Life of Crime

Life of Crime

Director: Daniel Schechter, Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, Isla Fisher

Cast: Daniel Schechter, Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, Isla Fisher


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Two kidnappers (John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey) help a woman (Jennifer Aniston) take revenge on her wealthy, real estate developer husband after he refuses to pay her ransom in this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard book, Switch.


Two kidnappers (John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey) help a woman (Jennifer Aniston) take revenge on her wealthy, real estate developer husband after he refuses to pay her ransom in this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard book, Switch. Daniel Schechter directs from his own adapted script. The story features two of the same characters from the book that Jackie Brown was based on.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Elmore Leonard's best books make for good movies because they are as much about characters and behavior as they are about plot. Put together a large, talented cast, provide something approximating his humorous dialogue, and you should end up with a totally enjoyable film. Daniel Schechter's Life of Crime, an adaptation of the Leonard novel The Switch, is a prime example. John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) play, respectively, Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie, a pair of criminal friends who plot to kidnap Mickey (Jennifer Aniston), the wife of an ethically dubious businessman named Frank (Tim Robbins), and ransom her for a million dollars. The plan starts to go wrong almost immediately when the initial abduction is interrupted by the arrival of Marshall (Will Forte), who wants Mickey to have an affair with him, and things get even worse when it turns out that Frank is ready to leave his wife for Melanie (Isla Fisher), with whom he is currently enjoying a sex-filled Florida vacation. When Frank delays in making the payment, Louis and Ordell try to figure out how to force his hand. However, Louis has grown sweet on their captive, while the duo's incredibly dumb neo-Nazi partner Richard (Mark Boone Jr.) seems more eager to kill Mickey -- he thinks she's Jewish -- than anything else. Schechter has done the necessary work to bring Leonard to the big screen: He's assembled a first-rate cast and written a script that keeps the twisty plot clear and the dialogue funny. Although he never reaches the poetic verbosity of Jackie Brown (which Quentin Tarantino adapted from Leonard's Rum Punch, and which also features the characters of Louis and Ordell) or the formal daring of Steven Soderbergh's take on Out of Sight, Schechter has fashioned a movie that leaves you feeling just as entertained as a book by Leonard would. Hawkes is first among equals as Louis. He never lets us forget the character's inherent scuzziness, even as he acts as gentlemanly as he can toward Mickey. Bey has always been a charismatic screen actor, and his take on Ordell is no exception; it's amazing how strongly he recalls Samuel L. Jackson's performance as the same character without ever seeming beholden to it. Isla Fisher is smart and sexy as the manipulative femme fatale, and Robbins makes Frank enjoyably hissable. Aniston is fine as the kidnapped woman ready to make a change in her life, but she's the only member of the cast who feels replaceable. Meanwhile, Mark Boone Jr. just about steals the movie as Richard, who's the quintessential mean and stupid Leonard bad guy -- early on, Ordell describes him as, "so dumb it's adorable." He's the kind of cretin you laugh at until he's suddenly a genuine threat, and Boone is perfect at both buffoonery and menace. Schechter's previous film, the micro-budgeted romantic comedy Supporting Characters, was a subtly original and charming take on a tired genre. Life of Crime doesn't have the thematic ambition of his earlier picture, but taken together, these two movies show that he's a talented director who is adept with actors, able to shape distinctive characters, and capable of making smart and funny films.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Audio commentary with director Daniel Schechter and actor Will Forte; Behind the scenes of Life of Crime; Envisioning the big picture: shooting crime; Hit & run: choreographing mayhem

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Aniston Mickey Dawson
Yasiin Bey Ordell Robbie
Isla Fisher Melanie
Will Forte Marshall Taylor
Mark Boone Richard Monk
Tim Robbins Frank Dawson
John Hawkes Louis Gara
Clea Lewis Tyra Taylor
Charlie Tahan Bo Dawson
Kevin Corrigan Ray
Leonard Armond Robinson Officer Dixon
Kevin Porter Young Officer Kenny
Alex Ladove Pamela Taylor
Jenna Nye Shelly Taylor
Jill Abramovitz Jan
Seana Kofoed Kay
Florencia Lozano Anjelica
Charles Saveur Bonan Ray Shelby
Kofi Boakye Cedric Walker
Chyna Layne Loretta
R. Marcus Taylor Borsalino
Nathan Purdee Rodney the Doorman
Margaret Rossini Mickey's Mother
Jennifer Prediger Marshall's Assistant
Dennis Michael Hall Restaurant Valet

Technical Credits
Daniel Schechter Director,Screenwriter
Ashok Amritraj Producer
Jennifer Aniston Executive Producer
Charles Saveur Bonan Executive Producer
Elizabeth Destro Producer
Eric Alan Edwards Cinematographer
Jim Garavente Executive Producer
Ellen Goldsmith-Vein Producer
Christopher Herghelegiu Executive Producer
Stephanie Holbrook Casting
Laura Katz Musical Direction/Supervision
Aleen Keshishian Executive Producer
Jordan Kessler Producer
Larry Ladove Executive Producer
Kim Leadford Executive Producer
Elmore Leonard Executive Producer
Angela Levin Makeup
Tod A. Maitland Sound Mixer
Bryan Mansour Executive Producer
Lisa Myers Art Director
Newton Brothers Score Composer
Jacob Pechenik Executive Producer
Krystal Phillips Makeup
Jeremy Selenfriend Makeup Special Effects
Michael Siegel Producer
Lee Stollman Producer
Anna Terrazas Costumes/Costume Designer
Inbal Weinberg Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Life of Crime
1. Chapter 1 [6:22]
2. Chapter 2 [6:29]
3. Chapter 3 [6:20]
4. Chapter 4 [7:11]
5. Chapter 5 [6:29]
6. Chapter 6 [5:46]
7. Chapter 7 [5:49]
8. Chapter 8 [8:15]
9. Chapter 9 [6:35]
10. Chapter 10 [4:34]
11. Chapter 11 [8:26]
12. Chapter 12 [5:23]
13. Chapter 13 [7:34]
14. Chapter 14 [5:08]
15. Chapter 15 [4:26]
16. Chapter 16 [5:50]


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