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The Lookout (2007)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 166
Fresh: 145 | Rotten: 21

The Lookout is a genuinely suspenseful and affecting noir due to the great ensemble cast and their complex, realistic characters.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 6

The Lookout is a genuinely suspenseful and affecting noir due to the great ensemble cast and their complex, realistic characters.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 79,884

My Rating

Movie Info

"The Lookout" marks Academy Award (R)-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank's ("Out of Sight"), directorial debut. The intelligent crime drama is centered around Chris, a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Scott Frank

Aug 14, 2007


Miramax - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on The Lookout

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All Critics (166) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (145) | Rotten (21) | DVD (29)

Frank has cooked up an interesting moral dilemma for a character ill-equipped to deal with one. Chris has made one big mistake. Is he up for another?

May 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Forgettable fun.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Lookout's thriller elements could stand to be more surprising, but they're ultimately in service of a better understanding of the characters. Usually, it's the other way around.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's nothing here you haven't seen before, and even the pleasant hum of a well-tuned engine begins to drone a little.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A straight-ahead drama, perfectly accessible though psychologically intricate, coupled shrewdly to a crime thriller.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is sometimes deliberately paced, then intensifies at unlikely moments, artfully blending pulse-stopping, nerve-jangling suspense with sharp dialogue and nuanced portrayals.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Strip away the head-trauma hero, and you're left with a white-trash heist film.

February 9, 2014 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A professional script professionally shot, rather than a personal story burning to be told

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

First-time director Scott Frank, who penned Out of Sight and Minority Report, shapes some sharp noirish notes.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

The best young actor in movies today may well be Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

The vast majority of his veteran contemporaries should be so lucky as to have their best dramas be as engrossing as Frank's first.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source:

Lookout for this one and grab it.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Maybe in 10 more years we'll be saying how weird it is that Gordon-Levitt used to play all those parts requiring him to crouch in corners taking other people's abuse. We should cross our fingers and put in a request for romantic comedy now.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Most noirs are coming of age stories where an innocent learns how vicious and cruel the world can be. Only he usually learns it while a hunk of hot lead burns in his gut.

April 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Beyond Hollywood
Beyond Hollywood

Strong performances fill this terrific crime drama.

February 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

epibebaionei tin ypopsia poy eihes ligo meta tin arhi, oti tha parabei ton basiko kanona poy tosin ora soy promotare: den mporeis na peis mia istoria, an den ksereis poy thes na tin pas

January 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

A perfect little movie about flawed characters.

January 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Solid, if somewhat derivative filmmaking. A quiet thriller with some great performances.

January 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

The straightforward routine story has plot holes you can drive a tractor through and a screenplay that's too clean for the messy story it's spinning.

December 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (3)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Certain scenes feel too glib and stagey, as though they've been doused with pop video gloss - particularly the snow, which surely had its own assistant, make-up artist and trailer.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Engaging, smartly directed thriller with fantastic performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels, though the script commits a couple of glaring errors along the way.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

The Lookout is a well made psychological thriller which only disappoints with its ending.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Full of memorable dialogue and sharp performances, it's let down only by its perfunctory climax.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper

It's a pity Frank is too busy laying on the wintry atmospherics to make the story grip as it should.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

A cracking armed-robbery thriller.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian

Audience Reviews for The Lookout

This is much more of a character study than it is a thriller with the first half of the film dedicated to just getting you to know the characters and their lives before the drama truly starts. I honestly didn't know where the story was going to go, but I was engrossed because of the nuanced performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels. The thrills and plot don't really kick in for about 35-40 minutes, but once they do the pacing takings a turn and really ratchets up the suspense. This is a great thriller reminiscent of Memento because of the similar circumstances of the main characters. Levitt plays a character who ends up with significant damage from a car wreck that makes it to where he cannot sequence events properly or handle everyday things without a little bit of a struggle. Much of the suspense and unpredictability of the film comes from not knowing whether his character knows what to do or not. It adds an extra level beyond the standard plot. Matthew Goode adds in a chilling performance as the leader of the bad guys who convince Levitt to help them rob the bank he works for at night as the janitor. The dialogue is well written and the story keeps you on your toes throughout. This is also one of the few times where I really enjoyed the ending. The main characters come full circle and it's just fun to see. I can't ask for much more from a movie like this.
May 11, 2013

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A taut thriller with great performances, but nothing about 'The Lookout' is extraordinarily memorable or wholly unique. A good script and a decent film, but there is something all too familiar and unoriginal about it, as if its been done before. We've all seen thrillers like this time and time again.
January 3, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

After a tragic car accident leaves him with brain damage and the inability to function beyond a very basic level, a former high school hockey star turned lowely janitor at a bank finds himself drawn into a plot by a former classmate to rob the bank where he works in this taut thriller from screenwriter Scott Frank, who makes his directorial debut here.

Even though this is a crime thriller that belongs into the heist genre, this is ultimately a character study that happens to have crime elements to it. Basically you just mix a bit of Memento with Fargo and throw in a tale of struggle and redemption, and you have this movie.

And, you know what? I really enjoyed the end result. This is a solid film that surprised me with the emphasis on character over action, and how the crime elements are merely just part of the overall scheme of things instead of being the driving force. Of course, they are a big part of the movie, but they're not the focus, and that's cool.

You really grow to care about the protagonist, and you feel for how the events going on affect him, especially since he may not be as over his head as it seems. Don't worry though, Frank keeps this from getting too far into the maddening territory of twists common in the works of Christopher Nolan.

And it's not just the lead that you enjoy watching either. His blind roommate Lewis is a great character, and even the thuggih villain is rather compelling. It really helps too that the film has some great actors giving strong performances, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead, Jeff Daniels as Lewis (who really steals his scenes), and Matthew Goode in probably his best performance as Gary the villain. You've also got a decent Isla Fisher as a femme fatale, and brief appearances by Carla Gugino and Alex Borstein, so that's cool too.

All in all, I really liked this and found it to be veryt compelling, engaging, and attention holding. I did take issue with a few thigns that kinda stretched some of the believabiolity, but I won't get into the specifics since that would involving some spoilers. Despite those little issues though, this is some good stuff, albeit maybe not the most memorable film ever (no pun intended). I'm torn on the rating, so let's split the difference and call it a trong B to a light B+.
May 31, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Gary Spargo: Who ever has the money, has the power.
    – Submitted by Seryna V (21 months ago)
    1. Lewis: Am I dead? I must be dead because no one's talking to me!
    – Submitted by jaswant r (22 months ago)
    1. Chris Pratt: Once upon a time, I woke up. I took a shower, with soap.
    – Submitted by Christina L (3 years ago)
    1. Chris Pratt: That's her last name.
    2. Lewis: Luvlee Lemons? That's her name?
    3. Chris Pratt: Well, it's her stage name. She's a performer. Or she was.
    – Submitted by Steven P (3 years ago)
    1. Lewis: I smell money.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Chris Pratt: I have the money. I have the power.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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