After the Sunset is the best story Elmore Leonard never wrote. It takes woefully familiar elements--a jewel thief who can't resist one last heist, a well-meaning but inept FBI agent, and hangers-on who want a piece of the thief's goods--and gives them refreshingly original twists. Pierce Brosnan plays the thiefm Max Burdett. Max's genius at jewel robbery is demonstrated in the movie's sparkling opening scene. After years of heist thrillers, a jewel theft seems the last act of a desperate screenwriter. But here, it provides one of the best movie openers in ages, wittily presenting a successful and plausible theft--much to the consternation of Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), the FBI agent who attempted to prevent the theft. Max "retires" with Lola (Salma Hayek), his partner in crime and love, to a tropical island and prepares to marry Lola. Then Max finds out about a visiting yacht that will hold another supposedly steal-proof diamond. And despite remonstrations and pleas from Lola, Max itches to do the robbery bit "just one more time." This story is brightened considerably by the supporting characters. There's a local gangster known as Kingpin (Don Cheadle), who wants a piece of the action, and Sophie (Naomie Harris), a local cop who gets tangled up with Stan and Max. In their varying ways, these are intelligent characters, prompting the wittiest dialogue to grace the screen this year. And while they're often caught in outrageous circumstances (you don't want to know how Stan and Max end up in bed together), the groundwork is always plausibly laid, making the outrageousness that much funnier. All of the actors are pitch-perfect. Harrison is charming yet hysterical, Cheadle is all too menacing, and Brosnan and Hayek are as sexy as you'd hope they'd be. When actors get to play real characters, it lifts a movie's spirit. This flick hums like a new Ferrari.