When Harry, played by Liam Neeson, and his gang of thieves die during a heist, his wife Veronica, played by Viola Davis, is threatened by thugs to repay the money that her husband and cohorts stole, or else… She is a seemingly ordinary lady who works for the teachers’ union and is far from a criminal.
When she finds her husband’s notebook detailing all of his criminal activities, she discovers the plans for his next job which is to rob $5 million from a safe room. If somehow she could pull off the job, it would give her enough money to pay the debt and split the rest between the other widows. She reaches out to the other criminals’ wives, including Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Linda (Michelle Rodriquez), to convince them to help with the plan. I am a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise in which Rodriquez stars, and I liked her low-key character here. Neeson is not prominently featured in the movie, but Davis shines as she creates a commanding presence on screen as an ordinary person turned leader of the planned heist.
Weaving through the maze of corrupt politicians and criminals in Chicago, the women overcome all the obstacles. They must do whatever it takes to get the job done, as they put everything on the line for their futures.
I didn’t realize that this was based on a 1983 British TV series of the same name. Don’t go in expecting an action-packed Ocean’s Eleven type movie, instead you will find more of a sedate heist with a few twists and turns along the way. Director Steve McQueen from 12 Years a Slave and Gillian Flynn from Gone Girl have created a film with a subtlety to it, sprinkled with layers of sadness and deception throughout.
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Genre: Drama, Crime
Director: Steve McQueen
Written By: Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn
Actors: Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriquez, Elizabeth Debicki, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall
Running Time: 128 minutes
Rating: R (for language, violence and sexual content)