Stander (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Stander (2004)



Critic Consensus: An unsatisfying account of Stander's life.

Movie Info

A lawman fed up with the corruption in Apartheid-era South Africa takes to robbing banks in this gritty crime drama from writer/director Bronwen Hughes. The title Stander refers to Andre Stander (Thomas Jane), an ambitious second-generation policeman whose strategies and experience make him the perfect candidate for commander. But when the privileged Stander is chosen to direct the police force against a brutal, majority-led uprising in Soweto, he becomes so disgusted with his actions that he decides to undermine his own authority as an officer. His means for doing so is to moonlight as a bank robber, partly out of disgust for the force and partly as an adrenalin-fueled act of deception. After pulling more than two dozen heists, Stander is caught -- but it isn't long before he breaks out of jail, and fortified by two hardened-criminal pals, Lee (Dexter Fletcher) and Allan (David Patrick O'Hara), he resumes his anti-authoritarian crime sprees. Stander premiered at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Ken Friedman, Bima Stagg, Bronwen Hughes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 21, 2004
Newmarket Films - Official Site

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Thomas Jane
as Andre Stander
Dexter Fletcher
as Lee McCall
David O'Hara
as Allan Heyl
Deborah Kara Unger
as Bekkie Stander
Marius Weyers
as Gen. Stander
Ashley Taylor
as Cor Van Deventer
At Botha
as Gen. Viljoen
Lionel Newton
as Desk Sgt. Smit
Melanie Merle
as Sharmaine
Hannes Muller
as Jan Wortmann
Shaeleen Tobin
as Grace Wortmann
Sean Else
as Assistant Detective ...
Drummond Marais
as Prosecutor
Nicole Abel
as Young Lady in Bar
Waldemar Schultz
as Cop at Accident
Emgee Pretorius
as Wedding Judge
James Borthwick
as Vorster/Detective Gr...
Graham Clarke
as Riot General
Andre Stolz
as Armourer
Robin Smith
as Loudspeaker Colonel
Allan Bevolo
as Riot Cop No. 1
Jacques Gombault
as Riot Cop No. 2
Anton Dekker
as Colonel
Drik Stoltz
as Cop at Slum Apartmen...
Lynn Hooker
as Elderly Woman
Iain Paton
as Macho Teller
Ben Krüger
as Bank Guard
Thomas Ramabu
as Sunglasses Hawker
Diaan Lawrenson
as Female Bank Teller
Cassidy Coombs
as Kidnapped Child
Anel Olsson
as Bank Teller
Steven Raymond
as Prisoner No. 1
Chris Steyn
as Prisoner No. 2
George Moolman
as Male Nurse
Ron Smerczak
as Wild Coast Cop
Clive Scott
as Bank Officer
John Lesley
as Old Man
Shafa'ath-Ahmad Khan
as Indian Tailor
Virgil Graham Hopkin...
as Porsche Salesman
Paul Ditchfield
as Bank Manager
Ben Horowitz
as Mark Jennings
Charlotte Butler
as Marlene Henn
Matt Stern
as Celebrity Spotter
Kerry Hiles
as Tweaked Customer
Duncan Harling
as Airport Cop
Justin Strydom
as House Dick
Fredinand Rabie
as Barrier Cop
Dan Robbertse
as Onlooker No. 1
Errol Ballentine
as Onlooker No. 2
Shane Howarth
as Airport Cop
Tess Jubber
as Florida Girl
Gert White
as Frat Boy 1
Denton Douglas
as Frat Boy 2
Neil Coppen
as Blond God
Tyrone Akal
as Mustang Kid
Zaa Nkweta
as Black Officer
David Dukas
as White Officer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Stander

Critic Reviews for Stander

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (18)

Pumped by a soundtrack of period South African funk and dance music, propelled by whiplash montage sequences and rubber-burning Burt Reynolds-issue getaways, Stander is the very definition of good, old-fashioned outlawry.

Full Review… | December 3, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Stander refuses to take a stand on its own subject matter.

Full Review… | December 3, 2004
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Has you in its grip from the beginning.

Full Review… | August 20, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Worth a look, thanks mostly to Mr. Jane's troubled swagger and Ms. Hughes' sharp eye.

Full Review… | August 19, 2004
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Adds up to what is less a movie than an entertainingly episodic rap sheet.

August 19, 2004
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

better than expected

May 8, 2008

Audience Reviews for Stander


Genre: Crime. Based on real life story. IMDb Rating: Above 7.

Well, that was enough to set me going. But the experience was mixed. The script & screenplay isn't up-to-date here; it fails in properly fictionalizing the facts. Some of the sub-plots created to support the story at a later stage are too unconvincing.

After having killed an unarmed protesting citizen in a riot, Andre Stander, one of the captains of the riot squad, asks to free himself from that duty. He was already getting sick of the corruption around him & this riot event only worsened the matters for him. In the midst of this crisis, he begins to rob banks, but eventually gets arrested. He manages to escape, though, with a partner, & later manages to get one more of his inmates out. The three start robbing banks, which soon gains media's attention & the trio is thereby referred to as 'The Stander Gang' by the media & hence the public at large. After a while, Stander feels that he should escape with his wife. But his wife disapproves of his actions, saying: ?There?s not a thinking man among us that doesn?t want to blow this place to smithereens from time to time. But we don?t. We find other ways.? Despite of this, he plans an escape, to be followed by a final heist, with his partners. But do things work out the way they?d planned?

While the first half was good enough, much of the second half was messy. I'm not saying that the second half was absolute crappy. It had its highs & lows, but the lows were far more than the highs. One of the protagonists says: "We've written a pretty good story so far. Why not a perfect ending?" But the ending wasn't that great either. The creation of the South Africa in the 80s era is done quite well, though.

Thomas Jane is exceptional. The way he plays this complicated character is amazing. Deborah Unger is excellent. Dexter Fletcher & David O'Hara are passable.

All in all, the movie works in parts & is worth a shot for those parts, IMO. 6.5/10.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


Great character piece and early performance by Thomas Jane

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

I bought this sight-unseen and turned out to really like it. Deborah Kara Unger can't really pull of the South Afircan accent, but otherwise this movie is areally good. I just wish it didn't end on such a down note. Oh well. It was still really good, and was peppered with humour.

Emily Armstrong

Super Reviewer

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