In Heat, writer-director Michael Mann erects an elaborate dramatic infrastructure to highlight the main event: the meeting of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. The Score stages a three-generation version of that clash of the Method-acting titans, with sturdy pro De Niro meeting both aging eccentric Marlon Brando and young hotshot Edward Norton. The framework, however, is much simpler than Heat’s. The Score is an elementary heist flick that accumulates procedural details crisply but ploddingly—and whose entirely respectable but slightly dull demeanor is barely ruffled by the inevitable plot twist. Master thief Nick (De Niro) cracks safes in Europe and the United States, then returns to Montreal’s old quarter, where he runs a jazz club. He’s thinking of retiring when oddball fence Max (Brando) offers him a shot at a priceless jeweled scepter being held in the city’s customs house. Stealing in his adopted hometown is against Nick’s principles, as is working with an untested partner like Jack (Norton), but the score would be big enough to allow the safecracker to settle down with his skeptical girlfriend (Angela Bassett) and hang out with the likes of Cassandra Wilson and Mose Allison (both of whom are glimpsed performing in Nick’s club). The acting work was clearly apportioned based on degree of youthful vigor: Brando delivers goofy ad libs, De Niro keeps it simple, and Norton plays two flashy roles; he’s also Brian, the retarded-janitor persona Jack creates to infiltrate the customs house. (This role-switching is too reminiscent of Norton’s debut in Primal Fear.) Perhaps the best performance, though, is by Montreal’s tiny old quarter; from The Score, you’d never guess that the city’s center has more in common with Crystal City than Paris. —Mark Jenkins