The late Elmore Leonard wrote in his novels about the desires which animate small-fry criminals, low-lifers, and in-and-out of jail types who are convinced that they can pull off one last robbery, scam, or kidnapping to put them on easy street. Some of these salty characters are cold-blooded killers whereas others come across as dreamers like us who can never relax until they have taken their best shot at the big time.

Ordell (Yasiin Bey) is a Detroit wheeler-dealer who has discovered some of the secrets of Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), a sleazy suburban businessman who has sequestered a million dollars away from his financial improprieties. With his partner Louis (John Hawkes), he kidnaps Dawson's trophy wife Mickey (Jennifer Aniston) and order him to pay them a million dollars or "you'll never see your wife again."

From the start, Ordell and Louis's plans are shattered by interruptions and mistakes on their part. During the kidnapping itself, Marshall (Will Forte), a country club member, shows up with the intention of having sex with Mickey. After dealing with him, the inept criminals learn that Dawson has filed divorce papers and is going to marry Melanie (Isla Fisher), a younger and sexy woman who has her own agenda. Ordell and Louis also are unable to control the anger of Richard (Mark Boone Jr.), a neo-Nazi with a large firearm collection who gets the hots for Mickey.

As expected, Life of Crime ends with a surprise alliance that makes perfect sense. Director Daniel Schechter keeps things humming along in this character-driven caper story with spunky performances by Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, and Tim Robbins.