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Movie Review: Nina Arianda scores big with crime dramedy 'Rob the Mob'

Rob the Mob


Tony Award winning actress Nina Arianda scores big as Rosie in the new crime dramedy "Rob the Mob" from director Raymond De Felitta.

Nina Arianda in Rob the Mob
Picture courtesy of Millennium Entertainment

Set in 1992, "Rob the Mob" is based on the true story of a Queens, New York couple, Rosie and Tommy (Nina Arianda and Michael Pitt) who go on a crime spree, robbing mafia social clubs, using information gathered from the John Gotti trial.

However, the would-be "Bonnie and Clyde" soon stumble upon a list that makes them targets of both the mob and the FBI.

With "Rob the Mob," director De Felitta takes audiences for a nostalgic and romanticized look back at the 1990s, while sprinkling in some "Goodfellas" and "Sopranos" stylistic flourishes along the way.

De Felitta's visual style combines well with Jonathan Fernandez's script to help paint a distinctive and colorful portrait of the hapless partners in crime.

As a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, Pitt ("Boardwalk Empire") and Arianda (winner of 2012 Tony Awards for her performance in "Venus in Fur"), are perfectly cast as the dimwitted lovers who never seem to really grasp the seriousness of their situation.

The film also features nice supporting performances, including Griffin Dunne as the pair's motivational speaking boss, Ray Romano as a cynical reporter, Burt Young as an old wiseguy boxer and Andy Garcia as the head of a crime family.

Adding to the film's unique flavor is the fact that De Fellitta and editor David Leonard cut the film in the home of composer Stephen Endleman, who scored the film's music.

De Fellitta made the choice not to utilize a temp score for the film, instead opting to have Endleman score the film as it was being edited.

According to Endleman, the song "Love and the Gun" in the film was also written by De Fellitta specifically to sound like a 1960s Italian pop love song.

The song resonates with the crime caper's lead characters, adding to the film's surprisingly upbeat tone.

But what makes "Rob the Mob" standout is the terrific performance from Arianda, who brings a vitality to her character that will steal audiences hearts.

"Rob the Mob" opens in theaters Friday, March 21 in limited release.

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