‘Triple 9′: The Next Great Heist Movie?

If it feels like it’s been a while since an exciting new heist flick hit theaters, Triple 9 is about to change that. The explosive first trailer for the upcoming crime thriller has just been released, and it promises some intense action, not to mention a highly impressive line-up of stars.

Directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition, Lawless), Triple 9 follows a crew of dirty cops who are blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a heist. To pull off the virtually impossible task, they must create a diversion. So they decide to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down.” The chaos that ensues when a police officer is shot in the line of duty will keep officers busy while they pull off their heist. But their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie that they set up to die foils the attack. His interference triggers a breakneck, action-packed finale tangled with double-crosses, greed, and revenge.

The movie features quite the star-studded ensemble cast, including the likes of Kate Winslet, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, and Woody Harrelson. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Michael K. Williams, Teresa Palmer, and the soon-to-be Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, also co-star in the film.

That kind of line-up would make any regular moviegoer sit up and pay attention, but you’ll be surprised at how easily you might overlook some of the notable names in the just-released trailer — particularly Winslet. The actress looks almost unrecognizable in the clip as Irene, a glamorous but utterly ruthless Russian-Israeli mafia moll who is the one responsible for blackmailing the group of corrupt cops in the first place.

Another “Wait, is that who I think it is?” moment from the trailer? Aaron Paul, who looks shockingly different as Michael Laird, an ex-cop and part of the corrupt cops and criminal group.

The trailer also provides glimpses of some of the other major players, including Affleck as Chris, the young rookie cop who’s set up to die but ends up ruining the plan; Mackie, a street-smart corrupt cop and partner of Allen’s, who helps set him up as the staged 999 target; and Harrelson as Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen, the uncle of Chris Allen, who investigates the identity of the dirty cops in the department.

“There’s no limit to what desperate men will do when pushed,” Winslet’s character says toward the end of the clip. That, in a nutshell, basically sums up the entire tone and basic premise of the movie.

As a director, Hillcoat’s work is known for being dark and gritty, and both of the qualities are definitely clearly displayed in the trailer. But as the trailer proves, Hillcoat is taking a big-scale approach this time around, drawing in big-name talent that the genre typically has trouble attracting.

Between the top-of-the-line cast and the gritty action, it’s clear Triple 9 will be a thriller worth checking out. The movie is set to open in theaters on February 19, 2016.

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