Stander - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stander Reviews

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May 24, 2012
Based in true facts this movie follows the endeavours of Andre Stander, a South African Police Captain during the Apartheid years. Feeling disappointed at the injustice of the regime and tormented after having killed a young unarmed black activist during a riot in Soweto, Stander rebels in a curious way, he starts to rob banks. During a few months he is successful, refining his method and becoming a master of disguise. However he is finally caught and sent to prison. He manages to escape two years later taking with him two fellow inmates, Allan and Lee, that would become members of the notorious Stander gang. They would go on assaulting banks for a while until one of them got killed. We get to see also, Standerā(TM)s personal relationships with his old fashioned father and his astonished wife.
It is not an easy movie to watch, the injustice of the Apartheid oozes through it though we mostly see the Afrikaans side. Sometimes we get a glimpse at the huge gap of lifestyles, the rich whites and the black underdogs. Half way through the film the injustice issue fades and it becomes the story of a manā(TM)s self destruction.
I loved the strong accent accomplished by American actors and the cultural background provided giving us a taste of a country that we hardly see in films. A weird mix of biopic and caper but with a sorrowful end. A good effort with believable action scenes and an outstanding impersonation of the main character by Thomas Jane.
April 15, 2012
A cool action filled true story
Super Reviewer
½ April 7, 2012
Thomas Jane has not been good in any film that I've ever seen him in, and I've seen quite a few. "Stander" proved me wrong; not only it the best performance of his career, but it's just an all-around great performance. He provides us with a sturdy and well-developed character. On top of that, "Stander" is engaging, exciting, involving, and unquestionably well-made. It's been a long time since I've watched a movie where I haven't checked the clock once at least once and with "Stander", I wasn't bored a single time. Now, there a couple of instances where it gets a little silly, but overall, "Stander" is a great film. Highly recommended.
March 17, 2012
Part Public Enemies, part Mesrine, all good. Great music, directing and acting, the best of the three bank robber tales.
December 27, 2011
A cop in South Africa fed up with corruption goes to robbing banks and investigating his own robberies. Its an average movie but worth a watch.
December 10, 2011
Looks interesting, based on a true story.
½ December 1, 2011
A good film, based on a true story, an old bill goes off the rails.... Mint
October 26, 2011
It was good, but if I didn't like Thomas Jane, there's no way I'd ever have picked this up. It's decent enough performances from the 3 gang members (Jane, Dexter Fletcher, & David O'Hara) but other than that, it's kind of ho-hum, things happen, and so forth. It's based on the real life of Andre Stander, a South African policeman who gets sick of things and starts robbing banks on his lunchhour. It grows from there. Fairly obvious, but as I liked the cameraderie amongst the 3, it was worthwhile for that. Not essential, but good if you like bank robber movies or Thomas Jane.
October 25, 2011
south africa, who knew? country I'm reading a book about. Privileged cop fights the apertheid with... bank jobs. What can be cooler than that?
August 14, 2011
very worthyyyyyyyyyyyy
July 17, 2011
Despite Thomas Jane putting in a really good performance, it looking really good, having some decent action and a political undercurrent it didn't hold my interest and the longer it went on the plot just got more muddled and it didn't feel like it knew where it wanted to go.
½ July 12, 2011
A smooth film with a pacing that mirrors the protagonist's change of life pace. Stander goes from cop to bank robber and the pacing picks up without losing it once Stander decides to start robbing banks. I'm most likely going to forget about this movie when I think of movies that can last, but I will always check it out if I see it on television while flipping channels. A suave film.
½ June 30, 2011
This movie starts off rather tepid, then gets pretty interesting, then looks like it's wallowing low, then picks up quite a bit before ending on a rather odd bit. And so goes the roller coaster ride of watching this movie. One thing for sure, Jane is great. He makes this movie entirely watchable. And the story is so interesting for a real life story - though I assume some of it is changed for dramatic effect.

Still, this movie keeps you watching, even through the lulls because it only teeters, never falling. I'd be interested to see more from this director, and hope Jane gets more roles like this. Last note, was South Africa the stand in for Miami?
½ June 3, 2011
Netflix streaming recommendation. The first two minutes the dialogue is hard to hear, the next 10 minutes are apartheid-era brutal, and then it turns into an unbelievable (and apparently true) and amusing crime caper. Good stuff.
May 6, 2011
Stander dies differently in real life than depicted in the movie.
April 7, 2011
Interesting true crime story with Thomas Jane putting in a good performance, it is a little slow in places and has some unneeded nudity, so that brings it down in it's rating.
April 5, 2011
Very cool flick that once again proves truth really is stranger than fiction.
April 3, 2011
Stander is sort of a caper flick with a side order of apartheid. I felt that this movie was a bit racist. Portraying all of the black characters as innocent victims and noble souls is just as bad as portraying them as ignorant savages. Both are stereotypes. Just give us real human beings.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2011
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.
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