21+ Honest Thief Reviews – Don’t Cross Liam Neeson

Honest Thief ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The bad guys in all these Liam Neeson just never seem to get the memo. He’s not the senior citizen to mess around with. If he doesn’t beat you with his bare hands, he’ll pummel you with his cunning mind and fierce intellect.

To be fair, “Honest Thief” is honest about its intentions, providing a check-your-brain-at-the-door escape. Of course, the decision to enter the door to a theater in order to see something this marginal could be another matter.

‘Honest Thief’ review: Liam Neeson doesn’t steal much more than your time in his latest thriller – CNN

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Liam Neeson is the quintessential calm, dangerous action guy – even in his 60s

Nobody, and I mean nobody, does the cool and collected action flick better than Liam Neeson. He’ll have a cup of coffee and snap your neck in the next sentence. When you’re in your late 60s and still making films like this, well, you’re the man. Neeson is the man.

If that’s all you want to see, another Neeson Taken-esque film, this is your power pill, Pacman. He’s done so many of these films that they start to flow together. And yet none of them match up to Taken. His whole “I have a particular set of skills” line will still be around long after Neeson is gone.

It’s a little like Samuel Jackson belting out the MF profanity. We need to see Jackson yell and swear in a movie. If only Jackson was the cop in Honest Thief, instead of the guy from Burn Notice with a cute dog.

If only we had more of the T-1000 Terminator

But before we get to Burn Notice guy, let’s talk Terminator. Yeah, you know that guy, the morphing policeman that’s from the future in T2: Judgment Day is just the sage captain policemen that gets killed by a dirty cop wanting to steal the stolen money from Neeson.

Maybe it’s just me, but I can never get enough of Robert Patrick. He does that dry line like poetry and has the steeliest expressions. He’s got some of the coldest looking eyes on the planet. If only Meg Foster and Robert Patrick were a couple just imagine the evil spawn children movies they could have starred in?

Burn Notice guy’s dog is cute, but unnecessary to the story

Haven’t seen Burn Notice’s Jeffery Donovan for awhile, but he’s here to figure out what’s really going down and he’s got this really adorable dog in tow. Got the dog through the divorce, she took the house, and that dog overshadows Donovan’s character. It’s like all viewers can think about: the cute dog.

But what does the dog have to do with the movie? Zero. So minus points for all the cute dog shots. Wasted, wasted, wasted. Now, if the dog had somehow run across and tripped up somebody in the end of the film, maybe it would have mattered. Instead, the dog is just there to humanize Donovan’s character. To make us like him and want him to side with Neeson’s character. It doesn’t work. We like the dog more. We want the dog to do something he never does. Tease!

Reviews by Others

How do others feel about Honest Thief?

Recommended

  1. film-authority.com: “Car-chases, fights and explosions follow, well-handled and never taking away from the central pull of the revenge narrative. So while Honest Thief doesn’t offer the all-singing, all-dancing hoopla of Bond, it’s a decent time-passer that satisfies in its own way.”
  2. Adam / Neko Random: “…a decent movie. I don’t seem to watch many action movies, but I don’t think this one would have done anything dramatically different than the rest. Critics weren’t too thrilled with this one, but fans seem to have a better opinion”
  3. Author Edmond Gagnon: “The movie is about what the title suggests”
  4. Being An Old Dad (2.5/5): “Overall it was an easy watch and on a five star scale I would give it a rating of (say) two and a half (maybe?). An average but watchable action movie with an average story with minimal plot twists and even fewer surprises.”
  5. Grim D. Reaper (3/4): “Viewers who aren’t fans of this kind of film may be pleasantly surprised by it if they give it a chance. High art? No, but entertaining enough for audiences seeking a bit of old-fashioned escapism.”
  6. Irish Film Critic (3.5/5): “…so utterly predictable and transparent, you can easily surmise what is about to transpire and it unfolds as expected. There is absolutely nothing new herein but the cast gives it their all and you find it almost impossible to not have fun while correctly guessing every step of the way.”
  7. Moviedoc: “…is ‘softer’ by Liam Neeson standards, yet is equally effortless to be entertained by as any of his more high-octane works.”
  8. Movie Reviews 101 / Darren Lucas: “…a fun, enjoyable action thriller, one that we know Liam Neeson can deliver in with ease, it is everything you would expect it to be, with the cute dog.”
  9. Novastream / Jason Cook: “Neeson brings his usual skills and you can just about believe a connection between him and Walsh. If you didn’t guess the ending from get-go, you’d do it pretty quick after and from there you can sit back and watch it unfold without giving it your every bit of attention.”
  10. Reel Review Roundup: “Neeson still has plenty of watchability and the thinly drawn characters are solidly performed by his supporting cast in this serviceable big screen offering.”
  11. Screen One: “So overall solid but otherwise unspectacular action thriller that should just about keep Liam Neeson fans happy.”
  12. Tall Writer: “…features efficient filmmaking, engaging storylines, and a small but effective core cast. It’s a solid action thriller with important dramatic and romantic elements at a deliberate pace.”
  13. The Reel Deal / David Palmer: “…a very harmless PG-13 thriller, and if you come across it on TV one day then sure, check it out. It is slated to play in theaters, and like “The War with Grandpa” I wouldn’t praise this as the savior of cinema or worth you venturing out into the real world to see, but if these Neeson shooters are your cup of guilty pleasure tea, then you should get your fix.”

