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The Best Thief in the World (2004)

Izzy, the youngest son of a troubled New York family, takes a shine to breaking into people's apartments as a way to get attention.


Jacob Kornbluth


Jacob Kornbluth
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary-Louise Parker ... Sue Zaidman
Michael Silverman ... Izzy Zaidman
David Warshofsky ... Paul Zaidman
Audra McDonald ... Ruth
Lois Smith ... Helen
Margo Martindale ... Miss Mason
Jelani Jeffries Jelani Jeffries ... Robbie
Chelsea Harkins Chelsea Harkins ... Amy Zaidman
Jonah Bobo ... Sam Zaidman
Roberta Wallach ... Granola Woman
Tom Bloom ... Dr. Challop
Shortee Red Shortee Red ... Big Edwin
T.J. Allen T.J. Allen ... Dice
Tanya Clarke ... Mary
Wade Mylius Wade Mylius ... Harry


The story of a young boy (Izzy) and his family, living in New York. His father (Paul) has recently had a stroke, completely debilitating him mentally and physically. Izzy tries to escape the reality of it all by breaking into nearby homes. His mother (Sue) struggles to keep the family together, battling Izzy's outbursts and the strains of the entire situation. Written by Dan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A világ legjobb tolvaja See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Process Media See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sue: What do I know?
Izzy: What do any of us know?
Sue: Exactly, honey. Exactly.
See more »


Features Maury (1991) See more »


We Three
Performed by Patti Smith Group
Written by Patti Smith
Published by Druse Music, Inc. / Stratium Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc., under license from BMG Film and Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Good about a future criminal ruined by awful score
4 March 2014 | by OJTSee all my reviews

Young Izzy (Izak), aged 8 or 9, is growing up with younger siblings in New York city in a troubled family. Mother struggles to cope and is close to a breakdown, the father is in a suffering from a stroke and is completely dependent on help, and not able to communicate. The insurance doesn't help, and she is forced to keep her husband home, while she still has to work, and a mother which is the worst nagging kind. Izzy is resourceful but troubled and is taking it out his own way, by breaking into apartments in his own apartment building where no one is home and even makes small fires on the floor. He finds out which apartments by calling the buzzers. Where there's no answer, he breaks in by windows or such. He lies, steals and do other kinds of destructive and dangerous behavior.

The film, which is second outing by New Yorker Jacob Kornbluth has a good plot, mixed with bit clichés and new thinking, but is immensely annoyingly made in more than one way. The actors are doing OK, and they are picked from an upper shelf, and they are all great. Young Izzy is played by first timer Michael Silverman, and deserves more chances in films.

But what's awful, is the music by a prince Paul, which is really bad. It's bad mixed and quite tedious, and when it's not the rap music, it some kind of elevator music. Simply some quite annoying choices. Sometimes there's a couple if colored kids popping up, out if context, like a Greek choir singing profound rap songs with an awful language. This feels offensive, and most certainly is supposed to. The music does a really bad job, because it makes you hate the movie.

Too bad, because there's both talent here, good morals, and a good story about kids with parents not able to be there like they should. It's pointing no fingers. The film just illustrates some reasons to kids not behaving, and even start off a criminal run. There's probably a lot to analyze here, and as such the film is interesting. Too bad it annoys you along the way. I'm sure that wasn't the plan.

The film gives answers, and is not without hope. Still, if you can endure the score, you'll have a OK watch, but don't expect to be too much uplifted by watching this, though this is a depiction of the real world out there.

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