Henry's Crime

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Henry's Crime
Henrys crime-535x401.jpg
British release poster
Directed by Malcolm Venville
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Sacha Gervasi
  • Stephen Hamel
Music by Blake Leyh
Cinematography Paul Cameron
Edited by Curtis Clayton
  • Company Films
  • Mimran Schur Pictures
Distributed by
  • Moving Pictures Film and Television
  • Maitland Primrose Group
Release dates
  • September 14, 2010 (2010-09-14) (TIFF)
  • April 8, 2011 (2011-04-08) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Box office $204,940[1]

Henry's Crime is a 2010 American romantic comedy film directed by Malcolm Venville and starring Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, James Caan, and Danny Hoch. The film follows Henry (Reeves) who goes to jail for a robbery he did not commit. Once released, he plans on robbing the same bank with his former cellmate Max (Caan). The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 14, 2010, and was given a limited release in the United States on April 8, 2011.


Working the night shift as a toll collector on a lonely stretch of highway in Buffalo, New York, Henry is a man seemingly without ambition, dreams or purpose; a man sleepwalking his way through life. His wife Debbie is not happy with the situation.

One morning Eddie, a friend, drops by to ask Henry to play in a baseball game, as one of the others is ill, and Henry agrees to. As they drive to the game in Henry's car, Eddie asks Henry to stop at an ATM. But Eddie, and two acquaintances also in the car, instead rob the Buffalo Savings Bank, and Henry is arrested as an accomplice.

Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, Henry takes the fall and goes to jail. There he is celled with the irrepressible Max, a con man who has 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. Debbie decides to divorce him, and she marries Joe, one of the acquaintances.

Upon his release eighteen months 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 – to help stage a robbery of the bank.

Max encourages Henry to become an actor in the theater's current production of The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov, to assist Max, "volunteering" to work in the theater, in getting access to the tunnel. Meanwhile, Henry finds himself falling for the production's mercurial leading lady, Julie.[2]

Debbie's husband Joe is recruited to help clearing the tunnel of mud; he informs Eddie, who insists in participating too. Frank, a guard at the bank forced into retirement, helps by informing the robbers when there is a lot of money in the vault. During the actual robbery, Eddie uses a gun to try to take all the money himself, but is overpowered by Max and is left behind in the vault. As the three make their escape, Henry demands Joe stop the car. Henry wishes Max well, and he then returns to Julie.




Malcolm Venville directed the film from a screenplay written by Sacha Gervasi and David N. White. The screenplay was adapted from a story by Gervasi and Stephen Hamel. Hamel produced the picture alongside Jordan Schur and David Mimran through their company Mimran Schur Pictures, and Lemore Syvan and Keanu Reeves through the production company Company Films.


In August 2009, it was announced that Keanu Reeves had joined the cast and would be producing the project.[3] In October 2009, Variety reported that Vera Farmiga and James Caan had also joined the project in main roles.[4]


Principal photography for the project took place in Buffalo, New York, Queens, New York City, and Tarrytown, New York.[5] Production started in December 2009 and was completed in January 2010.[6][7]


Box office[edit]

The film grossed a worldwide total of $204,940.[1] It opened at #75 in its opening weekend (4/8-10) with $8,726; it was just beaten (by $9) by Blue Valentine's gross of $8,735.[8] Henry's Crime went on to make a total of $204,940 in the United States.

Critical reception[edit]

Henry's Crime received mixed reviews from film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 40%, based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Supporting actors Vera Farmiga and James Caan give the movie a little heft, but Henry's Crime is an otherwise predictable heist/comedy with slow pacing."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "mixed to average reviews".[10]

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "This picaresque caper might do well as a novel, but as a movie — assembled with no consistent sense of moviemaking, each performer left to his or her own actorly whims — it's a grab bag of comic clichés about bank robberies and regional theater."[11] Film critic Roger Ebert wrote: "Reeves has many arrows in his quiver, but screwball comedy isn't one of them. Vera Farmiga, James Caan and Fisher Stevens can do it, but they often seem to be looking back, waiting for Reeves to pass the baton. What's needed is someone nervous to play Henry. A Steve Buscemi for example. Reeves maintains a sort of Zen detachment. Whatever happens is all right with him."[12]


External links[edit]