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Lift produced by and starring Kevin Hart and his HartBeat Productions, 6th & Idaho and Genre Pictures, was released on Netflix January 12 (2024) and if ever there was a film that deserves a sequel this is the one. Yes, it is a heist film, but from an airplane in mid-flight. Impossible. Well to borrow a line from the movie, “No, it’s just never been done before.”

This is not a film when you are waiting for the thieves to be caught. This is the ultimate anti-hero movie, and you are cheering for the art thieves. Kevin Hart’s character Cyrus offers up lines crafted by screenwriter Daniel Kunka, “We rescue art from undeserving owners,” and “I would never lift anything from anyone who doesn’t deserve to lose it.”

This cast just etched their names in infamy. As already mentioned, Kevin Hart as Cyrus, the suave straight man and boss, oh and before we go any further, there is not a bad looking member of his team of art thieves, woman or man. British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Interpol agent Abby Gladwell and the onscreen chemistry between her and Kevin Hart is not only believable, but has some subtle comedic elements to it, but make no mistake, this is an action film not a comedy film.

What makes this film work so well is it is an ensemble acting performance, featuring Spanish actress Úrsula Corberó making her English language film debut. She is an icon in her home, Spain, and she shines as art thief who drives boats and flies planes and while doing so manages to look elegant. Vincent D’Onofrio, plays the master of disguise and serves up a wonderful performance. Korean – American actress Yun Jee Kim as the hacker of the gang is superb. Rounding out the band of thieves is Billy Magnussen as Magnus the safecracker, and Viveik Kalra plays Luke a technical wizard. Director F. Gary Gray managed to turn the loveable actor Reno into a sinister villain, and we hated Huxley played by Sam Worthington from the beginning. He oozes sleaze.  

It goes without saying, that stealing a half billion dollars in gold from an airplane mid-flight involves a lot of suspension of disbelief, but that is part of what makes this film so much fun.

This is a fun movie, with a cast that onscreen appears tight and in their interviews since the film’s release have all been vocal of the same. Kevin Hart has not personally taken credit for the film’s success but has shared the spotlight with his cast.

There is a moment in the film, when Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character Abby talks about her mother who, when Abby was a child was a mistress of a poor school and how an artist had donated a print to that school that her mother refused to sell. Abby recalls her mother, “wanting the students to know that they were just as important as any swanky art gallery.” That is not a knock on art galleries, it is about building self-esteem and a sense of worth among children, who maybe don’t have some of the things the rest of us take for granted.    

Having seen Úrsula Corberó in numerous Spanish series and films, we are pleased that now English-speaking audiences get to witness this outstanding actress. She has been a favorite of Riveting Riffs Magazine for a very long time.

Photo courtesy of Netflix. Protected by copyright ©

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This review by Joe Montague published January 14h, 2024 is protected by copyright © and is the property of Riveting Riffs Magazine All Rights Reserved.  All photos are the the property of Netflilx unless otherwise noted and all  are protected by copyright © All Rights Reserved. This review may not be reproduced in print or on the internet or through any other means without the written permission of Riveting Riffs Magazine.