King of Thieves movie review & film summary


Directed by acclaimed award winning director of the Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything, James Marsh from a script penned by, Joe Penhall. King of Thieves is a 2018 heist film with a fantastic British cast that is based on the famous, 2015 Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Box Burglary which is one of the most interesting heists to ever happen in the UK as it was pulled off by men who were over 50 years old.

Where to watch

King of Thieves is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. If you are not in the UK, check the following links to access the iPlayer from in another location:

What's the Story?

The story of King of Thieves is a fun retelling of the events that went down during the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Box in London. Michael Caine plays Brian Reader a retired thief who while at the funeral of his wife comes across some members of his old crew. They chat about old times and eventually, they decide to try and pull off one last heist.

The planning and execution of the heist is very well done and something that is quite fun. With all of the people pulling off this heist being in their 60s or 70s, it may not be as daring as something like in a modern action movie, but that does add to the charm. There is one younger man in the group, Basil, played by Dare Devil actor, Charlie Cox.

Speaking of the group, as well as Michael Caine we have a fantastic cast of older British gentlemen here. Tom Courtney and Michael Gambon to specifically name a couple. However, it is the performance of Jim Broadbent as Terry Perkins that is quite surprising as Terry is much more of a mean spirited man and it is not the kind of role Jim Broadbent usually plays and he brings some fantastic energy to the role and you can tell that if things go south, he will be the one to lose it!

After you watch the movie, if you look into the actual story of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Box heist or watch one of the documentaries about it, you can see that they did try and keep things quite close to the real story here and added in a bit of spice and Hollywood storytelling to try and make it more entertaining.

Is It Any Good?

While King of Thieves is a fun time, it is mainly because of the incredibly talented cast. If you have seen a heist movie before, this one will feel right at home as the plot is quite formulaic. You have a group of thieves, they plan the heist, carry out the heist and then there is distrust and trouble that comes after. It is really the fact that these crooks are older gentlemen that makes this stand out from any other heist movie.

This is a movie that did get a bit of a mixed reception when it was released, but you never flat out heard anyone saying that they did not like it or that it was bad. It was more that it was a rather predictable movie and a movie that in all honesty manages to get by because of the incredibly talented cast that is involved. It is worth watching if you are into heist movies, but this is probably not the kind of movie you would end up watching more than once.

Movie Details

  • Genre: Heist/British
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 5.5/10
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Released: September 14th, 2018
  • Directed By: James Marsh
  • Written by: Joe Penhall


  • Michael Cain as Brian Reader
  • Jim Broadbent as Terry Perkins
  • Tom Courtney as John Kenny Collins
  • Charlie Cox as Basil
  • Paul Whitehouse as Carl Wood
  • Michael Gambon as Billy The Fish Lincoln
  • Ray Winstone as Danny Jones
  • Francesca Annis as Lynne Reader