Henry's Crime



Aside from language, so-so caper comedy is fine for teens.
  • Review Date: April 5, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite the negative message that it's acceptable payback for Henry to rob a bank because he was wrongly convicted of an earlier crime, there are positive ideas expressed as well. Henry learns that it's critical for people to have dreams, feel passionately about life, and build intimate relationships based on love and respect.

Positive role models

Initially, the main character has no ambition or passion and basically just "goes along for life's ride." But over the course of the film, he learns the value of having dreams and taking risks. The female lead is strong, driven, and seems confident. Because of her relationship with Henry, she realizes that warmth and softness are important qualities as well. All of that said, no one seems to experience any remorse for his or her misbehavior.


In comic frustration, a female character repeatedly hits and pounds a male character while sitting next to him in a car. An elderly man is held at gunpoint, but he takes the gunman by surprise and drives him to the ground using his bare hands. A shot is fired, and there's some blood, but no one is seriously injured.


Several intimate scenes include kissing, laughing, and romping with both characters under the sheets, plus implied post-sexual cuddling. The woman is seen briefly in her bra; no other nudity.


Lots of swearing and obscenities throughout, including "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "hell," "goddamn," "d--k," "son of a bitch," "pissed off," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), and "FAG" written on a sign.


Molson's Blue beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Beer is consumed in moderation in a few scenes. A man shows up drunk for an important meeting. One female character smokes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that except for this caper comedy's frequent strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and more), there's nothing here that would demand an R rating. There are several love scenes, but they're handled with restraint -- there's no nudity and no actual activity other than kissing and embracing. The few action sequences are brief, generally mild fights (in one, a man wields a gun, and a shot is fired), and the substance use isn't at all over the top, either -- a woman smokes one cigarette, a couple of beers are consumed, and a character seems drunk in one scene and vomits in two others. That said, it's not all that likely to be a movie that's high on kids' radar anyway.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Henry (Keanu Reeves), an innocent but clueless man in the wrong place at the wrong time, takes the fall for some would-be friends and goes to prison for bank robbery. When he gets out, his wife has left him for one of the criminals he protected, and Henry has no idea what he wants from life. But then he remembers the words of his prison cellmate/mentor, Max (James Caan) -- "You did the time, you may as well have done the crime" -- and is inspired: He sets out to rob the very bank he was falsely accused of holding up earlier. A romantic encounter with a fiery actress (Vera Farmiga) finds Henry doubling as the leading actor in a production of Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, as well as the instigator of the bank job, with the recently paroled Max at his side.

Is it any good?


It almost works to combine a playful romantic heist film with a satiric look at a local theater company mounting a play by Chekov. The problem is that when you're dealing with an actor of Reeves' limited range and a director who hasn't quite found the art of pacing, building tension, or guiding the performers, it's a losing battle. Farmiga's vibrantly funny, multilayered character -- she lights up the screen whenever she drops in -- stands out  amidst the other players' over-the-top acting, particularly Peter Stormare and Fisher Stevens, who are buried in their own ham.

This movie is billed as a comedy, and there are a few very funny moments (provided solely by Farmiga and Caan). But there are also a number of unintentionally laughable story points (using a sledge hammer to destroy a dressing room wall while no one in the immediate vicinity hears anything was a favorite). HENRY'S CRIME is inoffensive and well-intentioned, but the execution falls well short of its potential.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why audiences root for the bank robbers in movies like this. Do you think the fact that Henry had already been to prison for a crime he didn't commit makes it more acceptable to want him to succeed?

  • The filmmakers accepted an R rating for this movie solely so they could have their characters swear. Do you agree with their decision? Why or why not? Would the movie be less effective without the strong language?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 8, 2011
DVD release date:August 23, 2011
Cast:James Caan, Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga
Director:Malcolm Venville
Studio:Company Films
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bykhan2705 June 17, 2011

Stay away from this disappointing movie.

1.5./5 Working the night shift as a toll collector on a lonely stretch of highway in Buffalo, New York, Henry (KEANU REEVES) is a man seemingly without ambition, dreams or purpose; a man sleepwalking his way through life. He gets his wakeup call early one morning when he becomes an unwitting participant in an ill-conceived bank heist. Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, Henry takes the fall and goes to jail. There, he meets the irrepressible Max (JAMES CAAN), a con man who's grown far too comfortable with the familiarity and security of his 'idyllic' life behind bars, but one who also helps plant an idea in Henry's mind which will change his life forever: for a man to find his purpose, he must first have a dream. Upon his release one year later, Henry finds his purpose. Having done the time, he decides he may as well do the crime. Discovering a long forgotten bootlegger's tunnel which runs from the very same bank to a theater across the alleyway, he convinces the reluctant Max to file for his long overdue parole -- and then recruits his former cellmate to help stage a robbery. Their plan is simple: by infiltrating the theater and its current production of Chekhov's, The Cherry Orchard, the unlikely duo will buy just enough time to dig their way to the adjacent bank vault and drive off with their loot. Unfortunately that plan also includes Henry taking the lead role in the play, where he finds himself slowly falling for the production's mercurial leading lady, Julie (VERA FARMIGA). By turns wry, off-beat, and simply hilarious, HENRY'S CRIME is the heartwarming story of a man who finds his purpose in life. And then finds his destiny. so this is basically a movie about a lost guy from nowhere in a nowhere place going nowhere knowing nothing really and ends up in the rest place. i would use a word one of my dear flixster friend uses for a bad movie, it was a BUMMER, lolx. not entirely but mostly. directed by Malcolm Venville, a newcomer who also made movie 44 inch chest that i know nothing about. i won't say much about it actually but just that it has some quirky scenes. it is a bizarre heist comedy with romance in it but everything is low in it. low heist, low comedy, low drama or actually no drama, but more tiredness and bizarreness. and has a stage play going on as well. i would say this movie was well intentioned but ends up offering nothing much. Keanu Reeves, nice to see him in a character like this, a guy who is lost in his life which is literally nothing he don't know what is going on or he wants. he ends up in a jail for a crime that he didn't commited, he meets James Caan there and becomes friends but after coming outs of jail he decide to actually do that crime while taking the help of Vera Farmiga, using her as accessory but she knows about it, she is a stage actress. i must say i loved the frustrating character of Vera Farmiga, she is a delight to watch. she performs really well, a girl who has dreams to go to hollywood after completing her play in this small town. Peter Stormare is the director of the play and boy his character was annoying. james Caan was good too and a bit nice performance by Keanu, though nothing impressive. i would say guys skip it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much swearing


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