Released Friday, March 26, “The Vault” is an action packed bank heist thriller expected to catch the interest of people from all over the world. With such a wide variety of bank heist movies, it’s hard to find one that actually stands out, but “The Vault” is a healthy combination of intellectual strategy and suspenseful close calls that keep the audience at the edge of their seat.

Directed by Jaume Balagueró, “The Vault” has a wide range of talented actors including Freddie Highmore and Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham.

The story revolves around a team of modern day pirates who've been after a legendary treasure for years. When they find out it will be held at the Bank of Spain for just 10 days, the leader, Walter Moreland (Cunningham), recruits a brilliant engineering graduate student, Thom Laybrick (Highmore), to help them break into the world's most secure vault. 

To make things interesting, the vault doesn’t have any blueprints to reference and the team only has 105 minutes to complete the job while the guards are distracted by the highly anticipated 2010 World Cup between the Netherlands and Spain. While some parts of the movie were slow and drawn out, once the team went undercover to get into the bank the rest of the film was full of suspense as they came close to getting caught multiple times. 

While Highmore was clearly typecast as the smart nerd after his lead role in “The Good Doctor,” his character in “The Vault” is gutsy and willing to sacrifice everything for his team. Aside from rejecting a few top-grade job offers that didn’t interest him, the movie doesn’t really elaborate on Thom’s motivation to commit to this risky endeavor. For being such a smart character, he's also quick to trust a team of thieves he just met, despite the rest of the group immediately doubting his capability. 

“The producers came to me with the script and I immediately fell in love,” Balagueró said. “I found it very exciting — the way it mixes a heist plot with the ambience and the intrigue of the South Africa soccer World Cup. In a way, I perceived the story as a modern classic pirate story: action, adventure and suspense, all mixed with sport and passion.”

Despite Balagueró’s wonderful job directing this film, it’s a surprising change of pace from his usual genres. Balagueró is most commonly known for horror films like “REC” and “The Pact,” but he also has experience with some comedies and documentaries. While he’s directed films that contain the elements of an action-thriller movie, “The Vault” is unlike anything Balagueró has made before, and this new style suits him well. 

When compared to other intellectually strategic heist movies, “The Vault” is a solid 7/10 for its unique storyline and implementation of the World Cup, giving the characters a small window of time to pull off such a complex task. The action scenes are no match to movies like “Baby Driver,” but the tension throughout boosts its quality as an invigorating thriller that anyone can enjoy. 

Daniel Ward is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @wordsofward34