Burt Reynolds "turns in one of his most convincing and touching performances in years" (The Washington Times) as a safecracker with a heart of gold in this "comedy of character and timing" (The New York Times) that's both stylish and slick. Co-starring Casey Siemaszko (Young Guns), this "confident, offbeat" (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker) film is "an absolute joy" (Los Angeles Times)! Reynolds is Ernie, a loner thief constantly on the move. But when heand smalltimer Mike (Siemaszko) break into the same house, Ernie takes Mike under his wing, shares the stolen cash and claims, "it's better to have a partner than a witness!" With the adage "you learn by doing" in mind, the experienced pro begins teaching his craft to the eager, young hotshot in a string of successful heists. But when Mike fails to heed Ernie's advice and the police close in, Mike may well have to "learn by doing"'time!
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Burt Reynolds lets his hairpiece go salt-and-pepper gray to play an aging safecracker who adopts lonely housebreaker Casey Siemaszko in this sly little crime comedy. "We’re in the same business, kid. Monkey business." Not quite, as naive puppy dog Siemaszko is in it for the thrill (just watch the kick he gets when he blows his first safe, and blows the money up with it), while veteran Reynolds is a no-nonsense professional. Maybe that’s what bonds the odd-couple friendship in this offbeat script by John Sayles (Lone Star). Cult comedy director Bill Forsyth (Local Hero) brings out the low-key charm in Reynolds, who underplays his role with the easy confidence of an old pro and merely hints at the real joy he’s found in his utterly enthusiastic and loyal (if not too bright) new pal. One of the overlooked delights of 1980s American indie cinema. --Sean Axmaker
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