563. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

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7.5 Enjoyable thriller
  • Acting 7.6
  • Directing 7.5
  • Story 7.4
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary

Director: John McTiernan

Running Time: 113 mins


The Thomas Crown Affair is an American film about a billionaire, bored of being able to buy whatever he desires and being completely irresistible to all women, decides to invest his time in a daring robbery of a priceless painting, however he becomes unfortunately involved with one of the women investigating him for robbery, leading to complications everywhere.

For something that could have had a really cheesy and non-sensical plot, I really enjoyed this film. Sure, it’s not a particularly well thought-out mystery, but it encompasses elements from many 1960s crime capers that make it both funny and exciting to watch, also helped by a fantastic central performance by Pierce Brosnan.

In the middle of his time as Bond, there was surely no better person to play a suave, dashing but cunning millionaire as Pierce Brosnan. He pulls off the wealth seamlessly, making it immediately convincing, while the story of him being completely irresistible to women, which could be difficult to portray believably, is also a huge success.

But it’s not just the women in the story that Brosnan is irresistible to. For some reason, his suave persona manages to con you into liking him as well, and although he is evidently the bad guy, the fact that his crimes aren’t for anything malicious, and just for his own personal entertainment, makes him extremely likeable.

And the fact that you end up supporting the bad guy in this film makes the conflict experienced by the female lead, Rene Russo’s character, even more intriguing. While knowing that her new-found partner is the criminal she is looking for, she falls victim to his spell, and, much like your feelings as the viewer, makes it an incredible dilemma to know what the right thing to do is in that situation.

More generally, I really liked the way that this film managed to be an intriguing story, while never taking itself too seriously. It was good fun to watch from the start, and apart from a slow 10-minute period where you see nothing but romance, it’s well-paced and constantly enjoyable to watch, often feeling like a strange combination of any James Bond film, Gambit, and the original Mission Impossible, which shows how fun and exciting it was.

The main criticism I would have with this film is the ending. Without giving anything away, I felt that not enough was tied up in terms of the comeuppance of the characters or their relationships; it all seemed to be dropped as the credits began to roll, and that proved to me the worry I had had all film long that it may not be so well thought-out, but it’s still a largely enjoyable film, so it gets a 7.5 from me.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com