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Dir: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Isaiah Washington, Michael Jeter

There's something of Joel and Ethan Coen about this film, not just because it's another pair of brothers directing. Fargo would be the most obvious comparison, not just because of William H. Macy's presence. No, it's the theme and style that are similar: crime, done very badly, by a set of characters whose ambitions exceed their skills. Yet this actually remakes a 1960 film, Big Deal on Madonna Street - presumably the Italian original was full of gritty neo-realist social commentary. Not much is left here, save the location in Cleveland's poorest suburb, where a group of bums stumble across the secret which could lead to a fortune.

Of course, things go about as wrong as humanly possible, at times degenerating into farce, people losing their trousers, falling in through windows, etc. Rockwell plays a failed Slavic boxer, charged with seducing the maid in the flat next door to their target, a subplot which slows down proceedings unnecessarily. What we really want to see is the heist blowing up in everyone's faces, inevitably the result when you pay $500 for lessons from a wheelchair-bound safe-cracker (George Clooney). Macy lends an air of dignified pathos to events as usual, but while he, like most of the characters, is engaging, his development seems to have been at the expense of the story.


The hole truth
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