One last big job and then he's out for good. Frank (Caan) is a master jewel thief operating under the same illusion as the gangsters, dealers and hitmen of a thousand films before him, and it's a story we know far too well to ever think that it can end happily. Ultimately, they'll either pull him back in or wipe him out.
Thief wears its genre as a badge of honour from the very first scene. It opens at night in a dank back alley, rusted fire escapes creeping up the sides of dilapidated apartment buildings and rain pouring down. With its noirish, crime flick intentions announced loud and clear, the rest of the film is free to revel in Michael Mann's slick camerawork and Caan's formidable charisma. Finished off with a pulsating electronic soundtrack courtesy of Tangerine Dream, the full effect is darkly hypnotic and very, very cool. [Ross McIndoe]