Watch Stander

"Good cop. Great criminal."
  • R
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 56 min
  • 7.0  (9,150)
  • 62

Stander is a biographical film that tells the story of Andre Stander, a once-great South African police officer who ends up becoming one of the most notorious bank robbers in the country's history. Set against the backdrop of apartheid, the movie is a testament to Stander's hedonism, his lust for adventure, and his desire to fight against the oppressive regime. Director Bronwen Hughes takes the viewer on a wild and unpredictable ride through the narrative of Stander's life, from his early days at the Johannesburg police department to his eventual downfall.

The film opens in 1976, with Stander (Thomas Jane) as a young police officer tasked with quelling dissent and protests in the racially divided area of Soweto. When he witnesses the brutality of his fellow officers towards the black population, Stander begins to question the morality of his job. From there, the story jumps forward a few years to show Stander as a notorious bank robber, pulling off daring heists across the country with his partners Lee McCall (David O'Hara) and Allan Heyl (Dexter Fletcher).

What sets Stander apart from other heist movies is the conflicted nature of its protagonist. Unlike other bank robbers on the screen, Stander isn't driven by greed or a desire for material wealth. Instead, he seems to rob banks out of pure boredom, using the money to fund his extravagant lifestyle and to give a middle finger to the system he was once a part of. As he states at one point in the film, he's not robbing the banks for the cash, but for the experience of it all.

The film also doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of apartheid. While Stander and his partners may be robbing banks, they are ultimately fighting against a police state that is rife with corruption and bigotry. Through Stander's journey, the film captures the social and political tumult of the time, the dividing lines that had been drawn in society, and the ways in which ordinary people found themselves caught up in the midst of it all.

The performances in the movie are top-notch. Thomas Jane delivers a nuanced portrayal of Stander, capturing the contradictions and complexities of the character. David O'Hara and Dexter Fletcher, meanwhile, make for charismatic and engaging partners-in-crime. The chemistry between these three actors is outstanding, and the film wouldn't be as effective if it weren't for their performances.

Director Bronwen Hughes masterfully crafts an engaging and unpredictable story, combining elements of the heist movie, the biopic, and the historical drama. She imbues the film with an energetic, frenetic style that perfectly matches Stander's restless energy, capturing the wild and reckless spirit of the man and his times.

While there are some moments in the film where the narrative momentum feels a bit sluggish, these instances are few and far between. Overall, Stander is an exhilarating and well-crafted film, one that offers a gripping look at the life of a flawed and complicated anti-hero who defied the system, and even himself. The story of Andre Stander is a fascinating one, and this movie does it justice.

Stander is a 2003 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 56 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 62.

Where to Watch Stander
Stander is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Stander for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 56 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (9,150)
  • Metascore