A good heist scene often plays out like a good sex scene: pure adrenalized vicarious pleasure. After all the foreplay of blueprints and hushed backroom discussions, the gig itself is all climax. That’s probably why, after finally busting through a solid-steel vault in Michael Mann’s heart- and synth-pounding debut film, Thief (1981, 2 hrs., 5 mins., R), James Caan pauses for a quick cigarette break, looking as if he might as well be lounging against a headboard. A
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