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Screenwriters Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs, and Scott Marshall Smith fail to understand the meaning of the cliché "less is more." The Score doesn't need the character-assassinating, logic-defying contortions that mar its final ten minutes; it would have been a more satisfying experience had it not turned the climax into an unpredictable mess.
The Score is not an actors' movie; it is plot-driven.
De Niro, Norton, and Brando are all there because of their names, not because they have anything of substance to contribute.
And, on one occasion, Oz works hard to generate some artificial suspense by including a superfluous scene where Norton buys computer access codes from a couple of hackers.
It's worth noting that, with a less prestigious cast, The Score would have been a strong candidate for direct-to-video or direct-to-cable distribution.
Now, as he's contemplating retirement to run his beloved jazz club in Montreal, he is offered one last opportunity by his old friend, Max Baron (Brando).
A priceless artifact - a 17th century scepter made for a girl queen - is being held in the basement of the Montreal Customs House.
Together, the two of them begin planning a huge score.
I don't understand how Marlon Brando still finds work.
Max is plotting the heist of the Montreal Customs House, and he's got a man on the inside, Jackie Teller (Edward Norton), a talented but volatile crook who has managed to ingratiate himself with the facility's staff as a fellow employee suffering from cerebral palsy.
Jackie bristles at Nick's interference in "his" score, however, and threatens violence when it seems he's going to be cut out of the action.
As Nick, the aging crook who wants to go straight, De Niro is traversing a well-trodden path.