4.1 6
Director: John Luessenhop

Cast: John Luessenhop, Matt Dillon, Idris Elba, Tip "T.I." Harris


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A Los Angeles detective races to bust a group of notorious thieves before they can carry out a 20-million-dollar heist in this crime thriller from director/co-screenwriter John Luessenhop and writing partner Avery Duff. Their heists are planned to perfection, and they never leave behind a shred of evidence.See more details below

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A Los Angeles detective races to bust a group of notorious thieves before they can carry out a 20-million-dollar heist in this crime thriller from director/co-screenwriter John Luessenhop and writing partner Avery Duff. Their heists are planned to perfection, and they never leave behind a shred of evidence. But when greed gets the best of the gang and they agree to one last job, one seasoned detective (Matt Dillon) vows to put them behind bars for good.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
What is it about thieves in movies that causes them to lose any sense of practicality? Don't they ever think about setting up a retirement plan so they don't have to pull that "last big job" that invariably goes wrong? And when someone offers them a deal that seems to be too good to be true, don't they know that it almost certainly is, as we've all been told? I mean, a lot of thought goes into a big heist, or at least that's sure what the average caper movie leads us to believe. So how do these master criminals never see the obvious flaws in their plans? All of these thoughts might run through your mind while watching Takers, though admittedly not for long -- while it's even more improbable than the average heist movie, the picture is fast and stylish enough to roll over the lapses in its own logic like a tank over a pothole, and Idris Elba's performance is strong enough to give the movie some much-needed gravitas. Takers wastes no time introducing us to its crew of upscale burglars in the midst of a heist. Gordon (Elba) is the cool, thoughtful leader of the crew, and John (Paul Walker) is his quietly confident second-in-command. Jake (Michael Ealy) is the weapons expert and sensitive guy of the group, while his younger brother, Jesse (Chris Brown), is bright and fast on his feet but a little too cocky for his own good. And piano-playing A.J. (Hayden Christensen), who looks like a lost character from Swingers, is the gadget and hardware expert. These guys are clearly very successful and live like high rollers, flaunting their wealth and expensive good taste at every opportunity (so much for not calling attention to your ill-gotten gains). While celebrating their latest score, they're visited by Ghost (Tip "T.I." Harris), a former member of the team, who after six years has just been released from prison. Ghost has a beef with his former partners, especially Jake, who is now engaged to Ghost's former girlfriend Rachel (Zoe Saldana), but is willing to forgive and forget in exchange for helping stage a daring robbery of an armored car loaded with 25 million in cash. However, the big job needs to take place in a week, and this pushes the crew's planning capabilities to the edge, especially when Gordon's drug-addicted older sister, Naomi (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), decides to check herself out of rehab early and appear at his doorstep. Meanwhile, Jack (Matt Dillon) is an obsessive police detective in the classic style -- divorced, loves but ignores his daughter -- who has been investigating the bank job that opens the movie and is grimly determined to put the thieves behind bars, while his more laid-back partner, Eddie (Jay Hernandez), worries about him when he isn't dealing with his chronically ill son. Takers was directed by John Luessenhop, who is also one of four credited screenwriters, and most of the time he keeps the story moving relentlessly forward, which is good thinking since this is the sort of movie that trips itself up when it slows down. Most of the characters aren't at all well drawn, and the only one with a backstory that amounts to anything is Gordon, as he struggles with a tricky heist and a complicated relationship with his sister. Idris Elba gives what's easily the film's best and most subtle performance, and his strength, intelligence, and caution carry the movie