Joel Siegel Reviews 'Heist'

Nov. 9, 2001 -- Steal this film. It's actually worth taking the risk.

"He's so cool, when he goes to sleep sheep count him!" That's how Ricky Jay describes Gene Hackman in David Mamet's latest.

With three great stars bringing Mamet's explosive dialogue to bigger-than-life it's one of Mamet's best. It's also one of Hackman's best, most mercurial performances. Add Danny DeVito and Delroy Lindo, two more of my favorite actors, and Heist put me smack in the middle of movie critic heaven.

Mamet (State and Main, The Spanish Prisoner, Glengary Glen Ross, all must-sees) is a con artist (emphasis on artist) and his scripts are a spiraling series of cons, played out with more twists than the braid on my Aunt Rosie's challah.

I have this feeling what Mamet does is plan the perfect crime, turns it into a movie script, sells it to Hollywood and ends up making more money than he would if he'd done the crime. Grade: B+