Not Recommended

  1. Dan Gardner / RunPee: “The story is painfully predictable. The characters are cardboard. The acting is uninspired. I can’t fault the actors. There’s not much they could do with this plot and dialog.”
  2. Filmfanstake: “The story in Honest Thief is cut and paste from every other Liam Neeson thriller. He’s on the run, the cops are crooked and he has a cellphone. It’s all the same. If you’re looking for twists and turns you aren’t getting them here.”
  3. Howard For Film: “…mildly entertaining with competent, though not brilliant, performances all around”
  4. For What It’s Worth: “Neeson, so far from his turns in “Schindler’s List” (1993) and even Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” (2016), uses his stately Irish baritone to mansplain violence. The dialogue feels mostly like screenwriting workshop leftovers. In one scene Annie, now aware of what Tom’s up to, reacts with, “The first surprise was ‘Let’s get a cute house in Newton’ and the second surprise is that you’re a bank robber?” Honestly?”
  5. Josh Lasser / The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews (1.5/5): “Williams does everything he can to provide us with good reasons for Carter’s thefts and to show us how he isn’t a bad guy, just misunderstood. And every time the story adds another reason why we shouldn’t judge Carter for his thieving, the banality of the whole endeavor just grows. Instead of someone meaty to sink your teeth into, Carter becomes more and more bland as the story progresses.”
  6. Oliver’s Rants Raves & Reviews (2/5): “Quite predictable, minimal action and kicking ass, unlike in his earlier movies, Neeson is definitely showing his age (68) in this flick”
  7. Real Movie Critic: “Ever since Taken, Liam Neeson as an action star has started to become redundant and almost every action film he stars in is very formulaic and predictable. With this film it was the same thing.”
  8. TheFlemishSeth: “Neeson does have a particular set of skills, but in Honest Thief those skills are wasted on a bland actioner with no discernable identity of its own.”
  9. The Lost Highway Hotel: “…feels as though it was designed and destined for VOD obscurity, but lucked out with a cinema release during a global pandemic because theatres are frankly desperate for content. It’s wholly out of place up there. Imagine going to your multiplex and an episode of EastEnders was showing? (It’d probably be more gripping, in fairness).”

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Happy movie watching!

Honest Thief ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Honest Thief – PG-13 – 1 hr 39 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday October 16, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#36 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Is there any such thing as an “honest” thief? Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Some may see that kind of thievery as noble, but it’s not honest.

Here we see calm, yet dangerous guy Liam Neeson playing Tom, a marine demolition specialist, that gets out of service, filled with PSTD and faced with various personal tragedies that compel him to steal from banks. Not for the money, mind you, but the rush. The first bank is a revenge job, the others, well, they are to the tune of $9 million in adrenaline.

He meets Annie, a spicy manager of a storage place played red head Kate Walsh. She seeks to rent him a not-so-“smelly” storage unit to not so covertly stash the cash in moving boxes, but this begins a year of romance that we don’t get to see, but can imagine must be immensely fulfilling to turn conflicted thief into a hopeless romantic.

