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The Art of the Steal

March 12, 2010

Directed by Don Argott.

Pros: This was one of those subject matters I had been oblivious to prior to watching the trailer, and even after, still knew very little about. But it certainly sounded very compelling to know more about “the true story of a multi-billion dollar art heist and how they got away with it.” How could you not watch a movie with a tag line like that? For a “talking head” documentary, I thoroughly enjoyed it. History lessons aren’t normally the most entertaining. I myself prefer observational documentaries where an event, action, or process is captured by cameras (yes, very reality show like, but you know, about something I actually care about). But even with as little footage that they had, the filmmakers made good use of it with great storytelling skills to make it all feel in the moment. There were certainly high production values throughout, the graphics were top notch and the music selection was superb. Both sides of the issue were spoken, even if the film’s views ultimately lead in one direction. There was a great deal of conflict, interesting information, and was quite funny at times. I came out learning something and was entertained for the most part. Amazing movie poster too.

Cons: Although it has a runtime of one hour and forty-one minutes, it feels like it’s over two hours. The film could have used more editing as much of the information kept repeating throughout and there were moments of dullness.

The film opens in LA this Friday 3/12, and it’s playing at The Landmark with a Q&A with the filmmakers on Friday, March 12th and Saturday March 13th both at 7:30pm. For more info, click here.

Have you had a chance to check this film out? What are your thoughts?

This review was written by Brian Gurrola. He’s on a quest to watch, review and critique 365 movies this year. Check out his thoughts on filmmaking, and cinematic storytelling here.


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