A crew of officers at an armored transport security firm risk their lives when they embark on the ultimate heist.against their own company. Armed with a seemingly fool-proof plan, the men plan on making off with a fortune ... more »with harm to none. But when an unexpected witness interferes, the plan quickly unravels and all bets are off.« less
Excellent story, excellent acting, and excellent use of the
Mohamed F. El-Hewie | Hackensack, NJ USA | 12/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I watched the movie in a theater merely 20 miles away from Brooklyn, NY, the proximate locale of the movie's theme, I could strongly sense that the movie succeeded immensely in transcending the big screen into the real people, culture, and everyday life of New Yorkers.
The choice of the story created enormous opportunities to all actors to shine at their best. There is no better place than New York that could inspire writers, actors, philosophers, reformers, and artists to marvel into the diversity of its people, its social strata, its financial inequalities, and its progressive social changes. The blue-collar workers who are fueling the gears of such mighty capitalistic machine have access to its lethal weapons of ending few lives and to its powerful currency of building greater and new lives. They were enticed by both powers in their immediate access yet deprived of any hope of bettering their lives through deciphering the laws and regulations that control that machine.
Each actor who took part in the movie fitted perfectly in the role he played (there were few female roles to start with). The faces, the skin textures, the accents, and the racial and age mix of the players, all reflect on the real people, their struggles, and the challenges they face in their every day life. The contemporary nature of the movie's story and the abundance of amateur actors in urban America brought real people to play real roles.
The poor workers, whose occupation was to guard the treasury of the wealthy community, must compartmentalize their endless insecurities from those they protect. Their sharing of common struggle deprived them from their individual abilities to dissent. Their immediate herd is their ultimate authority, against which dissent amounts to capital rejection.
The only dissent that appeared attractive was snatching money by relying on the old trick of avoiding the mistakes that predecessors have made. Only a young man retained his sense of the line between crime and plain error. His dilemma of keeping his house and his brother under one roof, after losing both parents in one year, lent him the power of dissenting when confronting a scene of murder of an innocent person. His stars were aligned in his favor when he was able to save the life of a police officer, who would later testify to his true benevolence.
The rest of the followers appeared overwhelmed by their swift and unexpected entanglement in unfolding murders and robbery. Their struggle with sticking to the herd rules versus disentangling themselves from their bleak detriment characterized naïve persons, facing unfortunate life situations. Those with weak ego attempted to stay low, unnoticed until opportunities present themselves. Those with strong will attempted to make expedient decisions to solve immediate problems, in hope that luck would strike if they persevered. The only person, whose mind was wired to protect his only orphan brother, succeeded to the end maintaining his sanity.
Clearly, the movie succeeded in showing that the drift to abrupt criminal conduct was mere mitigating circumstances that drove a punch of desperate people to find a way out of their endless misery. All participants showed human decency of common people who happened to fall in the traps of poor judgment, enforced by never ending oppression of poverty, insecurity, and hard labor. "
A little more suspense
R. M. Silkey | 02/02/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The classic take on what happens when people get greedy. Yeah, the movie is for the most part predictable and somewhat cliche ridden. Overall, it's not the worst movie I've seen. Good flick on a rainy day or night when nothing else is on. While it may not overwhelm you with it's storyline you at least will be entertained.....and then go on about your business!"
Edmonson | Canada | 12/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Armored" is about a heist that goes all wrong, of the money from an armored vehicle, by the same security guards who are suppose to be safeguarding the money. Mat Dillon and Laurence Fishburne star in this edge of your seat thriller which explores to some degree the various dimensions of how human greed can warp people's sense of morality."
A thoroughly disappointing and depressing story line...
G-Wisdom | 03/27/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Upon viewing the trailers, I waited in anticipation to see this movie. I have just seen it and the first thing I did was google the writer to see if maybe he is a wealthy personality, who once had his money stolen during an armored car transfer and maybe this script was now his closure and revenge? This movie ought to be entitled "How stupid can you be with 42 million dollars"? The subtitle should read "Why didn't you just stay home"? Some of the other reviews here talk of "predictability" in this movie. Are we reviewing the same film (Armored)? To the contrary, this movie is so depressingly unpredictable, that it breaks your heart. Some of the other reviews speak of a "great story line", only if you are some law enforcement officer with an axe to grind, I guess. One review speaks of star power at it's peak and "everyone did a bang-up job". Again, what movie did you see, because this was a complete waist of star power. I don't even know why Lawrence Fishburne accepted a script like this? Jean Reno's character seems almost catatonic. They did the best they could with what they had to work with script wise, but it was so far beneath what could have been. We all know that crime doesn't pay and you will definitely reap what you sow, but a heist movie should be about the heist, a great getaway, the ensuing chase, the investigation and just maybe the icing on the cake of a total eluding of all who chase them! I'm sorry, if it's not broken, don't fix it! Classic subject scenario's require "predictability". If the predictability is anticipated and enjoyable, then it's a bankable asset. In a tangent comparison, people don't seem to care if most popular music sounds the same these days and it does, to it's most boring, mediocre ultimate ever. Society seems to be so tolerant of mediocrity in music, but so intolerant of a little predictability in films; why? It's so backwards. Instead of screwing up the classic ingredient of just enough predictability of a heist movie to keep the enjoyability, it would be nice to bring real music back; music that has interesting progressions, beautiful changes, deep