The Art of the Steal

Synopsis: Crunch Calhoun (Kurt Russell), a third rate motorcycle daredevil and semi-reformed art thief, agrees to get back into the con game and pull off one final lucrative art theft with his untrustworthy brother, Nicky (Matt Dillon). Reassembling the old team, Crunch comes up with a plan to steal a priceless historical book, but the successful heist leads to another far riskier plan devised by Nicky. They fail to realize each other's separate agendas when their plan goes awry in this con movie about honor, revenge and the bonds of brotherhood.
Director(s): Jonathan Sobol
Production: Radius-TWC
  5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min




[MAN] Seasoned crooks swear you only remember

two days about your stretch in jail:

The day you get in...


- Oh, boy.

- ...and the day you get out.


But I'll tell you, those guys,

they never been

to a Polish prison.

'Cause, buddy, you don't forget

a second of your stay

in the Warsaw penal system.

Oh, boy.

And you never stop thinking about

what you done that got you there,

and what you're going to

do when you get out.

And who you're going

to do it to.

I reckon it takes

a betrayal before you realize

the real currency in the world

ain't money... it's trust.

Hey. So, guess

I'm topsies, huh?


'Cause if you got no trust...

Oh, boy.

...then what do you got?



Now, there's no such thing

as one last big job,

but Poland was pretty close.

We were doing a smooth switch

using a standard base

to our scam.

The first thing you

need is a mark.

Stash Bartkowiak was just like

all the others:

Rich, corrupt and most

definitely dangerous.

So Stash picks up a stolen Gauguin

ripped from an Oslo gallery

by a couple of smash

and grabbers.

So, of course, he wants to

get the painting authenticated.

But what he didn't know,

was the man he turned to

was Nicky Calhoun.

And Nicky Calhoun

is my half-brother.

A crew needs an idea man

and ours was Nicky.

Paddy McCarthy,

he was our Rolodex,

the guy who knows

any guy you need to know.

And Guy De Cornet

was our forger.

Best scratcher I've ever known.

Now there was a time,

if you ask anyone in our game,

who the best damn wheelman

around was,

and I'm guaranteeing you, you're going

to hear the name Crunch Calhoun.

And that's got nothing to do

with how fast I drive

and everything to do

with trust.

'Cause without that

you've got anarchy.

I like that jacket.

Well, clothes tell

you a lot about the man.

That's why it's a saying.

I don't know, Nicky.

Take Guy there.

The only thing his fancy white

leotard tells me is that

- he ain't circumcised.


- You misunderstand fashion.

- Fatsoes. Look at you.

- Fatsoes? [LAUGHING] -

[GUY] Women go crazy for this...

Boys! There it is!

[GUY] I'll see you

at the lab, Crunch.


Don't touch the art, lad.

All alarmed.

Wow! Love the track suits.

Fellas, I'd like you to meet

Professor O'Connor.

Doc, these are the fellas.

As I said, Dr. "O" here,

is real discreet.

Very discreet, gentlemen.

Oh. Paul Gauguin.

"Tahitian Beach," 1893.

Painting is stolen.

But is real?

We'll see.

Needs a density scan.

What is density scan?

I'm not so sure myself,

but doctor knows best.


[NICKY] OK, great. So a guy

walks into a bar with a monkey.

Oh. What is this?


- No, no, no, no, no.

- What?

- More red. More red.

- No, no, no, no, no.

Don't do this, Guy, please.

You're killing me.

They're identical.

Just swap the frames!

My work... [SPEAKS FRENCH]

Oh f***, Guy! Come on,

they're identical!

- Just change them!

- My work must be perfect-o!

You've got five minutes.

[NICKY] So I say,

"I'm looking for Mario."

And this kid says, "There's

a thousand Marios in Naples."

I say, "Yeah,

but this one's a criminal."

And he goes, "Two thousand!"


[CRUNCH] Guy. Guy.

Guy! They will f***in' kill

Nicky and Paddy

if I don't make it

back there in time!

Guy, you got ten seconds.

That's it. Ten!

Nine, eight, seven, six, five.

Put it in.

- Three, two, one. Now!

- Au revoir.


- Ah, f***!

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Jonathan Sobol

Jonathan Sobol is a Canadian film director and screenwriter. His credits include the films Citizen Duane, A Beginner's Guide to Endings and The Art of the Steal.Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Sobol is currently based in Toronto. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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