Ahh yes, fast forward to a year later and it’s time for Tom to come clean. He’s going to turn himself into the FBI. The In and Out Bandit, as the cops and media have coined, wants to give all the money he never spent back to the feds in exchange for a minimum sentence. After all, nobody ever got physically hurt by his elaborate heists, The In and Out Bandit was merely stealing money “that never belonged to anyone.”

While Tom tries to turn himself in, of course it needs to be to two corrupt feds, wanting to steal the money and cover up the crime. Good thing the Terminator (Robert Patrick) is the boss. Or maybe not so much, once we see how our steely-eyed morph from the early 90s classic handles the mundane tasks of assigning bored federal officers to check out if Tom is the real In and Out Bandit or just another glory seeker.

If you’re saying to yourself, “come on” then this movie might not be for you.

However, if you’re like, OK, this is bizarre story-wise but somewhat trying to be different, then this might be the ticket for you to ride. In some respects, the movie gets a little better than the story, but mostly it doesn’t. It’s popcorn escapism, with at times some decent dramatic acting.

What I liked about this story were the more subtle things that the actors tried to do with an odd script and the various character sketches. Also the fact that we’re seeing actors we know from other movie and TV roles like that guy from Burn Notice (Jeffery Donovan) as the direct supervisor, underneath Terminator Robert Patrick. Burn Notice Donovan roams around in Sherlock Holmes mode with his cute dog that he got in the divorce (she took the house instead of the dog!), trying to figure out whether or not Liam Neeson is innocent or guilty of doing much worse than the In and Out Bandit.

There’s also Addison Montgomery from Grey’s Anatomy, Kate Walsh, as a not so convincing love interest for Neeson’s character Tom. Their kisses have as much passion as family members giving each other a welcoming, yet uncomfortable looking to others peck on the lips. Sadly, Neeson has almost zero romantic chemistry with Walsh. He displayed more in Taken. We’ll get to Neeson’s performance shortly, but we really need to talk more about Annie’s origins and this alleged tryst.

Seriously, this is the macguffin sans sidetrack romance to keep us worrying about what happens to sardonic, yet sweet Annie. Might have been more believable if we got some flashback moments or real time scenes that showed how these two became lovers, but hey, we don’t need that sort of realism. Maybe that has already been done on a Lifetime movie a thousand times, but viewers need some more meat to get emotionally invested in these two as a couple. As it stands, it’s just a reason for Tom to want to turn himself in, but it could have been any of a dozen other reasons with as much emotional zeal.

Another “come on!” note: is her character’s name. Is it really Annie Wilkes?

I did a doubletake on the name, because that’s the famous psycho character from Misery played by Kathy Bates.

Maybe the writer wanted to draw viewers out of the story or just pay homage to a famous character name, but it’s distracting because the Annie in Honest Thief is literally nothing like the Annie Wilkes from Misery. If Annie had more to do in the movie than be at risk from one of the more psycho corrupt cops, that could have taken this story off the rails.

At last we come to Liam Neeson’s performance. It’s his Taken role, only with the violence taken out.

It’s logical, but vexing from an entertainment standpoint, that Neeson is far less violent here and trying to be more cerebral. His character ultimately left me feeling like all that money must have felt just sitting in boxes collecting dust. Why won’t anybody spend me, move me around, buy something with me? Why am I just sitting in Annie Wilkes managed storage facility, but hey it doesn’t smell in here, at least.

Those poor, lonely $9 million bones.

Curiously, our initial just left the theater reaction was this was better than Neeson just going off and taking revenge. You can tell in the video below that we enjoyed it, but at the same time a guiltier pleasure would have been watching Neeson go Russell Crowe Unhinged, fiercely using his demolitions background for cunning revenge. I won’t spoil ultimately what happens with the character or the resolution of the movie, but gave it points for not just giving us another Taken. The trailer, however, promised at least some of that type of movie (Neeson’s character says a la Taken, “I’m coming for you”).

Warts aside, we felt entertained as we left the theater. On that scale alone, this is a recommended movie. It wasn’t a great movie and the rating we gave just leaving the theaters was higher than the star rating I’m leaving in the full text review here. I took away a half star after thinking over if the movie was that good. It wasn’t.

