It's the story of a man who becomes a pickpocket and what becomes of him as narrated by the pickpocket himself. I lack some ability to connect with the film, because I don't understand why anyone would be tempted to theft except out of desperation. The idea of choosing a life of crime as a profession when there are other options open is incomprehensible to me. I tend to think at the character, "What are you doing? That is wrong! You're gonna get caught! Take one of those job offers, you idiot!"
Senses of Cinema discusses Bresson's career. Salon.com says,
The mysteries of films like “Au Hasard Balthazar” and “Pickpocket” and “Mouchette” (probably his three most highly regarded works) lie entirely in how you interpret them and what you take away from them, in how and whether the spiritual or transcendental lessons Bresson tries to impart work on you.The Village Voice says,
Indeed, Pickpocket might be described as a solemn carnival of souls. ... Ultimately inexplicable, this concentrated, elliptical, economical movie is an experience that never loses its strangeness.Slant Magazine has a revealing review and ends up describing the film as "Life in 75 minutes." DVD Talk calls it "a challenging but ultimately rewarding viewing experience." FilmRef.com has an article. The Guardian closes by saying, "If this seems a gloomy process through which to journey, there are always points in his films where redemption and exaltation prevent glumness." 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die says it "is among the most perfect examples of the director's style." Roger Ebert puts it on his list of great movies and says, "Bresson .... has been called the most Christian of filmmakers. Most of his films deal, in one way or another, with redemption." Rotten Tomatoes scores it 95%.