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View All The Robber News
All Critics (32)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (25)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (1)
Here is a well-made movie with insufficient interest in its hero.
"The Robber" is artfully done but emotionally remote.
The film boasts several turbocharged chase-and-escape sequences, alongside understated character analysis.
The Robber is powerful stuff.
"The Robber" is one of the most abstemious thrillers in recent memory.
Armed with a screenplay adapted from a Martin Prinz novel based on a true story, writer-director Benjamin Heisenberg has crafted something as serious, quietly determined, and surprisingly compelling as his criminal protagonist.
This overall orchestration of The Robber as a kind of cinematic device for marking contrastive states of existence is, crucially, mirrored in Rettenberger's own formalistic attitude towards his own existence.
The strange relationship between compulsive personalities and physical fitness is at the heart of [this] engrossing and complex yet economically straightforward character-driven thriller.
Something of an endurance test.
For those who prefer a bit of existential vagueness to being led by the nose, this is a thought-provoking as well as a technically impressive piece of work.
A thriller that deliberately doesn't thrill.
A detached and precise piece of heist filmmaking - more coldness than Heat - but watchable for that.
In "The Robber," Johann Rettenberger(Andreas Lust) is released from jail. Apparently he did not learn his lesson, because it takes him about eight minutes before he returns to his life of crime by stealing a car and robbing a bank. He might want to reconsider this when he earns about 15,000 euros in prize money by running so well in the Vienna Marathon. Even then, his parole officer(Markus Schleinzer) is less than impressed. Not so for Erika(Franziska Weisz), an old family friend who invites him to stay with her until he finds a place of his own.
At its best, "The Robber" is confirmation for people who think there is something seriously wrong with people who run in marathons.(The first guy who ran 26.2 miles died and everybody thinks it is a good idea?) In fact, Johann seems to be the poster child for compulsive behavior as he is either unable or unwilling to stop himself, just as some characters show how stupid they can be at times. But that is as far as we get into his head, as he remains frustratingly a cipher throughout the movie which just goes in circles.
Johann: This is a hold up, let's go.
The Robber may sound like a standard bank robbery/action film from the title and the plot summary, but it is anything but that. For the most part, this is an extremely quiet and slow moving Austrian film. A lot of the runtime is filled watching Johann do different things. He may be training, he may be sitting, he may be "talking" with someone. The film isn't the exciting adrenaline rush you may think it is.
The Robber follows Johann who is recently released from prison where he was for trying to rob a bank. He's also a runner. He was training the whole time he was in prison. When he gets out, he does marathons and he robs banks. There are some good chase sequences, but they aren't what I'd call "exciting" or "pulse pounding."
Johann actually quite a boring character. He barely speaks, and when he does it is very dull. Since Johann is our character, who the whole movie is based around; the movie comes off as dull because of that. Now I don't want you to get to much of a wrong impression. The film is pretty well made. It's smart and the ending is extremely well done. I just can't get over the fact that the movie was really, really dull. I was bored basically the whole movie. There are interesting parts, like the chases and like the robberies; but in between is boredom. The relationship between Johann and Erika is poorly done. Erika is also nearly as dull as Johann.
This is a decent little film that should have been lightyears better. It could and should have been great, but it wasted a lot of its potential. I'm not saying I needed it to be a standard action film, but if you're not going for action, go for something. Nothing is explored here all that much. It's lacking in plot, character, and just about everything else. Yet, it has a watchability factor to it and it is well made, technically speaking. I guess I'm trying to say it is okay, but still a disappointment.
"I love you, Hans."
Tells the true story of Johann Rettenberger, a marathon athlete who developed robbing banks as a hobby.
Equal parts exhilirating and depressing, 'The Robber' is a masterpiece among criminal character studies. I really do think this a a brilliant film.
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