Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Steven Soderbergh directs an all-star cast in this stylish and dazzling remake of the “Rat Pack” cult fav. In the movie, George Clooney takes over for Frank Sinatra and plays Daniel Ocean, an ex-con who just got out of the slammer; he reunites with his old friend Rusty, a card shark. Now, they attempting a huge casino robbery at the risk of being busted by Casino mob boss/guru Terry Benedict. Danny will assemble eleven of the most skillful and greatest criminals and corrupt the biggest casino and robbery in history. This is an excellent and (dare I say) superior remake to the classic movie of same name. We’ll start with Soderbergh’s directing style. Soderbergh has proven he is a film maker of many flavors in his directing power when directing movies.

If you see “Traffic, Erin Brokovich”, and this, you’ll notice the distinction in styles and Soderbergh does an incredible job of making this seem very noir-ish with its dynamic camera angles and breezy pans along with its comfortable and warm atmosphere. The entire movie is dripping style with its incredible cast. First off, the aspect that made this movie a treat to watch was the incredible chemistry between Pitt and Clooney. They tend to play off each other very well with their quick paced dialogue and easy characters. They’re both very likeable which makes this an even better treat to watch. The rest of the cast is excellent as well. We have Andy Garcia who is the personification of the classic money hungry villain who is constantly in a battle of wits with the eleven robbers in this movie, Matt Damon is enjoyable as the young eager ambitious master pick-pocket who is recruited by Clooney.

His character is very enjoyable and fun to watch as he vies for respect from his other teammates. Scott Caan and Casey Affleck are a kind of comedy duo in this as they play two crooks/brothers who are constantly at each others throats which makes for great comic relief. This is a really great caper with its excellent plot twists and great crime scenes. Ted Griffin gives us a fresh, wry and humorous script with witty dialogue that makes this movie a joy to watch. Frankie would be proud. The problem with the film is its huge plot holes. In the beginning of the film, Ocean plans to assemble a team to rob three major casinos during fight night of the Lennox Lewis bout.

But when the movie progresses, they only rob one casino which the movie revolves around. I’m wondering why they only robbed one casino. For a caper movie, this has a lack of tension which would have made the movie more enjoyable. I know the movie was supposed to be casual, but a little tension would have gone a long way. Julia Roberts seemed inadequate in this role as Ocean’s ex-wife. I felt she was only cast in this to attract attention, but just the names of Damon, Pitt, and Clooney would have sufficed. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised when I expected a pretty big turkey and ended up getting an entertaining witty, funny, and well acted piece of comedy heist.

 

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