Bandits (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bandits (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The story may not warrant its lengthy running time, but the cast of Bandits makes it an enjoyable ride.

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Movie Info

Director Barry Levinson follows up the low-budget An Everlasting Piece (2000) with another comedy, this one of the homegrown variety from former Twin Peaks (1990) TV series writer Harley Peyton. Bruce Willis stars as suave bank robber Joe, who has escaped from prison with his hypochondriac buddy Terry (Billy Bob Thornton). Together, the two men have devised a clever scheme to take a bank officer hostage the night before a heist, then simply escort the executive to work early the next morning when they clean out the vault. Their ingenious methods have led to the men becoming media darlings dubbed "the Sleepover Bandits," but all Joe and Terry want is to make a nice pile of money before crossing the Mexican border to a life of freedom and legitimacy. Their quest gets more complicated when Terry is struck by a car driven by Kate Wheeler (Cate Blanchett), a bored housewife who's then forced to join their crime spree. Soon both Joe and Terry are in love with Kate and she with them, realizing that the two friends put together pretty much equal the perfect man. Bandits co-stars Troy Garity, son of actress Jane Fonda. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for some sexual content, language and violence)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$41,176,738.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Bruce Willis
as Joe Blake
Billy Bob Thornton
as Terry Collins
Cate Blanchett
as Kate Wheeler
Troy Garity
as Harvey
Bobby Slayton
as Darren Head
Brian F. O'Byrne
as Darill Miller
Stacey Davis
as Cloe Miller
January Jones
as Claire
Azura Skye
as Cheri
Peggy Miley
as Mildred Kronenberg
William Converse-Roberts
as Charles Wheeler
Richard Riehle
as Lawrence Fife
Mildred Kronenberg
as Peggy Miley
Micole Mercurio
as Sarah Fife
Scott Burkholder
as Wildwood Policeman
Stacey Travis
as Cloe Miller
Sam Levinson
as Billy Saunders
Scout LaRue Willis
as Monica Miller
Tallulah Belle Willis
as Erika Miller
John Evans
as Ralph
John Harrington Bland
as Flamingo Clerk
Cindy Goldfield
as Debbie Day No.1
Heather Mathieson
as Debbie Day No. 2
Erin-Kate Whitcomb
as Debbie Day No. 3
Kim Bogus
as Bend Bank Teller
Rich Sickler
as Policeman
Michael Birnbaum
as Desk Sergeant
Joe Unitas
as Detective
Richard Shuster
as LA Chopper Pilot
Jennifer York
as LA Reporter
Jose G. Garcia
as Local Youth
Alfred De Contreras
as Mexican Priest
Peter Weireter
as SWAT Commander
Kerry Kilbride
as Male Debater
Jane Velez-Mitchell
as Female Debater
Mia Lee
as Los Angeles Anchor
Peter Hutchinson
as Band Member
Louis LeRay
as Band Member
Peter Hutchison
as Band Member
Maya Rossi
as Band Member
Joan Palmateer
as Bank Teller
Rose Aispuro
as Bank Hostage
Carrie Casano
as Bank Manager
Jaye K. Danford
as Alamo Bank Manager
Darryl D. Stewart
as Detective
Greg Wilmarth
as US Marshall
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Critic Reviews for Bandits

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (35)

Thornton and Willis save the day with their performances.

Full Review… | November 6, 2002
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

I like movies that don't settle into a groove, especially if the groove is already well worn. But the different kinds of movies that make up Bandits are pretty worn, too.

January 22, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

It's just about impossible not to fall for the ingratiating trio, especially Thornton's Terry.

January 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

What started as cute becomes cloying and bloated.

October 18, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

The movie has a one-take feel about it, containing vast stretches where nothing much happens. The cinematography looks amateurish, often badly composed and poorly lit.

Full Review… | October 12, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Levinson must think he's on safe ground morally by keeping Bandits bloodless, as if the absence of carnage somehow makes kidnapping and armed robbery wholesome.

October 12, 2001
Slate
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bandits

Of course, Bandits is not one of the best film ever, but presents a nice script, a good cast and a very good performance by Thornton. Bandits, also, most have not much material to present in 122 minutes, problem that could make the movie stay a little boring. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

½

Bandits is the story of two criminals who one day impulsively escape from prison and decided to embark on a series of bank robberies to fund their plan of retiring in paradise down in Mexico. Joe (Willis) is the more charismatic and cool one, while Terry (Thornton) is a neurotic, hypochondriac with a number of quirks and phobias, one of which (fear of antique furniture) is something Thornton deals with in real life. Joe and Terry enlist the help of Joe's goofy aspiring stunt man relative Harvey (Garity) to be their get away driver. It's not long before the criminals become media sensations dubbed the Sleepover Banditss due to their M.O. of putting the managers of the targeted banks on house arrest the night before the job. Things go fine enough until a chance encounter with a distraught, bored, and desperae runaway housewife named Kate (Blanchett) tags along, getting into an awkward love triangle with Joe and Terry that could threaten to really throw things off balance. PLotwise, there's a few nice little twists, turns, and touches that help the movie stand out a bit. Mostly though, it's just a little standard. The film tries to be a crime dramedy, but more often than not, it's seems unsure of what it really wants to be, becoming meandering, uneven tonally, and unfocused. Also, the film is structed as a flash back flashforward frame story, and, while it doesn't ruin the film, it doesn't keep it from getting bloated either. The plot device with the America's Most Wanted style show seems like it's aiming for satire, but mostly reminded me of Natural Born Killers which did the same sort of thing, and far better. I enjoyed this movie. It's fun, entertaining, has some decent location shooting in Oregon, good cinematography from veteran Dante Spinotti, and some solid performances from the likeable and talented cast. None of the work these people put in ranks among their respective bests, but they're all still solid nonetheless. I liked the quirkiness and the banter, but the movie seemed like it was trying too hard. Plus, I think Levinson had some really good ideas, but decided to use them all, resulting in a movie that should be tighter and more concise, but isn't. All in all, this is a flawed movie, but it's well meaning. I've seen far more derivative capers than this, and, even though this one has issues, thankfully the cnematogrpahy, locations, and performances are strong enough to carry it. This really could have been something quite terrific. Instead it's merely just "not bad". Still though, it's got enough good stuff to warrant a viewing.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

Bandits is an action comedy/crime thriller/romance movie starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett in their funniest roles ever. The film takes a true story about unusual bank robbers and throws a silly romantic comedy twist on it with greatly entertaining results. Willis is a combination of daredevil and brooding loner; I can't see anyone else playing the role as well. Thornton plays the funniest, most neurotic criminal ever, and Blanchett provides the goofy, sexy center of this unlikely love triangle. The script by veteran Harley Peyton is clever but perhaps stretches everything too far. The direction by Barry Levinson is quirky like the film, channeling Woody Allen somewhat. In the media frenzy which envelopes the criminal trio, complications and hilarity of course ensue. How will their scheme play out? Who will Cate choose? It's a terrific surprise ending, and I won't tell, but you'll find yourself rooting for the "Sleepover Bandits."

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

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