Yep this is a fun movie with great actors acting as actors. Henry (Keanu Reeves) a tollbooth worker in Buffalo is falsely convicted of a bank robbery. While in prison he meets a lifer (James Caan) and learns about life and having a dream. Once released from prison Henry hatches a plan of his own. Little did he think that love (Vera Farmiga,) greed (Fisher Stevens,) and fait may change his objective?
The acting is good. The pacing is good. The only thing that was annoying was the loud irritating irrelevant back ground music if you can call it that.
Unfortunately there is no ending, so if you want one, do not start this movie.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Whoa, Lopakhin!Aug. 23 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
One assumes that Henry (Keanu Reeves) has some kind of inner life. He seems to be a likable, easy-going fellow; it's just that he's a bit...inscrutable. Maybe it's his job. Working the graveyard shift night after night at a N.Y. Thruway tollbooth would put anybody in semi-comatose state. Nothing fazes the agreeable yet impassive Henry, one way or the other-although he does display a slight twitch when, one morning at breakfast, his wife (Judy Greer) broaches the subject of the couple having a child. Suddenly, we get the impression that Henry would prefer to be anywhere else but there, at that moment, having that particular conversation. What's going on? Is this a troubled marriage? Does he love his wife? Is this cipher of a man internally harboring primal doubts about life itself? Or...is he suffering in silence from a sudden attack of gas? There's really no way of discerning.
We never get a chance to find out exactly what Henry is contemplating, because that is precisely the moment that Fate intervenes. An old high school chum named Eddie Vibes (Fisher Stevens) unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, with a drunken cohort in tow. Both men are dubiously outfitted for a game of baseball. Eddie wants to know if Henry can give them a ride to their "game". Nothing about this questionable early-morning scenario seems to raise any red flags for the ever-malleable Henry. Even Eddie's request to stop at the bank "on the way"-and to park the car out front and wait while his passengers go inside-fails to elicit the tiniest raised eyebrow from Henry. Needless to say, the heist goes awry, Henry's car stalls, his "friends" flee...and guess who ends up in stir?
Although he owes them squat, Henry doesn't rat out the real culprits and takes the fall, while his demeanor remains unchanged. At this point, one might surmise that Henry is either some kind of transcendent Zen master...or a clueless moron (not unlike the protagonist of "Forrest Gump" or Chance the gardener in "Being There"). Ah, but our little wooden boy is about to meet his Geppetto. Max (James Caan) is a veteran con man. He's one of those oddball convicts who actually "likes" prison-which is why he has been sabotaging his own parole hearings and enabling himself to continue living on the state's dime. He becomes a mentor/father figure to Henry, who takes it to heart when Max advises him that he needs to find a Dream, and then pursue it. So what is Henry's resultant epiphany? Since he's already done the time, he might as well now do the crime. Classic heist caper tropes ensue, with a love interest tossed in for good measure(Vera Farmiga).
There's a little déjà vu running through this film (the second effort from "44 Inch Chest" director Malcolm Venville). Sacha Gervasi and David White's script may have been "inspired" by some vintage heist flicks; specifically, Alexander Mackendrick's 1955 comedy "The Ladykillers", and Lloyd Bacon's "Larceny, Inc." from 1942 (essentially remade by Woody Allen as "Small Time Crooks"). I thought that James Caan was recycling his "Mr. Henry" persona from Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket" a wee bit. While the film has classic screwball tropes, it lacks the kinetic pace of Lubitsch or Sturges. That being said, I still found Venville's film to be quite engaging and entertaining-within its own unique universe (yes, even the somnambulant-as-usual Keanu). I was reminded of Vincent Gallo's criminally underappreciated "Buffalo '66"; in addition the fact that it also was filmed in and around the Buffalo area, it's another one of those low-key comedies with oddly endearing characters that "sneaks up" on you, especially once you realize how genuinely touching and sweet it really is at its core. And there's no crime in that, is there?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Noctambulist AwakensSept. 1 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
HENRY'S CRIME is a dark comedy that actually carries a fairly good afterburn. The story is solid, the characters are unusual, and the setting in Buffalo, NY is appropriately dark and dank. This is a tale of how people react to their own personalities, moving through the world seemingly oblivious to those around them, afraid to create dreams much less go after them.
