The Lookout

Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 167

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 80,702


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.5/5

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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.

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Jeff Daniels
as Lewis Canfield
Matthew Goode
as Gary Spargo
Sergio Di Zio
as Deputy Ted
David Huband
as Mr. Tuttle
Toni Reimer
as Motorcycle Woman
Ted Felbel
as Elderly Man with Walker
Charles Crossin
as Department Store Clerk
Chuck Robinson
as Farmer on Thresher
Kalyn Bomback
as Waitress
Martin Roach
as Loan Officer
Alberta Watson
as Barbara Pratt
Alex Borstein
as Mrs. Lange
Marc DeVigne
as Cameron Pratt
Courtney-Jane White
as Cameron's Girlfriend
John Bluethner
as State Trooper
Lelsie Bais
as Ted's Wife
Harry Nelken
as Taxi Driver
Bruce McGill
as Robert Pratt
Julie Pederson
as Attractive Woman in Bar
Tracy McMahon
as Woman Reading at Bar
Paul Christie
as Jonathan
Janaya Stephens
as Alison Pratt
Gordie Farrell
as Motorcycle Man
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News & Interviews for The Lookout

Critic Reviews for The Lookout

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (40)

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 | Rating: 3/5

A cracking armed-robbery thriller.

Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Forgettable fun.

Nov 1, 2007 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top 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.

Mar 31, 2007 | Rating: B+
AV Club
Top 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.

Mar 31, 2007 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Mar 30, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lookout


I'm not into heist movies generally, but this was pretty good. Very interesting main character.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer



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.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

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