Den of Thieves (2018)

Director: Christian Gudegast

Writer: Christian Gudegast (Screenplay) Christian Gudegast, Paul Scheuring (Story)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr, 50 Cent, Meadow Williams, Maurice Compte, Brian Van Holt


Plot: A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank.


Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Gritty Heist Movie


Story: Den of Thieves starts as we see how Merrimen (Schreiber) operates with his team, second in command Enson (50 Cent) and new comer driver Donnie Wilson (Jackson Jr) as they pull off their latest job, investigating this is major crimes officer Big Nick O’Brien (Butler) and his team, they don’t take prisoners, they take bodies.

After the opening heist the two sides know their enemy and Nick brings Donnie in to bring in to learn the plan, while Merrimen is planning the biggest heist ever heard off, the Federal Reserve Bank, will they manage to pull this off.


Thoughts on Den of Thieves


Characters – Big Nick is the leader of a major crime unit that is suffering with his own addiction, he goes outside the law to get answers and never plays by the rules, he is a good leader and seems to be the only cop in town that can think outside the box. Ray Merrimen is the leader of the heist team, former marine and prisoner that plans his heist down to perfection with his team, he will not go down without swinging. Donnie is the newest member of the team, hired for his driving skills, that he gets forced to work both sides by Big Nick or face jail for a third time.

PerformancesGerard Butler is on fine form here, this could easily be his best performance in years, yes this isn’t anything he can’t handle, but still he knows how to handle it. Pablo Schreiber is an actor I hadn’t heard off before, he does a good job opposite Butler, but his performance does feel like he needs to be a strong member of a team over the leader. O’Shea Jackson Jr is good in his role showing that he is going to be a name for years to come.

StoryThe story follows both sides of the law, the team preparing the heist and the police trying to figure out what the next target is. This work because we get to see both mindsets, but as both sides of the law are being painted as bad guy it makes it hard to support either side of them and this is affected with the opening sequence too. The twists that come in the story are going to be something that are not going to be too difficult to point out. This does however become an entertaining viewing experience.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action sequences are very good, even if they are mostly big gun battles in the busy streets. The crime side of the film is how the heist unfolds which does help with the mystery side of the film as we see how it all unfolds.

SettingsLA is the setting, which is meant to have the highest bank robbery rating in the country, this works for the busy streets and divide between the sides of the city.

Special EffectsThe effects are very good when it comes to showing off the bullet effects which are brutal as you could imagine.

Scene of the Movie –
The final heist, it might be long, but it is edge of you seat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening sequence ruins us caring about the thieves.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good gritty heist movie, it rolls past with an over two hour run time and keeps us guessing until the final scene.


Overall: Great action crime movie.




The Experiment (2010)

Director: Paul Scheuring

Writer: Paul Scheuring

Starring: Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Cam Gigandet, Clifton Collins Jr, Ethan Cohn, Fisher Stevens, Travis Fimmel, Maggie Grace


Story 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study, they have fourteen days to play out the scenario.


Travis (Brody) recently released from his job is one of these candidates. Travis meets a new girl in Bay (Grace) before he starts and uses her memory to keep him sane as one of the prisoners. One man Travis befriends is Benjy (Cohn) a graphic novelist is one of his cellmates’ who struggles to make it without his insulin.


On the guards side we have Barris (Whitaker) who starts of on the nervous side but soon starts leading the guards. Chase (Gigandet) takes things to a new level but some of the other guards think things go to far. When violence is banned can the guys make it through the time following the rules.


There are five simple rules to follow:

1.      The prisoners must clean their plates.

2.      The prisoners will only speak when spoken too.

3.      The prisoners will have three meals a day

4.      The prisoners will have 30mintues rec time.

5.      Nothing from the outside world will be bought in


Verdict This psychological thriller is one that you will want to watch to see what will happen at the end and find out what the point in the experiment is. Based on a true story of an experiment previous conducted it shows the levels man can be pushed too. With two Oscar winners in Whitaker and Brody you would be expect a top movie unfortunately you don’t get one. Yes it is thrilling but what happens in the prison isn’t original. The ending has its nice touches seeing how full of regret for their action the men are.

Story Mark 7/10 Good idea but I think it would take a bit longer for the men to crack

Action Mark 7/10 Mostly of tension build to once last action chase and brawl nothing to special though.

Star Performances Forest Whitaker does well transforming his character as the movie unfolds

Favourite Character Benjy he makes it feel like an adventure but his innocence is soon destroyed

Best Part The idea of the movie is best part

Worst Part The outcome of the movie idea used badly  

My Rating 62%