Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3 1/2

Chameleon-like thieves cleverly disguise themselves and orchestrate elaborate scenarios to perform daring gold robberies in this intense action film. Led by aging Joe Moore (Gene Hackman), the team includes Joe's young beautiful wife, Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon), his partner Bobby (Delroy Lindo) and Pinky (Ricky Jay). Danny DeVito plays Bergman, their ruthless fence. Joe and Fran are planning to retire on their luxury sailboat with the proceeds of their last jewelry theft, but Bergman withholds Joe's cut until Joe intercepts a Swiss cargo of gold coming into the country. Unfortunately, Bergman also insists that his nephew Jimmy (Sam Rockwell), whose obvious attraction to Fran creates even more tension, join the band of thieves. Written and directed by David Mamet, HEIST's sharp, witty dialogue, intricate plot details and puzzling conflicts require rapt audience attention. However, ruthless greed and too many unbelievable situations may disturb those tired of glamorized lawlessness.

Somehow viewers are expected to sympathize with Joe and his team who are extremely loyal to each other, but very willing to maim and kill outsiders. While most killings actually occur off-camera, vicious beatings, intense gun battles, kicks to groin, stomach and back actions leading up to them are difficult to watch. A prolonged closeup of one gunshot victim's bloody head wounds is particularly gory. The thieves inflict massive property destruction with explosives and crowbars while breaking into safes, buildings and airplanes. Filthy dialogue includes 62 f-words. Perhaps Fran's betrayal of her husband saves his life, or maybe her motive is lust and greed, but either way, a life of crime is glamorized. Sex is implied once when Jimmy rips Fran's dress off. But no explicit nudity is shown since her back is to the camera. HEIST's use of violence to entertain, filthy language, and glamorization of crime earn it a failing grade from Preview.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Crude Language: Many (16) times Mild 8, moderate 8
Obscene Language: Many (77) times - F-word 62, s-word 8, other 7
Profanity: Few (4) times Regular 2 (C-sake, C 1); Exclamatory 2
Violence: Many times Moderate and Severe (vicious beatings and kickings, gun battles, numerous explosions and property damage; off-camera killings; bloody head wounds)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied once (man rips dress off woman, no explicit nudity)
Nudity: Near Nudity Once (woman unclothed back to camera)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (references to adulterous affair/ woman's sex appeal)
Drug Abuse: Few times (coffee drugged, plane crew drugged; cigarette smoking)
Other: Life of crime glamorized; sympathy for aging thief; thief's loyalty costs his life
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)