New Documentary “How to Rob a Bank” Raises Ethical Questions

The new true-crime documentary “How to Rob a Bank” on Netflix chronicles the story of Scott Scurlock, also known as the Hollywood Bandit, who committed multiple bank robberies in the Seattle area in the 1990s. With a hefty sum of over $2.3 million stolen, the film delves into Scurlock’s motivations, his relationships, and the impact of his crimes on those around him.

Directed by Seth Porges and Stephen Robert Morse, known for their previous work in the documentary genre, the film combines re-enactments of the robberies with interviews from Scurlock’s acquaintances. While some paint him as a free-spirited individual seeking his purpose in life, law enforcement officials highlight the traumatic effects of his actions on the victims and the community.

Despite the intriguing premise, some critics argue that “How to Rob a Bank” falls short in exploring the deeper ethical and moral questions surrounding Scurlock’s criminal activities. The documentary raises concerns about the saturation of true-crime content in the streaming era and questions the necessity of every real-life story being adapted for the screen.

As audiences continue to be captivated by true-crime narratives, “How to Rob a Bank” prompts viewers to reflect on the complexities of criminal behavior, the blurred lines between right and wrong, and the consequences of seeking fame through illegal means.