Lift (2024) Review – A formulaic to a fault heist comedy

By Lori Meek
Published: January 13, 2024 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
Lift (2024) Review
Lift Key Art | Image via Netflix


This heist film is as formulaic as they come and you’ll probably forget everything about it within hours of watching. However, it’s also fun to watch.

As far as crime movies are concerned, the heist variety does hold a special place in our collective hearts for the way it portrays unlikely grand theft plans. These movies generally follow a group of highly skilled individuals coming together to pull off a seemingly impossible robbery, only to succeed against all odds. Netflix’s 2024 movie Lift, directed by F. Gary Gray and led by Kevin Hart, doesn’t deviate from the tried and tested formula in the slightest.

The movie includes all the elements a good heist comedy should – a lovable thief, his somewhat reluctant love interest, a team of experts who lack discernable personality traits, and a cartoonishly evil villain. 

The movie starts with super thief Cyrus (Hart) and his multicultural team comprised of Denton (Vincent D’Onofrio), Camila (Úrsula Corberó), Magnus (Billy Magnussen), Billy (Viveik Kalra), and Mi-Sun (Kim Yoon-ji) pulling off an impressive heist stealing an NFT (and its artist) in Venice. Interpol agent Abby (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is keeping a close eye on Cyrus as she’s determined to put an end to his wicked art-stealing ways. The two also used to date, so the relationship is complicated.

Before Abby can throw the book at her ex and disband his team for good, her superior instructs her to ask him for help. Interpol received intelligence about a particularly evil plan by crime boss Jorgenson (a seriously underused Jean Reno). He intends on using $500 million in gold to pay a group of hackers to flood an unspecified city, which would lead to countless deaths. 

Interpol knows when and where the gold transfer is scheduled for, and all Cyrus needs to do is steal it before it reaches the hackers. In exchange, Cyrus and his team are to receive immunity and their criminal records erased. 

As the gold is set to travel on a passenger plane between London and Zurich, Cyrus comes up with the brilliant idea of stealing the entire aircraft. Well, not stealing per see — Cyrus likes to refer to it as “borrowing.” 

What follows is a pretty formulaic heist action flick with some comedic moments thrown in for good measure. We watch Cyrus, his crew, and Abby working together to come up with a plan to pull off the impossible heist. There are some fun-looking action scenes, and, of course, there’s romance blossoming between the two leads. 

Where this film lacks originality, it almost makes up for it with the excellent performances of its star-studded cast. Kevin Hart, in particular, is brilliant in the lead, he adds plenty of charm to his thief with a heart of gold character. Jean Reno plays the big bad menacingly, it’s a shame we don’t get to see more of him. 

Lift isn’t a terrible movie. It’s fairly competent from a technical standpoint, the special effects look good, and it does a great job at re-iterating my hatred of flying. However, it’s let down by a formulaic to a fault and all too predictable plot.

If you want some mindless entertainment to stream on a Friday night, this film delivers. Just don’t expect to remember it by morning. 

What did you think of Lift (2024)? Comment below.

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