Flatline Henry Torne (Keanu Reeves) works the night shift in a freeway tollbooth, quite alone, and seemingly undisturbed by his isolation. At dawn he goes home to his tiny house where he greets his wife, nurse Debbie (Judy Geer) who wants to talk about beginning a family but as usual things distract the couple's ability to have a conversation. Friends pick up Henry to have him replace a member of the neighborhood baseball team and Henry goes along (as he does with everything that comes his way) only to wind up as the driver of a getaway car for his 'teammates' as they pause to rob a bank. Henry is so loopy that he is not sure what happened and is arrested by the bank cop Frank (Bill Duke) and without much effort in protecting his innocence, Henry is convicted and imprisoned. There he meets Max Saltzman (James Caan) who loves being in the protection of prison (low goals in life). When Henry comes up for parole, Max wishes him luck in finding a dream (or waking up to life) and Henry wanders back to his home: Debbie has married worthless Joe (Danny Hoch) and is pregnant - and none of this seems to bother Henry either. Henry decides to return to the bank he was convicted of 'robbing' and is struck by a cellphone carrying driving actress Julie (Vera Farmiga). Henry has feelings (surprise!) for Julie, follows her into the theater next to the bank where Julie is rehearsing Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard'. Things finally begin to move: the theater is connected to the bank by a tunnel, Henry visits Max and convinces him to get out on parole, and the two men plan to actually rob the bank Henry was sent to prison for not robbing! From here the puzzle takes twists and turns but the result is Henry's finally waking up to his emotions (with Julie), with a 'dream' of robbing the bank to repay the fact that he was unjustly incarcerated, and nothing - and everything - goes as planned with big surprises in the end.
Malcolm Venville directs this plodding venture written by Sacha Gervasi, David White, and Stephen Hamel. Much of the plot is rather silly but that seems somehow proper for a character as bland as Henry (played with appropriate flatness by Reeves). Farmiga and Caan add the sparkle that keeps the boat afloat. Just when viewers are about to groan over this story, it reminds everyone of some of the people who are sleepwalking through life, whether blandly or anxiously, and by film's end the importance of dreams and an appreciation of the events that make our lives interesting and quirky provides some valuable food for thought. Grady Harp, September 11
24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
PLEASE WAIT FOR TICKET AND CHANGEJune 26 2011
THE MOVIE GUY
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**WARNING: HEAVY PLOT SYNOPSIS**
Keanu Reeves plays the meek Henry Torne, who works a toll booth in Buffalo. He is having some problems with his wife Debbie (Judy Greer, a young version of Susan Sarandon). He is conned into driving some guys to a baseball game, only as it turns out they rob a bank and Henry is the only one who gets caught. Henry meekly says nothing in his defense and gets sentenced to 3 years. During this time his wife leaves him for another man, which doesn't seem to bother Henry. In prison Henry meets Max Saltzman (James Caan), prison philosopher, barber, and story teller. Caan convinces Henry that if he did the time, he should do the crime.
Henry gets out of jail and appears to have walked home. His wife is pregnant by Joe (Danny Hoch), one of the bank robbers. Joe tries to recruit Henry to sell in his pyramid scheme, er ah multi-level... Henry's belongings are packed into one small box. Henry doesn't seem to mind at all.
Like a moth to a flame Henry is attracted to the bank...as he is walking in the middle of the street he gets hit by a female driver, who was paying no attention while chatting on her cell phone. She immediately gets out of the car and blames the victim.
Henry finally realizes his life's goal: To rob the bank he didn't rob. He goes to Max for help. Max is a lifer. He wants to stay in prison and not get out. At his review board he twitches and says to the panel if he got out he is going to kill their dog. Henry wants Max to get out and help him.
The theater, across from the bank, 80 years ago had a tunnel that went to the bank vault. Julie (Vera Farmiga), the woman who clocked Henry with her car is an actress, performing in "The Cherry Orchard" a play like the movie is both a comedy and tragedy. The metaphors pile up. His job as a toll booth operator symbolizes someone who goes nowhere while watching everyone go somewhere. Before this thing is through Reeves plays Lopakhin, who has come up from nothing and is looking for a change of life. The group of crooks blossoms from 2 to 5 and the play...let's just say it has an alternative ending.
Chick flick, heavy metaphors, F-bomb, sex, no nudity.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It has a few good parts, but not nearly enough to make a ...June 28 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
It has a few good parts, but not nearly enough to make a cohesive whole. Judging by the sluggish pacing, and other woefully underdeveloped parts of the film, It's like the director was telling a story much less than he was saying "yipeeeeeeeee! I'm making a movie starring Keanu Reeves!! YEAH!!"
James Caan is always great, and Mr. Reeves is decent, but it's never clear why his character is the way he is. During the first third of the movie, it doesn't seem like the character wants anything, and that's just frustrating for any mainstream audience. So much so that in the last half of the movie, when he develops feelings for Vera Farmiga's character, there's no clear reason why, and the audience could care less by that point.
There was nothing interesting or redeeming about this movie. Keanu had an awful, boring and one dimensional character. He goes to prison for a crime he did not commit, but it made no sense why. His wife leaves him for lesser man and then he falls in love with a woman who anyone in their right mind would not want to spend 5 minutes with. Then to add to the insult of the fact that you actually sat though the worst movie you have seen in recent memory, the ending is so abrupt it is like they ran out of film or money or maybe just forgot to add the ending scene. Rarely do I find a movie with nothing I liked about it at all, but this one definitely fits that bill.