Main Plot Points:
- When a pair of low-level criminals kidnap the wife of a corrupt real-estate developer, they get both more and less than they bargained for in Life of Crime, a dark caper comedy based on legendary author Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch.
Mickey Dawson (Jennifer Aniston), the wife of crooked real-estate developer Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), is kidnapped by two common criminals (yasiin bey and John Hawkes), who intend to hold her for a $1 million ransom and extort her husband with inside information about his illegal business dealings.
- But Frank, who is holed up in the Bahamas with his mistress, decides he’d rather not get his wife back, setting off a sequence of double-crosses and plot twists that could only come from the mind of master storyteller Elmore Leonard.
What We Thought:
- Life of Crime is a smart, funny, little crime caper. It has a great cast, but I saw this simply because it’s based on an Elmore Leonard book.
- The film has a nice balance of being campy, cool and entertaining. Based in 1970s Detroit, it has a great throwback feel, but you don’t need to know too much about the 70s to follow along.
- Plus the cast is great. I prefer Jennifer Aniston in films that have an ensemble cast. I think she’s better with others around her. She can be lead actress material at times (I do like The Break Up), but her best work is with bigger casts. Same can be said for Tim Robbins, I love him in ensemble films.
- Although to me it’s the criminals that make the movie. yasiin bey (formerly Mos Def) is one of the few musicians turned actors who can actually act. I like him in roles like this that give him some comedic elements along with drama. John Hawkes is usual great self. He’s always good and still majorly underrated. But if one person steals the film (see what I did there?) it’s Mark Boone Junior. As a Nazi themed gun salesman and co-conspirator, Boone has some really funny scenes with bey & Hawkes and with Aniston. I laughed almost every time he was on the screen.
- Isla Fisher and Will Forte are also quite good. Fisher plays a mistress and tries to help Robbins deal with the issue. Forte is becoming one of my favorite actors around. With Nebraska and even a supporting role like this, he handles drama and comedy flawlessly. He has a really funny scene with Mark Boone Junior as well.
- Life of Crime won’t be a huge box office success and is only getting a limited release. It’s a shame because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s funny and dark. It’s smart and witty. It’s well acted and looks cool. I want to watch it again to see what I might have missed.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Jennifer Aniston
- John Hawkes
- Tim Robbins
- Isla Fisher
- Will Forte
- yasiin bey (formerly Mos Def)
- Mark Boone Junior
Recommended if You Like:
- Out of Sight
- Suicide Kings
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