Parents' Guide to

King of Thieves

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Good cast, so-so story, swearing in fact-based caper movie.

Movie R 2019 108 minutes
King of Thieves Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 12+

Somewhat Entertaining

Normally I write pretty long reviews, but I'll keep it short for this one. There's no violence, sex or anything, just a whole lot of swearing. Frequent uses of c--t and f--k, but your kid hears this everyday at school anyway. The film itself isnt great but it is still entertainment so, you decide.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 16+

The King Of Thieves - Kings of the Mundane

Egad look what just broke into our screens! A gang of over the hill jewel thieves plan and execute one of Britain’s biggest ever heists. This gang of misfit nasty ole robbers all seem to have been hauled out of their comfortable retirement homes, kicking and screaming, while constantly uttering an endless barrage of foul expletives - each trying to needlessly out swear the other. The only audiences likely to make it through this caper will be those hauled out of their graves, propped up in their seats with match sticks placed under their eyelids... much like this rusty ole gang. While supposedly based on fact, its mostly presented as a comedy caper (the scriptwriter even foolishly makes a reference to the classic ‘Lavender Hill Mob”) but then throws up sharp, jarring moments of hateful double crosses, tipping this take of events off balance. One or two moments work but not nearly enough to keep us engaged till the somewhat cop out finale. This looks like someone put the plots of multiple other heist movies on a table and invited a group of daft executive producers to pick the scenes they wanted to finance. Perhaps only the performers got to laugh all the way to the bank (or did they?)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (2):

Based on a true story, this movie about "old codger" criminals feels a little dry/routine, but the great cast still strikes enough sparks to make it worth a look. Director James Marsh previously made a similar heist-style movie, the electrifying documentary Man on Wire, but he totally fails to re-capture that energy in King of Thieves. Man on Wire reveled in the details of its feat of derring-do; King of Thieves tries to do the same, but somehow silencing alarms and drilling holes just aren't very interesting. (Perhaps it's because this kind of movie is so familiar now?)

Moreover, aside from Caine's ringleader, the other characters are largely unappealing. They're duplicitous in such a way that viewers might feel as betrayed as the characters on-screen. Even so, it's still somewhat enjoyable watching actors like Broadbent and Winstone at their most volatile, switching gears quickly and about-facing from likable to unlikable. Meanwhile, Courtenay and Cox play "softer" characters who reveal their vulnerabilities in interesting ways. In an interesting touch, old clips from movies that feature the actors as young men (Billy Liar, the original The Italian Job, etc.) are used for flashbacks, to interesting effect. Overall, if King of Thieves is just "OK," that's probably because of so many other, similar movies stacked up next to it. Taken by itself, it's not bad and will probably appeal to fans of the stars.

Movie Details

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