over more than a few rough spots. (And Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who earned an Oscar nomination for her work in Secrets & Lies, does the best she can in what practically defines the term "thankless role" as his sister.). Matt Dillon clearly tries his best with a role that rounds up most available clichés about the cop whose life is his work, and the rest of the cast struggles to make much of their sketchy characters. Hayden Christensen's greatest triumph is that you lose the desire to strangle him by the halfway point, while Tip "T.I." Harris' performance is so one-note in its villainy that it's hard to imagine how anyone with any sense would trust him. Luessenhop also subscribes to the current conventional wisdom on staging action sequences that the more your camera shakes and the faster you cut, the better, which reduces several chase sequences to several incoherent minutes of random blurs. But Luessenhop does manage to come up with a reasonably imaginative robbery and keeps the tension steady throughout, even if his obvious John Woo lifts call too much attention to themselves. Takers is a non-think action flick that works just well enough to make its hour and three-quarters move by amusingly and painlessly, though it doesn't hold up to careful thought afterward, and Elba definitely deserves to be the lead in a better and more challenging movie.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Dillon Jack Welles
Idris Elba Gordon Jennings
Tip "T.I." Harris Ghost
Chris Brown Jesse Attica
Paul Walker John Rahway
Hayden Christensen A.J.
Michael Ealy Jake Attica
Jay Hernandez Eddie Hatcher
Steve Harris Lt. Carver
Johnathon Schaech Scott
Marianne Jean-Baptiste Naomi
Gaius Charles Max
Gideon Emery Sergei
Zulay Henao Monica
Glynn Turman Chief Detective Duncan
Nick Turturro Franco Dalia
Zoe Saldana Lilli
Isa Briones Sunday
Andrei Runtso Constantine
Vladimir Tevlovski Ethan
Tim Sitarz Russian #1
Harrison Miller Eddie Jr.
Karl Knuth Scott's Bodyguard
Conrade Gamble Haitian Thug
Jermaine T. Holt Dealer #2
Martin Shuler Prison Guard
Kelvin Brown Security Guard #1
Danny Epper Bank Guard #1
Bobby McLaughlin Bank Guard #2
Nancy Wetzel Chopper News 14 Reporter
Andrew Fiscella Security Chief
Juna Kim Asian Girl #1
Natasha Ellie African American Girl
Will McFadden Haitian's Lawyer
Daniel Stevens Slick
Troy R. Brenna Sweatpants
Gino Anthony Pesi Paulie Jr.
Mike Wood Police Tech
Terrell Lee Parole Officer
Noelle Smith Officer of the Day
Lanny Joon Vice Cop
Roger Stoneburner Wasted Junkie
Erik Stabenau Armed Driver #1
Jim Lewis Armed Driver #2
Matt Taylor Armed Guard #1
Marcus Young Armed Guard #2
Jimmy Roberts Guard #3
Dustin Meier Guard #4
Jimmy Martinez Officer in Charge
Laura Shay Griffin Receptionist
Ashleigh Falls Frumpy Bank Teller
Joanna Rhambo Woman in Underwear at Gordon's
Nathan Bell Cop in a Hole
Joe di Giandomenico TV News Reporter #1
Craig Susser TV News Reporter #2
Ben Skorstad 2nd News Helicopter Pilot
Gokor Chivichyan Russian #2
Roman Mitichyan Russian #3
Vladimir Orlov Russian #4
Brad Jensen News 14 Chopper Pilot
Michael Duisenberg News Reporter Channel 8
Chris Antonucci News 14 Camera Crew
John Meier Police Officer Jesse Chase #1
Scott Wilder Police Officer Jesse Chase #2
Patrick Stickland Doorman
Paul Stephen Hubbard Internal Affairs Officer
Mike Smith Russian #5

Technical Credits
John Luessenhop Director,Screenwriter
Peter Allen Screenwriter
Michael Barrett Cinematographer
Gabriel Casseus Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Chris Brown Executive Producer
Chris Cornwell Art Director
Steve Danton Asst. Director
Avery Duff Screenwriter
George Flynn Associate Producer
Glenn S. Gainor Executive Producer
Jason Geter Producer
Tip "T.I." Harris Producer
Paul Haslinger Score Composer
Silvina Knight Makeup
Lindsey Hayes Kroeger Casting
Maya Lieberman Costumes/Costume Designer
Armen Minasian Editor
Morris Chestnut Executive Producer
Will Packer Producer
William Packer Producer
Paul Pirola Sound/Sound Designer
David Rapaport Casting
Jon Gary Steele Production Designer
Nicholas Stern Co-producer

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Scene Index

"Yeah Ya Know (Takers) by T.I. - Music Promo; Filmmaker & Cast Commentary; ; Explosive Blu-Ray Exclusives: Executing the Heist - The Making Of; Take Action! - Inside Look at the Stunts; Movie IQ


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