How to Rob a Bank (2024)

How to Rob a Bank (2024)

A thrilling and surprisingly cinematic account of how one man pulled off a string of heists in Seattle

7.2

Movie

English
Crime, Documentary
2024
SETH PORGES, STEPHEN ROBERT MORSE
Chezca Vega, Gavin Langelo, Jordan Burtchett
87 min

TLDR

Mark my words, someone’s gonna make a feature film out of this someday.

What it's about

Tells the wild true story of how how Scott Scurlock and his accomplices2 robbed 15 banks in Seattle in the 1990s.

The take

With Netflix producing countless true crime documentaries, you’d be forgiven for dismissing How to Rob a Bank as usual, forgettable fare. But the documentary ever so slightly curbs cliches by focusing on a theme—in this case Hollywood, in honor of Scurlock’s pseudonym and love of movies—without losing sight of the bigger picture. Which is to say, directors Seth Porges and Stephen Robert Morse go all in the movie theme without giving way to cheesiness, mostly by honing in on Scurlock’s favorite films like Heat and Point Blank and effectively replicating the thrill of those action classics. It uses fine, storyboard-like illustrations that are mostly entertaining and nostalgic but occasionally quite beautiful, and borrows the same synth soundtrack from the said films. But it even though it initially sets Scurlock as the anti-hero, a Robin Hood of the times, its sympathies lie with the victims, the traumatized bank tellers and goers. It’s a smartly made and engaging film, complete with the quintessential shootouts and elaborate heists, and it thankfully doesn’t let the talking heads do all the work.

What stands out

Again, it has to be the animation. I’m not sure if it’s handrawn, but even if it isn’t, it’s so rare to see that delicate style nowadays.

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