“Honest Thief” is an anxious, emotional Neeson Thriller

Liam Neeson returns to the big screen as an endearing, conflicted bank robber.

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Courtesy of IMDb

Joshua Flores, Staff Writer

Like many of his previous films, Liam Neeson has mastered the art of bringing audiences a charming, fast-paced thriller that involves car chases, explosions and high stakes. “Honest Thief” continues to follow this same formula, yet remains interesting and shocking. Whether it be limited movie selections or the simple pleasures found in a good outlaw story, Neeson brings both humor and emotion to a seemingly lifeless, confusing narrative. 

EXPECT EXPLOSIONS 

“Honest Thief” provides constant thrills, as well as a stressful movie-watching experience. While plenty of action movies are intense, this particular film is certain to fill audiences with pure adrenaline as they watch Tom, played by Liam Neeson, and his girlfriend Annie, played by Kate Walsh, try and preserve their love story while running from the police, escaping rogue FBI agents and trying to be honest about his past crimes amid their questionable behavior. Consumed by bloodshed and morally ambiguous decisions, this movie focuses not only on the chase, but also the emotion, the regret and the loss behind a criminal who seeks redemption. 

SURPRISINGLY SENTIMENTAL 

From the trailers, “Honest Thief” looked predictable and shallow, motivated by bullets and bloodshed. But this film has more to offer audiences. Neeson provides a vulnerable performance, acting as a man motivated by his painful past and willing to risk everything to pay for his crimes.

While the movie almost sympathizes with criminal activity, it also speaks to deeper concepts and allows for depth beyond the surface level conflicts, something the genre lacks. 

The romance is also an intriguing aspect of the film, as the couple deals with deeper revelations and focuses on more than casual connections and one screen sexuality. While any serious moments may be overshadowed by combusting homes and brawls in the street, “Honest Thief” attempts to be something more than a thriller. 

HONEST PORTRAYALS 

During the era of Black Lives Matter, this film seems to unintentionally add to the discussion of corruption among law enforcement. “Honest Thief” becomes even more interesting as it shows how good men can be dismantled from the inside out, greed fueling brutality and abuse of power. While a common theme in crime movies, this film in particular shows the internal conflict among law enforcement and the ways the system persuades them into lives of crime and neglecting their obligations to serve and protect. 

QUESTIONABLE MORALS 

As the film concludes, audiences are certain to feel conflicted about the events of the film, specifically the main character, Tom. He may be a man set on repenting for his sins and willing to do anything to clear his conscience, but still seems to break laws, kill and lie without much justification. As the credits roll, many viewers may cheer for Tom, yet feel a sense of guilt for desiring success for a man who justifies his criminal behavior and allows his girlfriend to be nearly killed on numerous occasions because of his string of lies. “Honest Thief” is more about thieves and crime than it is about true morals and honesty. 

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