A white guy in Detroit, 1954, is looking for a reliable black guy, preferably one fresh out of stir, to surrender three hours’ work in exchange for $5000. What’s the catch? It begins along the lines of The Desperate Hours, with two of the armed home invaders (Don Cheadle and Benicio del Toro) staying behind to watch the family while a third (Kieran Culkin) accompanies the bread-winner (David Harbour) to work — in this case, to collect blueprints, not cash. Neither the characters nor the caper radiate a familiar ring, particularly when we’re looking at a story involving industrial espionage in the Motor City that entails Studebaker pilfering GM’s blueprints for the catalytic converter. Steven Soderbergh’s star-studded, low budget heist flick packs more power (and rationale) than all three Ocean’s combined. (Better the camera tell the story than the costumes.) The film is brimful with genre twists, none more effective and unconventional than Harbour beating his boss to a bloody pulp, all the while assuring him how much he loves his work. Watch it tonight on HBO Max. (2021) — Scott Marks
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