Decider - This Is a Robbery tells the story of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art robbery. In 1990, the morning after St. Patrick’s Day, 13 works of art were stolen from the Boston museum over the course of an hour. Some of those works were priceless, such as The Concert, one of only 34 known paintings by Johannes Vermeer, and Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Others were completely valueless. The FBI valued the haul as totaling $500 million, making it the biggest art heist in modern history. This Is a Robbery offers no solutions to who stole these works. Instead, it explains this largely unknown theft and explores the cases against its prime suspects.
Colin Barnicle directed all four episodes of the docuseries. He and Nick Barnicle started the sports and entertainment production company Barnicle Brothers, which is one of the companies behind This Is a Robbery. Before dominating Netflix, the Barnicle Brothers won four New York Emmys for Billy Joel: New York State of Mind. Basically, your suspicions are correct. This is one talented family.
I finished This Is A Robbery last night and in all honesty, it was really good. Did it need to be four parts? No, probably not. But did I mind it? No, definitely not thanks to the cast of characters the Barnicle boys rounded up for this thing.
I won't drop any spoilers because it's so new and you should definitely watch it, but it starts out super hot, recreating the night and scene of the crime back in March of 1990. Then it does a great job of stretching out the investigation, which is still ongoing, and exploring all possible leads and motives.
I don't think they really missed anything and like I mentioned, the cast of characters are so authentic Boston it hurts.
The crime itself was too. If you're unaware of the backstory on it, the first thing that will hit you when you see how it unfolded is that it's something straight out of a Ben Afleck movie like The Town.
St. Patrick's day, police, gangsters, a quarter billion (now a half billion) score.
And this guy Myles Connor who I could have listened to tell stories about old Boston for 4 hours by himself.
This guy pulled off 30 heists by himself and he barely spent any time in jail.
Know why? Because, as you'll learn watching this, stealing works of art gives you a real-life "get out of jail free card". Wild wild stuff.
It's all there and it's really well told. Even if they do include some outed-hacks like Kevin Cullen (who Kirk helped expose) to do the telling.
What my biggest takeaway from the whole thing is in a city filled with the biggest mouths in the world like Boston, how has this crime remained unsolved for 30 years? It's unexplainable.
Secondly, how the fuck didn't we learn about this in school? I went to a pretty good school too, St John's (ever heard of it?) thanks to financial aid, but still. And I took God damn AP Art History (and bombed the AP test along with everyone else that took it). How throughout the course of the year, did our teacher, Mr. Gillis, not think it'd be worth telling a class full of pimply, testosterone-filled, young men about a story involving stealing some of the greatest works in the history of art, in a scheme straight out of Hollywood, and which also happened right in our back yard?
p.s. - I hate having to, but gotta give credit where it's due and that's to Dr. Creepy's wife Linda Pizzuti who executive produced this.
p.p.s. - wouldn't have hurt to take a field trip to the Gardner either. Place looks like a friggin European palace and only has a billion dollars worth of art displayed in it.