The Score (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frank Oz|
|Produced by||Gary Foster
|Written by||Scott Marshall Smith
Daniel E. Taylor
|Starring||Robert De Niro
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Editing by||Richard Pearson|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||July 13, 2001|
|Running time||124 minutes|
The Score is a 2001 crime thriller directed by Frank Oz, and starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett, and Marlon Brando in his final film role. It was the only time Brando and De Niro appeared in a film together. The screenplay was based on a story by Daniel E. Taylor and Emmy-winner Kario Salem.
After nearly being caught on a routine burglary, master safe-cracker Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) decides the time has finally come to retire. Nick's flight attendant girlfriend, Diane (Angela Bassett), encourages this decision, promising to fully commit to their relationship if he does indeed go straight. Nick, however, is lured into taking one final score by his fence Max (Marlon Brando) The job, worth a $4 million pay off to Nick, is to steal a sceptre, which is discovered to be a French national treasure. It was hidden in the leg of an antique piano, smuggled illegally through Canada into the United States, but was accidentally uncovered, and stored in the ultra-secure basement of the Montréal Customs House.
Max introduces Nick to Jack Teller (Edward Norton), an ambitious thief who has infiltrated the Customs House and gained access to information regarding the security by pretending to be an intellectually disabled janitor named Brian. Nick hires his associate Steven (Jamie Harrold) to hack into the Custom House's security system to obtain the bypass codes allowing them to temporarily manipulate the alert protocols of the system during the heist. Steven is caught, however, by a corrupt systems administrator who extorts Nick for $50,000 for the information. More complications arise when they're forced to move up their time-table after the Customs House becomes aware of the true value of the sceptre and adds extra closed-circuit television cameras and infrared detectors to monitor the basement room while preparing to return it to its rightful owners.
Nick uses a sewer tunnel to enter the Customs House basement as Jack uses the bypass codes to rig the cameras to shut off when Nick enters the storage room. One of the janitors stumbles upon Jack, but Jack locks him in a closet. Meanwhile Nick fills the enormous in-floor safe containing the sceptre with water before inserting and detonating a depth charge to blow off the door. He quickly packs up the sceptre in a carrying case to depart, but Jack double crosses him and at gunpoint demands he hand over the sceptre. Nick reluctantly gives up the carrying case and seconds later the alarm, rigged by Jack, alerts the entire security staff to the heist. Nick darts for the sewer entrance he came in as Jack heads back upstairs, tucking the carrying case inside his janitor jumpsuit and slipping past the incoming police units responding to the burglary. Nick escapes the security guards chasing him through the sewer tunnels.
After making it to a bus station to flee the city, Jack calls Nick to gloat but is shocked to discover that Nick has anticipated Jack's actions. Jack opens the carrying case Nick gave him and finds it contains a steel rod weighed down with various bushings. Brushing off Jack's threats of vengeance, Nick advises Jack to flee as "every cop in the city" will now be looking for him. Nick hangs up and boards a boat with the real sceptre as a shocked Jack broods over his situation. Later, Max smiles as he watches a news broadcast reporting a massive manhunt being organized to find Jack, the prime suspect, and an unidentified accomplice. Nick then meets Diane at the airport as she returns from work, and they embrace.
- Marlon Brando as Max
- Robert De Niro as Nick Wells
- Edward Norton as Jack Teller
- Angela Bassett as Diane
- Gary Farmer as Burt
- Jamie Harrold as Steven
- Richard Waugh as Sapperstien
- Jean-René Ouellet as André
- Paul Soles as Danny
During the production, Brando repeatedly argued with Oz and called him "Miss Piggy". Oz later blamed himself for the tension and cited his tendency to be confrontational rather than nurturing in response to Brando's acting style. This was Brando's final film.
The film received generally positive reviews with a rating of 73% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 128 reviews with a rating average of 6.5/10. The critical consensus was summed up as, "Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, DeNiro, Norton, and Brando make the movie worth watching."
Peter Travers, film critic for Rolling Stone, pointed out that when "two Don Corleones team up", he expected "the kind of movie that makes people say, 'I'd pay to see these guys just read from the phone book.'" However, he concluded, "There's nothing you can't see coming in this flick, including the surprise ending. Quick, somebody get a phone book."
After a July 13, 2001 opening, the $68 million film earned a gross domestic box office take of $71,107,711. Combined with the international box office, the worldwide total is $113,579,918.
- Cagle, Jess (June 16, 2001). "How To Make A Score". Time. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Capone (August 7, 2007). "Capone With Frank Oz About DEATH AT A FUNERAL, What Went Wrong On STEPFORD, And (Of Course) Yoda!!". Aintitcool. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- The Score: Rotten Tomatoes
- Ebert, Roger (July 13, 2001). "The Score". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Travers, Peter (July 13, 2001). "The Score". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Score (2001)". Box Office Mojo. October 26, 2001. Retrieved November 24, 2013.