rhythms, bridges and uniqueness (thanks for bearing with my momentary, analytic metaphor). This movie leads you on to think that six blue collar guys, with bills and mortgages, get tired of transporting millions of dollars for their peanut paychecks and decide to cash in for a change, only to get caught up in the most ridiculous, needless, chaotic, foolishness that I have ever seen, in depressing reality. Instead, you end up waiting hopelessly for the scenario to somehow reset from chaos, back to the getaway, but sadly, it never does. The setback becomes the subject matter and spirals relentlessly downward. If you want to see someone (who makes a bad decision to steal) get caught before they even get started, watch "Cops". Why not let them shoplift, or steal some ones wallet, or how about a convenience store holdup? Something menial in comparison. Then let them get caught and do they're time (with plenty of action, drama and intensity therein), but $42,000,000.00?? Come on! It's heart wrenching and depressing to watch. I mean really, who enjoys seeing $42 million get blown up? Where is the slickness, sophistication, smooth execution and intelligence of a well thought out plan, that takes everyone by surprise? The kind that leaves you breathless, wondering "wow, look at the way they pulled that off"! That is where the excitement, intensity and unpredictability is in a heist picture and this never gets old. It's classic and can be enjoyed over and over. So what if it's "predictable" in it's basic story line? SO WHAT?? Some things in life are timeless. At least let them get home with the money James! Spike Lee's "Inside Man" ( in reference ), is ingenious and a more enjoyable formula for me Inside Man (Widescreen Edition). All that said, congratulations are still in order to James V. Simpson for selling "armored", his first script. Just please don't write any more about bank jobs and heists James (cause you don't get it) and if you want to write about a hero, don't make him a rat the next time. Really, if this picture was about true morality, then "Hackett" (Columbus Short) should have been held responsible for ever agreeing to go along with the heist! He still was part of it and would have left with the money as well, if no one got hurt, right? How does he just go home at the end of it, with a totally clear conscious and a possible reward to boot?? He essentially (though inadvertently) caused his partners deaths, by being such a selfish punk. A far cry from the heart, guts and grit of "Little Walter" in Cadillac Records... I am so sorry that I purchased this DVD..."
A TENSE HEIST FLICK
Mark Turner | 03/14/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Heist films have been a genre that has yielded some truly amazing movies. The recent THE ITALIAN JOB, RONIN and more, even the Pink Panther series, have given us moments where we root for the bad guy in his attempt to pilfer the goods from an even worse bad guy or banker. And now we have a new entry, ARMORED.
I must admit that when I saw the preview for this film (over and over again it seemed) I had no interest in it. Even as I put it in the DVD player I wasn't expecting much. Perhaps this is why I was so pleasantly surprised.
The film focuses on a group of armored car drivers, friends in the field. New to the group is Ty Hackett (Columbus Short). Ty was a decorated war hero in Iraq who returned to a home where his parents had both died and he was not responsible for his younger brother Jimmy.
Working with Ty is Mike Cochrone (Matt Dillon), Ty's godfather and mentor at the company. Through Mike, Ty got the job he now has as well as friends like Baines (Laurence Fishburne), Quinn (Jean Reno), Palmer (Amaury Nolasco) and Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich). This group welcomes Ty with open arms and a sense of brotherhood.
On a regular run, the armored vehicle containing Ty and Mike and driven by Baines shorts out. Mike smells sugar in the gas tank burning and they know it's a set up. A black van pulls up, two men place explosives on the window and as it is about to go off a few firecrackers explode leaving Baines and Mike laughing. It was nothing more than an initiation prank on Ty who has passed his probationary period.
Mike gives Ty rides to and from work and one night not long after the prank, he tells Ty they have a solution to his money problems (he's about to lose his home). They plan to make the robbery real. The men guarding the money plan on a heist that would take in $42 million and expect him to be a part of the operation. Ty at first refuses but after returning home to find a social worker ready to take Jimmy form him, he agrees, as long as no one gets hurt.
The plan moves along like clockwork, the team loading the money and then heading to an abandoned steel factory where they plan on hiding the money and then making it look as if they were hijacked and the money stolen. But as with all good plans, things go wrong when a bum hiding in the plant sees them. As he tries to get away, Baines shoots him in the back.
Ty has had enough. He attempts to help the man but Mike shoots the bum in the back making sure he's dead. Ty no longer recognizes these men as who he thought they were and takes one of the two armored vehicles they came in to get away. He's stopped by Mike in the other but then locks himself in with the load of cash in the vehicle. Now the men change from simple thieves to murderers who want nothing less than to get Ty and the money out.
While they do so, a police car with an officer (Milo Ventimiglia) shows up. When Ty uses a battery to make the siren on his vehicle go off, Baines shoots the policeman as well. Now the group faces not just murder charges but the possible death of a policeman as well. But he's not dead and Ty risks a move to rescue him and get him inside the vehicle with him.
The cat and mouse game of how to get Ty out, how Ty gets help and whether or not these men will get away with murder and the cash makes for a high speed thriller that delivers on all levels. The most amazing thing to me was that as I watched I found myself surprised that it moved along so quickly. I lost track of time and never once felt like the film dragged at any point.
The film is a perfect combination of story, special effects and performances that make you truly believe these men are who they claim to be. Their motivations, their passions and their brutality are demonstrated by each individual as the film draws to its dramatic ending.
Is it predictable? Sure. But it is the rare heist film that isn't. And even those tend to have a last minute twist in common that makes them different. The joy of a heist film is less about its predictablity and more about the ride it offers getting there.
If you're looking for a film that offers adrenaline pushing moments and a hero to boot, then make a point of picking this one up. It's not a rental only film but one that movie fans might want to even add to their collection.