90 Movies in 90 Days: How to Rob (2023)

I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, most of which will be 90 minutes or less.

Title: How to Rob
Release Date: January 20, 2023
Director: Peter Horgan
Production Company: ???

The Boston Crime Movie (a.k.a – Film No R) has become so ubiquitous that its  the subject of multiple parodies, could we possibly need one more?  Peter Horgan makes a good case with this low-budget indie movie set in the Boston suburb of Quincy, which returns the Boston Crime Movie to it’s non-glitzy, working class roots of The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Sean Price (Chinaza Uche) and Jimmy Winters (Joshua Koopman) are lifelong friends who operate a landscaping company by day and in their free time are stick-up men who rob other criminals under instruction of bartender Ralph Judge (Kevin Nagle). It’s important to note that Sean is Black and Jimmy is white, which is unique for this type of movie.

Sean is the more responsible of the pair and wants to invest their ill-gotten gains into the landscaping company so that they can go completely legit.  Jimmy is more free and enjoys the criminal lifestyle.  Two incidents test the loyalty of their friendship. First, Sean’s girlfriend Tina (Caitlin Zoz) is moving to Chicago and wants Sean to join her, correctly observing that Jimmy is holding him back from achieving his dreams. Second, due to Jimmy’s rash behavior on one of their jobs, they are targeted by hitmen from the Italian mob.

There are some misteps in this movie, but for a low-budget film it does well on cinematography, editing, sound, and music.  Most impressive is the crisp dialogue of Horgan’s script.  I thought the acting was pretty good as well, especially Uche, who is one of those actors who can say a lot without speaking.  I hope to see him in more movies in the future.

Rating: ***1/2