The Robber

Released 2011


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A champion marathon runner leads a double life as a serial bank robber, sprinting between heists (and away from police cars) as many as three times a day. Based on the real-life story of Johann Kastenberger (changed to Rettenberger for the film), Austria's most-wanted bank robber of the 1980s, Benjamin Heisenberg's thriller is a lean, visceral study of pathological compulsion, featuring a riveting central performance by Andreas Lust (REVANCHE). Known as "Pump-gun Ronnie" because of his weapon and the Ronald Reagan mask he slips on during stickups, Rettenberger is portrayed here as an obsessive loner, more concerned with his lap times than other human beings. Once he falls into a relationship with his social worker, Erika (Franziska Weisz), it becomes impossible to hide his crimes, and the violence he reserved for his robberies starts seeping into his daily life. Misguided in his dual search for love and freedom, the authorities finally begin to close in on the robber. Moved by an over- powering inner energy, he attempts to flee the largest deployment of police forces in Austria's modern history, but will his wit and athleticism give him the opportunity for one last escape? Ending in an epic chase over highways and through the woods, The Robber is a thriller about reckless bank robberies, heart- pounding marathons, ill-fated love and dramatic escapes.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times

    They use dialogue sparingly, powerfully; a talky detective sounds like a visitor from another planet. The world he has encroached upon is defined by the ability to run and the adre...

  • 60

    The New York Times Mike Hale

    The Robber may have less on its mind than its sheen of seriousness would suggest, but the view is gorgeous.

  • 40


    With no emotional or stylistic hooks, there's not much compelling viewers to engage with what's happening onscreen.

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