The Bank Job

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Bank Job Movie Poster Image
Caper movie mixes clichés, brutal violence.
  • R
  • 2008
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Thieves are affable and crafty; sex-seeking government officials and dirty cops are smug and corrupt; gangsters and pimps are brutal. One thief's very generous "civilian" wife forgives him.

Violence

Gangsters carry guns and beat and torture their opponents. Weapons include guns, knives, and a blow torch. Images include bloody gunshot wounds and a dead body post-torture by burning. Thugs threaten the hero by smashing cars at his workplace. A stereotypical militant postures aggressively throughout the film and menaces an associate's girlfriend, eventually shooting her in a grave in Trinidad (this scene is brutal; she dies off screen, but you hear the shot and see her decayed body dug up by authorities weeks later).

Sex

Several sex scenes. Two women and a man have sex -- nakedness is clear (bare backs and breasts). In a sex club, a dominatrix whips a man in his underwear; there are women in bras and panties, some showing breasts and nipples. Scene in a bank vault features kissing and pawing. Photo intended for blackmail shows blurry sexual situations. Strippers appear in a club clad in thongs and nipple pasties. Sexual slang includes talk about oral sex, genitals, "tits," "wankers," and "prick."

Language

Lots of swearing, particularly "f--k." Other language includes "s--t" (sometimes used with "-hole" and "dog-"), "ass," "c--t," and "bastard."

Consumerism

London banks shown include Lloyds and Barclays.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Gangsters and cops are involved in drug dealing and smuggling. Frequent cigarette smoking and drinking in pubs and other social situations. Conversation about ganja; several scenes show marijuana smoking. A gangster takes prescription pills for kidney stone pain.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this edgy heist thriller has several scenes that show or insinuate "kinky" sex (bondage, domination) being paid for by British government officials. There's also partial nudity (breasts) and a thematic focus on scandals involving pornography and prostitution. Violence includes the prolonged torture/murder of a sympathetic crook; you can also expect plenty of gun use and fighting. Drugs (both dealing and smuggling) are discussed frequently, and scenes show marijuana use, cigarette smoking, and drinking. Language includes lots of "f--k"s, plus other profanity and British slang ("wanker," etc.).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byazdesertdawg April 9, 2008
Adult Written by4Spice October 24, 2009

good movie 15 and up

great movie some violence and nudity mild sex 15 and over
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

Wow!

My dad took me to see this movie and wow is all i could think when i came out of the theater. Here is a lot of boobs showing and one sceen of a vagina. There... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

STUPID UNNEEDED SEX THROUGHOUT

I walked out of this movie. And I know I'm sounding really annoying, but there is so much nudity in this film. There's bondage, orgy's, strippers... Continue reading

What's the story?

You've always been looking for the big score, Martine Love (Saffron Burrows) tells Terry Leathers (Jason Statham), "the one that makes sense of everything." And so, in THE BANK JOB, Terry -- like many movie crooks before him -- is lured into a scheme (inspired by a real-life 1971 heist) to rob a London bank. With a crew comprised of both friends and specialists, he tunnels from a nearby shop into the bank's time-locked vault, where they find a trove of safety deposit boxes. It's only after finishing the job that Terry learns the heist was actually instigated by a spy tasked with retrieving one box's contents: pornographic photos of British politicians and aristocrats (including a royal princess). Now he has to outmaneuver government agents, gangsters, and both corrupt and good cops.

Is it any good?

Statham is surely charismatic, but the film is defined by its thinly drawn characters (the stereotypical militant, the hypocritical politicos) and by-the-numbers plot. Though Terry probably believes himself when he tells his wife that "All I want is to get out of the game," he's also plainly thrilled by challenge, the chance to beat the system one more time. But he's surprised by the ferocity of his adversaries, who have much more at stake than he does. These include not only the politicians caught with their pants down, but also a gangster who keeps cops on his payroll and a militant who's used the princess photos to blackmail his way out of a prison sentence. As Roger Donaldson's movie keeps track of all these plot strands at once, it becomes more procedural than compelling.

Meanwhile, per heist movie formula, Terry's bad behavior is offset by the even worse behavior of his opponents. Theft, deception, and adultery don't look so terrible compared to murder and torture, especially since the robbers seem like they're having fun, trusting and kidding one another in ways that the generally humorless assortment of gangsters, pimps, revolutionaries, and authorities can't manage.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how heist movies tend to portray their "heroes." Even though they're planning robberies, characters like Terry and the guys in the Ocean's movies are sympathetic -- is that realistic? What defines a "good guy" and a "bad guy"? How does this movie make Terry and his outlaw gang seem less offensive than the bad cops and government authorities? Viewers who want to know more about the unsolved real-life 1971 robbery that inspired the movie can click here.

Movie details

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