Petty Larceny: THE THIEF WHO CAME TO DINNER

Directed by BUD YORKIN Screenplay by WALTER HILL

There are enough moments of small pleasure in this muddled enterprise to give it a kind of ruptured vitality. Director Yorkin's movies, like Start the Revolution Without Me, are chipper but erratic even at their best. Thief vacillates between unhurried suspense and the kind of comedy that is so subdued it seems almost cursory. Yorkin's genially offhand style makes the movie look a little like a TV pilot that got out of control.

Something about TV work—the necessary speed or the emphasis on packaging—fosters...

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