The Naughty Nine

Fifth-grader Andy finds himself without a present from Santa on Christmas morning. Realizing he must have landed on the “naughty list” and feeling unfairly maligned, Andy pulls together a team of eight other naughty-listers to help him execute an elaborate heist on Santa’s Village at the North Pole to get the presents they feel they deserve.

Alberto Belli
Winslow Fegley, Danny Glover, Camila Rodríguez
"The Naughty Nine: A Riotous Tangle of Heists and Heart"

Posted Monday, Nov 27, 2023 199

In 2023, audiences were treated to `The Naughty Nine,` a gripping heist comedy-drama that follows a band of oddly-matched criminals executing a series of perilous thefts. The narrative artfully interweaves their backstories, revealing the personal stakes that drive them into the crime world`s treacherous embrace.

`The Naughty Nine` is a rare blend of slapstick humor and poignant drama, holding a mirror to the themes of camaraderie, loyalty, and the pursuit of a second chance in life. The tone oscillates between light-hearted mischief and intense, character-driven conflict, creating a movie experience that is at times hilariously unruly and at other times, heartbreakingly sincere.

The ensemble cast delivers performances that sparkle with chemistry and authenticity. Each character is sculpted with depth and quirkiness, from the mastermind with a heart of gold to the bumbling tech wizard whose gadgets seldom work as intended. Their portrayals resonate with vigor and vulnerability, making it impossible not to root for this band of misfits.

Under the astute direction of a filmmaker known for balancing action and character development, `The Naughty Nine` thrives. The director`s deft hand ensures that the narrative never loses sight of its emotional core, even amidst the most chaotic capers.

The Naughty Nine movie review

The score is an agile accompaniment to the film`s roller-coaster energy. It swoops in with jazz-infused beats during heist sequences and mellows down to soulful undertones when peeling layers off the characters` rough exteriors to reveal their true motivations.

Cinematography in `The Naughty Nine` is sleek and vibrant. Camera movements are orchestrated to capture the thrill of the heists and the nuances of furtive glances exchanged by the crew. It harmonizes with the film`s dynamic spirit, enhancing the visual storytelling.

Production design stands out with imaginative sets that are at once gritty and fantastical, channeling the essence of a world where high-stakes crime is as much about flair as it is about fortitude. Each location is a character in itself, contributing to the film`s overall texture.

Special effects in `The Naughty Nine` are tactfully used, providing just enough dazzle without overshadowing the story. Seamless effects heighten the adrenaline of the capers while maintaining a grip on plausibility.

The Naughty Nine movie review

Editing is crisp, with a pace that adeptly handles the story`s rhythmic ebb and flow. It ensures the viewer is always perched on the edge of their seat, fully hooked into the unfolding drama.

The pace is one of the film`s triumphs—balancing brisk, snappy sequences with slower, emotion-evoking moments. It`s a well-calibrated tempo that propels the story forward without sacrificing the intimacy of character exploration.

Dialog crackles with wit and wisdom, shaping much of the film`s humor and pathos. Clever banter serves as the glue for the team, while more profound exchanges add dimension to their relationships and individual arcs.

While `The Naughty Nine` weaves an engaging tale, it`s not without its pitfalls. At times, the plot twists teeter on the predictable, and a few characters are on the brink of caricature. Nonetheless, these moments are few and far between, overshadowed by the film`s overall charm and craft.

In the end, `The Naughty Nine` leaves an indelible mark. It`s not just a movie you watch; it`s one you experience, laugh with, and reflect on. The film`s ability to pluck at heartstrings while triggering belly laughs is its most significant success. Watching `The Naughty Nine` is akin to witnessing a grand escapade unfold—one that, despite its edges, you can`t help but be charmed by. It resonates on a level that`s as much about the human desire for connection as it is about the thrill of the heist. In a world that often seems devoid of color, `The Naughty Nine` splashes the screen with the hues of humanity in all its flawed, uproarious glory.