"No Honor Among Criminals"
What You Need To Know:
Artistically, ROB THE MOB is a solid movie, but there is no final sense of legal, moral justice. Also, the movie’s frequent foul language is sure to be a turn-off for most discerning viewers, in addition to its casual portrayal of cohabitation and premarital sex. The action and comedy are well shot and mostly well paced, but the second half of ROB THE MOB is a bit weaker. The foul language is strong and excessive.
(PaPaPa, B, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, DD, MM) Very strong, slightly mixed worldview with some moral elements, but the plot is to get revenge against the Mob by stealing their money; at least 125 obscenities and profanities; strong violence includes flashbacks imply the lead male saw his father get killed by the Mob via a beating that’s mostly implied, several fistfights and foot chases, and the lead shoots up Mob hangouts with reckless machine gun fire and holds mobsters at gunpoint to make them undress to their underwear; passionate kissing and implied fornication, and unmarried cohabitation; upper male nudity; heavy alcohol use; marijuana use and woman is a junkie but she overcomes her addiction; and, revenge, stealing, male protagonist holds mobsters at gunpoint to humiliate them and make them strip to their underwear.
ROB THE MOB is an intense, character-based crime drama about the true story of a young New York City man who robbed the Mob in the early ‘90s as revenge for his father’s murder. ROB THE MOB has a very strong, slightly mixed pagan worldview, with lots of strong foul language.
Tommy Uva (Michael Pitt) is a young thug in 1990 New York City who lives with his junkie girlfriend, Rosie (Nina Arianda). They commit petty crimes and robberies until they get caught and Tommy’s imprisoned. While he’s in prison, they both get get clean and sober and want to live law-abiding lives. However, the only jobs they can find as convicts can’t pay their bills. So, Tommy decides to rob Mob hangouts to make money and get revenge against his dad’s killers.
A series of funny robberies occur, with laughs coming from his making the Mob men to strip to their underwear and stealing their clothes so they can’t chase him. The heat is now on from cops and Mob leaders, and the tension comes from whether the couple gets away with their crimes, with the help of a sympathetic newspaper columnist.
ROB THE MOB boasts an amazing lead performance from frequent indie actor Michael Pitt as Tommy, who produced the movie as a showcase for his talents after being stuck in a string of roles as good-looking guys without substance. He rises to the occasion with a fierce, funny and touching performance, matched perfectly by Arianda as his girlfriend. The robbery scenes are packed with comedic tension, and for awhile it’s hard not to get swept away in his excitement over his ill-gotten gains, because Tommy is robbing the gangsters for somewhat sympathetic reasons, to avenge his father’s death.
A downside to the movie is that Ray Romano is underused in a dramatic turn as a newspaper columnist who wants to help the young couple escape. Also, Andy Garcia is fine, but he sometimes chews the scenery as a Mob boss reminiscing over his regrets sporadically throughout the story.
Garcia reteams here with his director Raymond DeFelitta, who guided him through 2010’s excellent comedy CITY ISLAND. While the action and comedy are well shot and largely well paced, the second half is a bit weaker because of Garcia’s too frequent musings, and an ending that drifts into mystery.
Artistically, ROB THE MOB is a solid movie, but there is no final sense of legal or moral justice. Also, the movie’s frequent foul language is sure to turn off for most discerning viewers, in addition to the casual portrayal of cohabitation and premarital sex. The violence is mostly the lead male shooting up furniture and other objects inside mob hangouts to scare the Mob members into submission to robbery and also running from them. The lead couple is frequently drunk or high on marijuana early in the story, though the movie makes clear that that behavior is destructive and they successfully overcome their addictions.
Overall, ROB THE MOB would be more enjoyable for media-wise moviegoers without the strong foul language and with stronger moral content.