This was our 36th time watching a movie in theaters in 2020, but first at an AMC theater

It just felt good watching familiar faces in a story that isn’t too cliched. It was entertaining enough, even if it’s not quite the movie the trailer promises. We got our money’s worth. We gave it the same rating as Unhinged, but upon reflection, I think Unhinged at least emotionally is better. That film has several “come on!” moments too, but it maintains tension throughout the film. Russell Crowe is a better actor with a mediocre script than Liam Neeson, at least when comparing these two newer films in the theaters.

Honest Thief just bounces us around a little too much, making us mad at the police — like the world needs any more stories like that in these times — puzzled at times by story and character development, and yet surprised enough at times to keep watching. There are a few lingering parts where the story could have been tightened up more, but overall it does mostly what it sets out to do: keep us entertained. It’s not going to win any awards and it will be forgotten not long after watching, but it’s good enough. Just be warned, Neeson fans, if you’re looking for another Taken, you best rewatch that instead.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Opening 10-16-2020 in Theaters: Honest Thief, 2 Hearts

Honest Thief: 10/16/2020

Wednesday, week #42 of 2020 (10/16-10/18/2020)

It’s up to a thieving character seeking redemption and romance played by Liam Neeson in Honest Thief to set our popcorn munching stage this weekend. 2 Hearts will debut to tug at the romantics heartstrings.

Also, there’s Robert De Niro and friends in The War With Grandpa and the music story Yellow Rose that premiered last weekend for those of us that didn’t have any theaters open nearby to enjoy.

Can’t believe we’re talking about *4* new movies to see in movie theaters. It almost feels like before the pandemic.

Honest Thief
[FIRST LOOK]

This trailer gives me a Taken vibe, especially when Liam Neeson tells the corrupt cop he’s coming for him. That calm “I’m going to F you up” is pure Neeson gold. No idea how good this will be, but it will be our first movie at an AMC theater in 2020 and our 36th new movie watched in theaters this year overall.

Anticipation: 7/10

2 Hearts

Lots of guys without shirts in the trailer! Based on an inspirational true story. Hmm … not sure what to say about this trailer. It’s giving me a lifetime movie vibe which means Kara will like it, but not sure it’s my thing. I do like a good romance and have enjoyed some lifetime movies, so maybe this will be a pleasant surprise, but anticipation is low.

Anticipation: 2/10

The War With Grandpa (premiere 10/9/19)
[FIRST LOOK]

The more times I watch this trailer, the dumber I feel for looking somewhat forward to seeing this. I think it’s the great cast of actors involved (Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, etc). With the $3.6 million it made last weekend with all Regal Cinemas closed makes me think other moviegoers were hopeful this would be entertaining, too. Could also be that it was the only brand new wide release movie available last weekend. Doubtful it outsells Honest Thief this weekend, but good luck to it!

Anticipation: 4/10

Yellow Rose (premier 10/9/2020)

Sure has won a lot of awards. Wait, here comes border enforcement to shatter the country music dream. This could be one of those that I don’t think I’ll enjoy but do. Anticipation is low, but that doesn’t say anything about whether or not it will be good.

Anticipation: 3/10

Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing? Wherever you are watching movies, happy watching to you!

FIRST LOOK: Honest Thief

There might not yet be a vaccine for the pandemic, but there’s a vaccine for Liam Neeson starring in more action roles, despite his desire to leave them due to his age. And it’s coming in a week — hopefully, maybe.

IN SEPTEMBER 2017, Liam Neeson announced he was retiring his “special set of skills” as an action movie star due to his advancing years and desire to take on more dramatic roles.  Speaking at that year’s Toronto International Film Festival, he insisted his recent foray into action thrillers was “all a pure accident”.  “They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff,” he said.  “I’m like: ‘Guy’s I’m sixty-f******-five.’ Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on.'” 

Liam Neeson’s new action thriller looks awfully familiar | The Irish Post

Yes, unless it pulls a course change like Bill & Ted Face The Music, Greenland and others, we’ll get to see a 65-year old Neeson take down some corrupt cops. We need some of that on the big screen. Heck, I’ll take a 75-year old Neeson on the big screen taking down bad guys. Now, 85 might be pushing it, but these are lean times for the big screen.

Official trailer:

Are you looking for some more Taken-esq Neeson? There’s something calming about the way Neeson dispatches those who have crossed him.

Honest Thief opens wide in theaters on October 16, 2020.