The Bank Job


Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. One of the pleasures of The Bank Job is that it returns us to the days when robbing a bank was a gritty, hole-in-the-wall affair.
  2. 91
    The gritty heist picture The Bank Job has everything adult action fans could want, starting with a grand, fact-inspired gimmick.
  3. 80
    Entertaining and subtle at once, it doesn't just dazzle us with the hows and whys of a particularly wily brand of thievery; it transports us to a specific time and place that often seems to fall between significant eras. The Bank Job is set in a country that's in transition, an extended metaphor for the way its characters are in transition, too.
  4. 75
    Dull title for a juicy, fact-based caper movie that's full of surprises I have no intention of spoiling.
  5. 75
    A heist movie in the classic tradition - it details every aspect of the caper, from its genesis to its aftermath. The fact that there's political intrigue and espionage swirling around the edges only makes it more fascinating.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    The suspense aspect works like mad, but what's also noteworthy is the character component, which at times evokes a "Smash Palace"-era Donaldson.
  7. Slick, ice-cold and enjoyable, The Bank Job is a bit of all right.
  8. Based more on rumor and supposition than fact. It's a highly entertaining set of hypotheses.
  9. A surprisingly tight, clever, twisty heist tale.
  10. Statham fans weaned on the adrenaline flowing through "The Transporter" and "Crank" may feel short-changed, but the rest of us can appreciate the unassuming, old-fashioned craftsmanship of The Bank Job, which is based on a true-life heist.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Imagine a blend of "Snatch," "Ocean's 11" and "The Italian Job." Then juxtapose the staples of the caper genre with real events involving national security and high-level corruption, and the result is The Bank Job.
  12. 75
    Jason Statham, possibly the greatest B-movie leading man of this era, stars in a complicated and clever imagining of what might have happened in the mysterious 1971 London bank heist dubbed the "Walkie-Talkie Robbery" - in other words, it was unbelievably high-tech.
  13. A brisk, entertaining crime thriller.
  14. Nothing more than an efficient time-killer with the added bonus of being based on a real misadventure. But, unlike its benighted cast of characters, it gets the job done without a hitch.
  15. Feels both absolutely of the 1970s and absolutely fresh.
  16. 70
    The actual robbery that the picture is based on is shrouded in mystery, and the screenwriters, Dick Clement and Ian La Fresnais, have engaged in a fair amount of entertaining invention.
  17. Statham's totally believable. He might yet become Bruce Willis.
  18. What makes director Roger Donaldson's movie greater than zany heist fare is that this particular robbery really happened and that this episode illuminated an almost moral clash between the haves and the have-nots of Great Britain.
  19. The Bank Job engages us fully with a tale that's well-fashioned more than anything else, a fascinating study of morality at several levels of English society, and of honor, or the lack of it, among implausibly likable thieves.
  20. 70
    Fascinating: supposedly the crooks kept all the cash and jewelry, but their sponsors in the MI5 were really after sexually explicit blackmail photos of Princess Margaret and other aristocrats that were being held by the revolutionary Michael X.
  21. 70
    The film dawdles at times. but for the most part Donaldson keeps just the right amount of tension present in each scene.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    There is not a lot of scintillating dialogue in The Bank Job, but there are plenty of kinky sexual allusions and it includes a torture sequence about as brutal as anything you're likely to see in the movies these days.
  23. Unlike the other great caper films of the last 10 years, like "Ocean’s 11" and "The Italian Job" – stylish affairs in which punishment is close enough to give the audience a sense of lingering danger but never so close that it gets in the way of the technological fetishism and love of tailored shirts that apparently make grand larceny such a kick – the blowback in The Bank Job is real and ugly and involves some sort of pneumatic paint-stripping machine that would freak out the Coen Brothers.
  24. One doesn't want to oversell the film; you could catch it on DVD and regret nothing. But, frankly, in a marketplace that tends toward cranked-up action thrills, it's just nice to watch a level-headed crime movie aimed at actual grown-ups.
  25. Semi-decent, somewhat okay, not-half-bad.
  26. 60
    An engrossing if underwhelming period thriller.
  27. A slow-paced and often confusingly plotted crime drama that never lives up to the delicious potential of its premise.
  28. The workmanlike title The Bank Job is a nice fit for this wham-bam caper flick.
  29. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    The Bank Job secures the viewer’s attention pretty quickly and does not relinquish that hold for a second.
  30. 58
    Donaldson also misses the chance to score some easy laughs from his petty criminals, who are infinitely more audacious than they are competent.
  31. 50
    The movie doesn't hang together as a thriller, and the characters don't hang together as interesting people.
  32. 50
    What The Bank Job ends up stealing is all your precious time.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 124 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
  1. LeeT.
    Oct 1, 2008
    What has happened to the mind of Stephanie Zacharek? This erstwhile movie reviewer for is almost never wrong. But she loved this What has happened to the mind of Stephanie Zacharek? This erstwhile movie reviewer for is almost never wrong. But she loved this movie and this movie sucks in so many ways. The problem with "The Bank Job" is that it's simply a hokie movie - hokie directing, hokie acting, and hokie soundtrack. The director is so dump he must have thought that really awful '70s-style direction and soundtrack would somehow invoke the '70s, but all it invokes is what was truly awful about the '70s. And now this movie adds to the list of things about the '70s and make people want to cringe. Full Review »
  2. TerryG.
    Jul 14, 2008
    Statham does more thought provoking movies than anyone out there. And if you think you can keep up with him physically, well he'll just Statham does more thought provoking movies than anyone out there. And if you think you can keep up with him physically, well he'll just kick your ASS there, too. Full Review »
  3. RJ
    Mar 16, 2008
    Not very exciting. not too intriguing either. Even if it was based on a true story, this film sucked.