Robbing Mussolini Parent Guide
A successful heist flick needs appealing characters, an elaborate plan, high stakes, and tense plot twists. This film has none of those elements.
Parent Movie Review
In the waning days of World War 2, Isola (Pietro Castellitto) is making a living stealing weapons and selling them to the Italian resistance. Desperate to escape war-torn Italy with his love, Yvonne (Matilda De Angelis), Isola gathers a team of fellow thieves for the biggest job yet: Mussolini’s plundered treasure hidden in the Black Zone of Milan. But the team will have to act fast, as intercepted messages tell them that the fascists are getting ready to retreat to Switzerland, taking the treasure with them.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love heist movies, even when they’re bad. But a heist flick needs a few things to be successful: lovable characters, an elaborate plan, high stakes, and exciting twists. Unfortunately, Robbing Mussolini falls short in most of these areas. The characters are all flat and the audience has no reason to root for any of them, aside from Isola. Yvonne, the female lead, is desperately boring. She does nothing except have sex and look sad. She has zero personality or human characteristics outside of brooding and being pretty, which makes it hard for the audience to care about her or her relationship with Isola. Many of the heist gang get very little screen time or back story, making them somewhat interchangeable and expendable. Either make me fall in love with every member of the heist crew or don’t bother.
The heist itself is also not terribly exciting. The plan is relatively simple, very little goes wrong, and what does go wrong doesn’t really have anything to do with the heist in the first place. The stakes also feel low (though I suppose they all risk being executed by the fascists) but my lack of concern for the characters means I don’t care about the stakes either. The twists in the plot are not exciting and can be seen from a mile away.
Where I think the film fails the most, however, is that it doesn’t have a clear focus. Aside from being about a heist, the movie also wants to be a romance, a comedy, and a drama all at once. The writers choose to focus on Isola and Yvonne’s relationship to the detriment of everything else. If you want to write a period romance, go do that; don’t muck up a perfectly good heist premise with your soapy melodrama.
With the levels of violence and language, as well as sexual themes, this is not a production for family audiences. Although I enjoyed some of the heist tropes, the lack of focus, flat characters, and boring plot make this an uninteresting mess. And you know that if I didn’t like it (despite my low standards for heist movies) it must be bad - I even loved Money Plane!Directed by Renato De Maria. Starring Matilda De Angelis, Isabella Ferrari, Filippo Timi. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release October 26, 2022. Updated October 27, 2022
Rating & Content Info
Why is Robbing Mussolini rated TV-MA? Robbing Mussolini is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for substances, language, violence, smoking.
Violence: There is violence throughout. People are killed by guns and bombs. A man describes a method of torture. A man is killed by a blow to the head.
Sexual Content: Adults kiss and are implied to have sex. A plot point revolves around a woman having an affair with a married man.
Profanity: There are about 25 sexual expletives, as well as around 20 mild and moderate expletives and 7 terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen smoking and drinking in many scenes. A man snorts some sort of drug and is shown to be an alcoholic.
Page last updated October 27, 2022
Robbing Mussolini Parents' Guide
What is Isola’s goal with the money? What does he choose in the end and why?
The film claims to be a “true-ish” story. For information on the factual elements underlying the plot, you can learn more here:
Cinemaholic: Is Robbing Mussolini Based on a True Story?
Related home video titles:
If you like heist movies, you can try the aforementioned Money Plane. Another contemporary film in the genre is The Vault. Going back a bit further, you can watch the Ocean’s 11 series, including sequels Ocean’s 12 and Ocean’s 13, as well as the female version, Ocean’s 8. Magicians pull of difficult heists in Now You See Me and Now You See Me 2. Senior citizens mastermind a bank robbery to fund their retirements in Going in Style. One of the best caper movies ever made is The Sting, which stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman and has a brilliant script.
For family viewing, you can watch the recently released The Bad Guys, which is sure to provide entertainment for all ages – along with some solid lessons about the benefits of being “good”. The Nut Job features an urban squirrel who plans a heist at a nut store so he can have a secure food supply.