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The Anderson Tapes Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Adam M

Super Reviewer

March 5, 2011
I just saw it b/c Tarantino put it on the March schedule at the New Beverly Theatre. I respected Lumet but I would never have expected he could have done this one, particularly not as early as 1971. It's very slick but from beginning to end has the spirit of the American New Wave that was coming. Maybe Lumet could see this direction for a studio vehicle after M*A*S*H, but he went all the way. The editing and cinematography show total confidence, in taking in so much of the surroundings -- with whatever invasive-looking cameras and monitors are on the walls -- at high speeds and getting across truthfully so many ephemeral moments of people relating to each other. Garret Morris suddenly appears as a policeman, and you actually see that at this point a new important role in the movie is for this guy to BE a policeman, that for a while what's happening with him and his sparse lines is literally as important as what's happening with Connery.

My only disappointment with this movie was that it wasn't longer. I wanted to see how the characters would handle different situations between them, before the heist even began. Because once the heist begins, Lumet and Frank Pierson make each character we've come to believe in fade into the machinery they've chosen to be a part of. It's both the culminating bravery of the movie and the tragedy in it. Characterization is honored but ultimately subsumed by the filmmaking, which soon differs from the graceless destructiveness of monitors and camera only by the filmmakers' artistry and candor. This doesn't leave the viewer with a hollow feeling, but a hollowing one.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

September 26, 2007
Love the structure, hated the music. Solid performance by Connery and the first performance by Walken make Anderson Tapes worth a watch.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

February 10, 2011
Sean Connery plays a jail bird who's let out and decides to pull another heist with the help of a team of experienced crooks; little does he know the cops are monitoring everything.

What's so unique about this film by Sidney Lumet, in superb form as director, is that heist films rarely mount the tension by showing us the cops' side -- here it's like a ticking time bomb, we're just waiting for Connery and his crew to be arrested and we know that they don't know that the cops know (err...) and the result is pretty tense.

No fault found in the acting: Connery and a very young Christopher Walken (in his film debut) are great, particularly Walken who shows extensive range very early on. After seeing this I was reminded of his recent role in the "Stepford Wives" remake and had to wonder why he's resorting to such trash, because he's just as talented (almost, anyway) as De Niro and Pacino and the difference is he wasted a lot of this during the '80s and '90s by taking on small bits in horrible films. I mean, in 2003 he starred in KANGAROO JACK. C'mon!

Overall THE ANDERSON TAPES is a tense and unique crime thriller that, although very "70s-ish" is entertaining, if a bit outdated in terms of technology. I'm sure it will be remade some day, there's a lot of potential, however I doubt it'll ever come close to the original.

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2010
Routine caper film starts well but runs out of steam at the end. Dyan Cannon is a bright spot but disappears half way through. Still fun for the many familiar faces in the supporting cast some new at the time like Christopher Walken and some old hands such as Margaret Hamilton.
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2010
Cool film by Sidney Lumet even though it's outdated I still like those taping bugging system ppl used back in those times. It's a heist film that goes all so wrong. I love how the editor Joanne Burke smartly uses freeze frames in this film. It's a good little caper picture with a good cast.
Grifty G

Super Reviewer

February 20, 2008
Just released on dvd for the first time: Enjoyable Sidney Lumet caper, lighter than the Hill and The Offence, with Connery as Ace thief 10 years behind the times, and Martin Balsam steals each scene as a surprisingly convincing stereotype homo before it was a stereotype.
cody f

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2008
Not one of Lumets best, but enjoyable. Had some great scenes and good acting throughout, but the story could have been stronger.
August 5, 2009
Although the surveillance equipment used is dated, the plot is still very contemporary. Intriguing plot, good pace and fine performances. Some interesting and effective offbeat casting. Well edited.
November 14, 2008
There's some fun camp value to be had here, and the film shows Lumet's skillful use of flashback to better tell his story.

The awful synth soundtrack is what kills the film, especially when it's combined with various musical 'stingers' that pop up to ham-fistedly indicate that the characters are under surveillance, with a loud grating noise every time a CCTV is onscreen.

Worth a rental, but nothing I need to re-watch again and again.
February 14, 2014
It's Lumet. It's Connery. It's a heist caper - vigorous, socially realistic, and with enough intrigue and light humour to keep it entertaining all the way.
Carlton M Raines
October 10, 2013
Stylish thriller, with Connery in the lead, Many of the aspects of the film are years ahead of it's time, but some are very dated including Connery's gay friend that plays a very camp and dated portrayal of a gay man,however Connery greets and supports his friend in a very supportive and no discriminatory way, which a similar theme was used in the most recent bond film.
Connery leaves jail and plans a major robbery of a block of wealth flats, and the mob are funding it, however the whole plan is being recorded on tape. It's enjoyable,Gritty and raw, it's dripping with big cast names, But the main action starts at the end of the film.
August 27, 2013
Great 71 heist flick via Sidney Lumet. Connery and Walken.
December 3, 2012
Though it could well of been better and explored its theme of surveillance somewhat more this is a fairly decent, well acted and enjoyable crime film that is made all the more watchable thanks to Connery.
Matthew J.
November 25, 2012
A wonderful heist flick with enough action to keep us entertained and enough brains to keep us guessing.
August 22, 2012
Decent caper flick. connerys the balls defined as usual but the score by Quincy Jones is one of the worst i've ever heard. Also Christopher Walkens acting debut
August 25, 2008
A good old fashioned Connery heist flick that goes down smooth. Plus Christopher Walken makes his Hollywood film debut!
March 7, 2011
Saw this little remembered Sidney Lumet caper at the New Bev last night and what a pleasant surprise. A really interesting movie with an amazing cast that is nearly as rich in NYC feeling as "The Taking of Pelham." There's also a bit of Alvin Toffler-era "Future Shock" in there and it's "introducing" an already wacky Christopher Walken. Not perfect, but really entertaining.
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2010
Cool film by Sidney Lumet even though it's outdated I still like those taping bugging system ppl used back in those times. It's a heist film that goes all so wrong. I love how the editor Joanne Burke smartly uses freeze frames in this film. It's a good little caper picture with a good cast.
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