The film was a success at the box office with one week earnings of £10.9m (India) and total earnings of £1.622,000 and £1.268,507 in the United States and Britain respectively.
In Los Angeles, six criminals, all of Indian origin, are detained by the Police, and interrogated about stealing a truck full of laptops and its whereabouts. Their deep antipathy towards the police for arresting them without any evidence, just because the witnesses had seen an Indian at the crime scene, grows into a daring plot. Sparked off by "Ajju" (Sanjay Dutt) and seconded by "Major" (Amitabh Bachchan), they all hatch a plan to rob the bank in which lie the fundings for the Los Angeles Police Department. In return, Ajju reveals that he stole the truck and splits the steal with everyone else.
Marc (Suniel Shetty) is a bouncer who hates that his girlfriend has to work as a club-dancer and wants to rescue her from the club owner Cyrus(Gulshan Grover), by paying him the required money. He also has an ongoing spat with Ajju about his girlfriend. Major has a sick wife who he has to look after by supplying her with medicines and injections. Andy (Kumar Gaurav) is a software engineer having divorce and custody troubles, as his wife won't let him meet their child. Bali (Mahesh Manjrekar) and Mak (Lucky Ali) are two drug-peddlers who live off the street selling and buying illicit drugs under a drug lord. They meet when Bali is being chased by some undercover policemen and meets Mak in an alley where he is adjusting something in his car. He agrees to save him only if he splits his loot. They agree to work on this method from that time on.
All six meet on a hotel roof-top where they construct their plan and arrange for arms, ammunition, vehicles and gadgets. They do some reconnaissance around the bank and two days before the robbery, Major surprises everyone by declaring that the robbery will take place the next day.
While the robbery happens as planned, they find a SWAT team waiting for them outside the bank. They are engaged in gunfight and Mak is hit by a bullet while saving Major. They all escape and meet at their hideout. They realise that someone might have informed the police, which could reach their hideout as well. Mak, who was hit, is not allowed to be taken to the hospital, and Major treats his wound with some alcohol. They all have verbal scuffles after which, Ajju, reveals that he has kidnapped the Police Chief. They interrogate him and learn that one of them is an undercover cop. This strikes terror among them and they decide to bring the stolen amount to their hideout. Major finds out that his wife has died. Ajju befriends Marc and tells him to elope with his girlfriend. When they return, they find Bali dead, killed by Mak for being inhuman in his interrogation of the Police Chief. Ajju reasons that Mak is the undercover cop, but Major disagrees because he believes Mak saved him during the gunfight at the bank. They all arrive at a Mexican stand-off, with Andy as the viewer. He retreats and runs away with the money. They all shoot at each other, after which Major apologizes to Mak for not saving him. In reply, Mak apologizes saying he was just doing his duty. Major realises his mistake and shoots the already dying Mak in the head. Marc's girlfriend is shown waiting for him at the airport and Andy is shown at the end driving off the highway pursued by a Police helicopter. It is ascertained that he also died and all of them are, as narrated by Mak, to have met in hell.Amitabh Bachchan as Yashvardhan Rampal 'Major'
Sanjay Dutt as Jai Rehan 'Ajju'
Suniel Shetty as Marc Issak
Mahesh Manjrekar as Raj Yadav 'Baali'
Kumar Gaurav as Anand Mathur 'Andy'
Lucky Ali as 'Mak'
Malaika Arora as Lisa
Ranjit Choudhary as McQuarrie's Partner
Sanjay Sippy as Mr. Adler
Rati Agnihotri as Major's Wife
Gulshan Grover as Cyrus
Jeff Davis as Det. McQuarrie
Eesha Koppikhar in a Special Appearance in song, "Ishq Samundar"
Rohit Roy in a Special Appearance in song, "Ishq Samundar"
The film was to star Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Kumar Gaurav, Shilpa Shetty and Lisa Ray initially. Akshaye Khanna opted out of the project subsequently and was replaced by Lucky Ali, while Malaika Arora stepped in Lisa Ray's shoes and Namrata Singh Gujral was cast opposite Kumar Gaurav in lieu of Shilpa Shetty.
The character of Renu Mathur (played by Namrata Singh Gujral) was the only role cast in Hollywood from the entire principal cast. All other principals including Amitabh Bachchan were flown in from Mumbai for the Hollywood shoot.
The film was the first Bollywood film to be completely shot in Los Angeles. The film's production team used Hollywood technicians. The filming was completed in 31 days. Rohit Roy (from Shootout at Lokhandwala and a popular television actor) makes an appearance in the song "Ishq Samandar".
Kaante holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that rates films based on published reviews by critics, averaging a score of 6.4 out of 10 from 6 reviews. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film three and a half stars out of five and stated, "Kaante takes a step forward in terms of content and technique. An apt example of progressive cinema that breaks the shackles of stereotype, the film has everything to woo the cinegoer: an impressive cast, grandiose look, an excellent second half, well executed stunts, popular music and eroticism in plenty". Prem Panicker of Rediff criticized the film saying "A more taut script, a little less of indulgence in directing, a tad more ruthlessness in editing, and this film could have pulled off a badly needed box office heist." A reviewer at Sify awarded the film three and a half stars out of five and wrote, "A film far ahead of its time in terms of execution, Kaante is a visual delight. And combined with good performances and superb action, it's a must-see this season."
Derek Elley of Variety praised the direction and performances of the lead cast saying, "From the protags’ initial meeting, heavy on closeups, Gupta directs the film primarily as a character piece, with Bachchan, Dutt and semi-comic relief Manjrekar driving the drama with richly characterized roles. Shetty, a tightly wound actor at the best of times, strikes few sparks as the nightclub bouncer, and his scenes with Arora as the chanteuse are flat." Dave Kehr of The New York Times reviewed the film writing, "A delirious Bollywood reimagining of Reservoir Dogs, complete with musical numbers, Sanjay Gupta's Kaante shifts as fluidly between cinematic idioms as it does between Hindi and English." Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times said, "there is a steadfast earnestness in director Sanjay Gupta's deluded attempt to equal or even better Hollywood on its own ground that is rather touching -- but not to the degree that it sustains the film's many tedious stretches."
The music is composed by Anand Raj Anand, Vishal-Shekhar and Lucky Ali. Lyrics are penned by Dev Kohli and Vishal Dadlani. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, with around 18,00,000 units sold, this film's soundtrack addalbum was the year's fourth highest-selling.