Excitement wrapped up in a layer of mystery is the best way to describe the new movie “Den of Thieves.” The fast-pace, engaging storyline keeps the audience connected with the events as they unfold.

"Den of Thieves" tells the story of a highly-trained unit in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office that encounters a skilled bank robbery crew.

The deputies are working to catch the thieves who always seem to be one step ahead. Both groups come together as the thieves execute their largest heist. The crew sets its sights on robbing the Federal Reserve Bank, which no one has been able to break into. The two are pitted against each other as the thieves began to plan out the heist.

This film is one that I was not expecting much from — partly because of the casting, who in my opinion didn’t bring much to the table. I was dead wrong.

The group brought a lot of depth and heart to the narrative. Their performances reflected a dedication to the craft of storytelling.

A strong point in “Den of Thieves” is the writing and editing of the movie. The writing is extremely solid and the characters have layers to them. The editing cuts way the fat from the film, giving the story smooth transitions from scene to scene.

The story behind the thefts and the police investigation is another strong point in this film. While some movies can provide too much depth, “Den of Thieves” gave just enough to keep me hooked. It made me want to find out more about their lives and what drew them to the make the choices they did.

One scene that illustrates this is when one of the thieves, Enson Levoux (Curtis Jackson), is at home as his daughter’s prom date arrives. He takes the man into the garage where Levoux’s muscle-bound friends are waiting. Levoux tells the man that, “for the past 16 years, my daughter’s safety and protection has been my responsibility and my responsibility only. For the first time in her life, I have got to hand you that responsibility. Don’t mess up or your mama will have to wheel you around for the rest of your life.”

I think that showing this personal side is extremely valuable to rounding out the story. A lot of time, directors forget and use special effects to make up for the shortcomings in a film.

The films directed by Michael Bay are great examples of this method. Bay approaches his movies like a fireworks display. There is a lot of excitement and some explosions, but in the end, there is little to hold on to.

"Den of Thieves" banks on the classic western theme of the law vs. the lawless and does it quite well. There are points in the movie that you can’t help but hope the bad guys will get away with the loot. While watching the movie, it came to a point where I understood the motivation of what drives both groups of characters.

"Den of Thieves" tends to borrow a lot of material from the 1995 film, “Heat,” starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. However, movies are like art. They are subject to copy and imitation. With that said, “Den of Thieves” does put its own twist on the story giving audiences something new to enjoy.

"Den of Thieves" is a great movie to go see and you will be significantly rewarded for its engaging story and intriguing characters.

I give “Den of Thieves” four out of five mustaches.

The movie is rated R for violence, language, and some sexuality and nudity. It runs 140 minutes.