Seeking out the

5000 greatest films

in a century of cinema

How to Rob

Directed by Peter Horgan
Produced by Peter Horgan, Samantha Brindisi, Rio Contrada, Becca E. Davis, Sara Franzman, Andrew Gerzon, Joshua Koopman, Vera Teixeira, Chinaza Uche, and Caitlin Zoz
Written by Peter Horgan
With: Chinaza Uche, Joshua Koopman, Caitlin Zoz, Kevin Nagle, Anthony Firicano, Arthur Hiou, David Pridemore, Sue Costello, Enku Gubaie, Eli Powers, Kris Salvi, Vera Teixeira, Damien Di Paola, and Jacob Popoloski
Cinematography: Mike Hechanova
Music: Natalia Hatz
Runtime: 93 min
Release Date: 20 January 2023
Peter Horgan’s neo-no-"r"-pitcha is a micro-budget Mean Streets for contemporary Boston. Chinaza Uche and Joshua Koopman star as Sean and Jimmy; lifelong friends who run a landscaping business and moonlight as a two-man stick-up crew, robbing small-time criminals from the neighbourhoods of Boston to the suburbs of Cape Cod. When they piss off some real gangsters, they become marked for death. The soulful Sean wants out of the life he's found himself in, and his girlfriend Tina (Caitlin Zoz) has provided him with a solid exit. But his loyalty to his childhood buddy Jimmy is stronger than any other force in his life.

Horgan’s film doesn't exactly reinvent the small-town crime genre, but it's an impressive feature debut. Shot in two weeks during COVID on an El Mariachi-level budget, this is a more than competent production across the board. While it may serve mainly as a calling card for the writer director and several of his actors, the film stands on its own as a solid drama with moments of humor and violence that feel substantial and realistic. Most impressive is the cast; a combination of professionals and amateurs. Uche is especially strong in the lead role of Sean, and Horgan lets much of the character's arc play out on Uche's face—confident in the actor and the conventions of the script to convey everything that's happening internally. First-timer Anthony Firicano practically steals the movie as a coolheaded, lethal, but very funny hitman. Like many aspects of this production, Firicano's genuine charisma transcends what, on paper, should be a mere collection of clichés.

Twitter Capsule:
Horgan’s debut feature is a micro-budget Mean Streets for contemporary Boston with solid performances. Doesn't exactly reinvent the genre, but is an impressive calling card and a fine example of the neo-no-"r"-pitcha.