that Frankie and Jimmy have the same conversation at least three times, there are tonnes of unanswered questions, and I think there must’ve been some budget issues or editing issues because there are a fews scenes that don’t make sense.

What’s my rating?


What was the best film you saw at TIFF?

Talk soon,


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