Directed by Brett Ratner
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While Tower Heist won’t enter the pantheon of Hollywood’s great heist movies, it’s at least a “mild, chaotic, and cartoonish dose of populism,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Yet it could have been “much more.” Ben Stiller plays a building manager who learns that his nasty boss, penthouse owner Alan Alda, has lost all of the staff’s pension funds in a Ponzi scheme. So Stiller enlists local hood Eddie Murphy and assorted others to burglarize the penthouse. “It’s hard to go completely wrong” with a cast that includes a sad-sack Matthew Broderick and an Alda who’s clearly relishing an against-type role, said Mary Pols in Time. But director Brett Ratner “doesn’t seem interested in the small details that make a movie gel, like time lines and continuity.” He’s instead always rushing to get to a splashy action sequence. The movie at least “seems to have awakened something in Murphy,” whose every scene “crackles with energy,” said Rene Rodriguez in The Miami Herald. “If Tower Heist marks the beginning of Murphy’s comeback as an adult comedian,” the whole effort “will have been worth it.”
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