A bunch of con men get together for a job which goes horribly wrong as one of them turns a traitor and thus begins a dark spiral of deceit and betrayal.
A character in the movie is shown reading a James Hadley Chase novel. The book represents both an apt metaphor and a notifier which tell you exactly the kind of movie you are getting into.
Johnny Gaddaar is a thriller but not gangster or a murder mystery although there is a murder which sets the movie going. The characters are con-men but they cannot be called goons.
Five cons get together for a big job- each has to raise a huge sum of money and put it together to make a handsome kitty. One of them turns traitor leaving a bloody trails of bodies in his wake.
The movie also was a debut for actor Neil Nitin Mukesh who gave a memorable and promising performance in the movie. Dharmendra also plays and interesting character who is a thief but not a cheat. His gang respects him immensely. Every character in the movie is given an interesting quirks, habits, companions. They are who they are because they like the color of money and not coz of any mitigating reason for being the way they are.
The movie nails the feel of a James Hadley Chase novel where everyone is either bad, greedy villainous, plain amoral or simply a combination of all of them. It is Neil Nitin Mukesh who stands out in the movie by blending innocence with a chilling gift for killing, making it one of the most memorable debuts of its time.