Heist movies have always been cinematic staples but never have they been as popular as in recent years. It's easy to understand the appeal of a well-made example - there's pleasure to be found in the twists and turns of the script. But in an era when corporations are increasingly demonized, there may be an additional vicarious thrill in a story that details how the "little guy" (represented by the criminals committing the heist) outsmarts the faceless giant. By their nature, heist movies cause viewers to identify with the thieves; this is made easier in something like Flawless where there's moral justification for an act of lawlessness.
Flawless takes place in 1960 at the London Diamond Company, which has all but cornered the market on diamonds. Its vaults are overflowing with more than 2 tons of uncut stones and its chairman (Joss Ackland) cares little for the political woes of South Africa, where they originate. Laura Quinn (Demi Moore) is the only female manager in the company, and she has had to work longer hours than her male counterparts to attain this position. Nevertheless, that doesn't prevent her from being repeatedly passed over for promotion nor does it shield her when a business stratagem of her devising makes her expendable. A janitor named Hobbs (Michael Caine) sees a way in which her impending dismissal could benefit them both. He has devised a "foolproof" plan to rob a few million pounds' worth of diamonds from the vault but he needs a partner - someone with access to the chairman's house and the vault codes which are locked in his safe. That someone is Laura. Embittered by her treatment at the hands of her superiors, she agrees to help Hobbs, but there are complications (as there must always be in a heist movie) and Hobbs' scheme isn't as straightforward as the one he confides to Laura.
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