Movie review: ‘The Art of the Steal,’ 2.5 stars

Kurt Russell’s performance is a highlight of “The Art of the Steal.”

Kurt Russell plays an aging motorcycle daredevil and part-time art thief who gets out of jail and caught up in the criminal world soon afterward. So, you know, the prototypical heist flick setup.

The film borrows heavily from the 1911 heist of the Mona Lisa, in which a thief stole the painting for a con man, who then commissioned six forgeries and sold them for a fortune. And it’s honest about it, going as far as telling the story in a cool vignette.

Russell and Matt Dillon are half brothers Crunch and Nicky. They have a contentious past, with Nicky sending Crunch to jail after a heist. Once out of jail, Crunch and Nicky soon reunite for another job, stealing a book printed by Johannes Gutenberg.

It’s a twisting story with the kind of colorful characters you’d expect to find in a heist film. Dillon is strong and smarmy, and Russell gives a classic Kurt Russell performance, which elevates this film from the standard fare.

The Art of the Steal
2.5 stars
Directed by Jonathan Sobel
Starring Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel
Rated R

Scott A. Rosenberg