Movie Review: The star-studded Heist would be a big zero without Robert De Niro

Two questions loom heavy over Heist. First: What is Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro doing in a low-budget thriller so generic that even its title is recycled? De Niro has made lousy movies before (and more than ever lately), but his role here is so small and the film so middling that it’s almost distracting every time the star shows up. And question two: Would the movie be as (barely) entertaining as it is without De Niro? He only has about 15 minutes’ worth of scenes in Heist, but whenever he’s on-screen the film almost feels legitimate.

To be fair, Heist‘s actual star is no slouch either. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Luke Vaughn, a riverboat casino dealer who used to be the hatchet-man for De Niro’s gang-lord Francis “The Pope” Silva, but walked away and took a demotion in the organization so that he could …

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