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Ocean's Eleven  
George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Carl Reiner, Andy Garcia.
Written by Stephen W. Carpenter, Scott Frank and Ted Griffin
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Directed by
Steven Soderbergh

Trailer (Quicktime): LOW RES | HIGH RES

Based on the Rat Pack’s 1960 film of the same name, director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Ted Griffin modernize the heist, bringing along with them a star studded cast. Although the film will not be considered Soderbergh’s crowning achievement, in a year full of lifeless popcorn junk, “Ocean’s Eleven” is the perfect example of what a popcorn movie should be – a-sit-down-don’t-think-and-just-enjoy kind of movie.

Daniel Ocean (George Clooney), freshly granted a parole after years of imprisonment for embezzling, decides to pull another heist on the same day he gets out. Setting his suave eyes on Las Vegas, Ocean wants to score from three of the most profitable casinos on The Strip: The Bellagio, MGM Grand and The Mirage. All owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the casinos can hold up to anywhere from $80 million to $160 million on site. While the money alone is a very good incentive to do the job, Ocean has a more personal reason as his estranged wife Tess (Julia Roberts) has left him for Benedict.

With the casinos’ state of the art safe, security guards with uzi’s, ubiquitous laser motion sensors, tons of cameras, fingerprint identifications and security codes that change more times than my luck playing slots, Ocean needs a talented group to even have a chance of pulling such a caper. From a slick pick-pocketer (Matt Damon) to a sensitive blackjack dealer (Bernie Mac), from a rich kid’s poker instructor (Brad Pitt) to a limber Chinese acrobat (Shaobo Qin), Ocean gets his guys.

For those expecting OE to be as dramatic as “Traffic” or as intricately detailed as “The Score”, they will be terribly disappointed. With his Oscar win for Best Director earlier this year, it seems like Soderbergh is taking a little break with this one. Not as cinematically significant as any of his earlier works in terms of being groundbreaking, OE is nothing more than a solidly gratifying movie.

The actual heist falls in place a bit too perfectly and conveniently to be plausible though. Change of costumes left in elevators and sneaking in through the back with a food cart seems just a tad bit improbable not to be noticed by security, especially in Las Vegas where the whole city is basically under close surveillance. However, OE is not so much about how believable it can be, as so much how fun it can be watching it all unfold. With its suave banters, colorful cast with lots of personality, and bumps along the way that will keep you guessing, OE will keep you smiling from start to finish.

Then there is the subplot of the romantic quibbles between Ocean and Tess. Although not the main focus of the film, the screenplay masterfully incorporates it into the heist and works quite well.

With Soderbergh behind the camera, Griffin’s slick screenplay and a cast that is “out of sight” (go ahead and roll your eyes), OE is one movie you should check out.


Review by Mazzyboi

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