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THE HARD WORD
USA: Lions Gate
UK: Metrodome Distribution
Cast: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Robert Taylor, Joel Edgerton, Damien Richardson, Rhondda Findleton, Kate Atkinson, Vince Colosimo, Paul Sonkkila, Kym Gyngell, Dorian Nikona, Stephen Whittaker, Torquil Neilson, Don Bridges, Doug Bowles, Greg Fleet, Ross Daniels, Peter Regan, Roger Neave, Jason Gilchrist, Jasper Bagg, Niniane Le Page, Beth Buchanan, Frank Kennedy, Tony Jones, Louise Crawford, Mischelle Radford, Kerry Cole, Colwyn Roberts, Georgie Bax, Leanne McCulloch, Nash Edgerton, Aris Gounaris, James Shaw, James Charters, Gary Rens, Wasim Sabra, Phil Pollard, Tahu Marumaru, Marc Calderazzo
Director: Scott Roberts
USA: 102 mins
UK: 103 mins
USA Rated: R for strong violence, language, sexuality and brief drug use
UK Certificate: 18 contains very strong language and strong violence
USA Release Date: 27 June 2003 (Limited Release - wider)
USA Release Date: 20 June 2003 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 13 June 2003 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 12 September 2003
Three prisoners are about to be released on bail - Dale (Guy Pearce), Mal (Damien Richardson) and Shane (Joel Edgerton). Meet the Twentyman brothers. Hard experience and an unspoken bond of family have made them masters of their craft - armed robbery. It's a job and they do it because they're good at it. Their only rule is, no-one gets hurt.
Keeping the wheels of crime turning is their long-time criminal lawyer, Frank Malone (Robert Taylor), who combines flashy arrogance with a complete disregard for the proper process of the law. Frank's network of contacts reaches the highest level, enabling him to play the brothers and the system to perfection. But success has clearly gone to his head when he starts screwing Dale's wife Carol (Rachel Griffiths). Dazzled by her physical attractions, Frank has severely underestimated the brain underneath the blonde. Carol is one of life's great operators and she is determined to get what's hers, even if it means jeopardising the intense bond she shares with husband Dale.
The brothers have created their own niche inside jail and enjoy a certain status. Dale as the eldest is a natural leader. Putting his calm intellect towards running the prison library gives him time to think - about Carol, about a new life outside crime, and about Frank's loyalty. Cheery middle brother Mal has been allowed to develop his love of butchery inside to the delight of all his red-blooded meat-eating fellow inmates. As for Shane, well, he's gorgeous, super-fit - and a nutcase. Early childhood experiences have left young Shane a delicately wired time-bomb liable to go off at very odd moments. The brothers just accept Shane for all his qualities and handle his outbursts unblinkingly.
The brothers are out on bail only long enough to do one job before they are back behind bars because of a problem with the 'paperwork'. Of course Frank will get them out but there's a catch. They must do a really big job if it is to be their last. Dale's festering suspicion about Frank's motives, and a bout of food poisoning, create an impossible situation leading up to a multi-million dollar heist. As the job is in Melbourne, Frank has lined up some local 'crims' to work with them, to the displeasure of the brothers. Up against the wall and with no way out, the boys proceed with the ambitious robbery despite some dark misgivings. When it all goes wrong, the brothers discover the full extent of Frank's treachery as they make a desperate escape from the surrounding havoc.
Breaking free of Melbourne in a hijacked car, the boys have plenty of time to think on the long road back to Sydney. Although they have the money, they know Frank will not be far behind. And he isn't. And neither is Carol. The heat is on...