The Score is scoring some high marks with critics. (How high it will score at the box office against Final Fantasy is another question altogether.) Rita Kempley writes in the Washington Post: "It's smart, sleek and sharply directed. Even if it stank, the volatile chemistry among Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and the dynamic Ed Norton would be worth the price of admission." Indeed, most reviewers are remarking that the performances of the actors are something to see. Writes Michael Wilmington in the Chicago Tribune: "Seen separately, these guys are usually a joy. Together, as the backer and members of a hastily thrown-together gang trying to snatch the scepter, they continually strike sparks off each other, tossing wily dialogue and menacing digs back and forth like tennis champs on a great volley." Claudia Puig in USA Today notes: "Were the stars not of the caliber of Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Edward Norton and Angela Bassett, the movie would be lackluster indeed, but their turbo-charged performances add intrigue to this sedate action film." Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News gives special kudos to Norton. "You'll get a case study in the effects of lowered testosterone and raised bank accounts on the energy level of actors," Mathews comments. "Brando, 71, sits back and mugs his way through his role, De Niro, 58, coasts through his and Norton, 31, acts up a storm." Jay Carr in the Boston Globe concludes: "What we've got in The Score is three great actors kicking a caper movie around like a soccer ball." And Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times sums up: "The Score is the best pure heist movie in recent years."