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Overall Rating

Awesome: 33.33%
Worth A Look43.75%
Just Average: 8.33%
Pretty Crappy: 5.21%
Sucks: 9.38%

5 reviews, 66 user ratings

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Out of Sight
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Great Elmore Leonard adaptation."
5 stars

'Out of Sight' won't cause as much fuss as 'Pulp Fiction' did, but in its own relaxed and playful way it's just about as entertaining.

You can see it at the end of a rough day and come out refreshed; it's like driving a new air-conditioned car on a muggy day -- it's a smooth, cool ride in the midst of summer-movie haze. The movie is about crime and attitude, language and losers who think they can scam their way into the winners' circle. In short, it's an Elmore Leonard story, and this is by far the best Leonard adaptation so far, maybe because it doesn't try so hard.

The movie begins by introducing Jack Foley (George Clooney), who looks like a presentable businessman except for the tie he's just torn off himself and flung onto the street. He strolls into a bank and carries out a nonviolent heist with suave confidence -- and that's the movie's tone, too. Jack isn't the hero, though -- he's a typical Leonard sap, who harbors the illusion of a lazy life of crime. The true hero is Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez), a federal marshal who dates a married FBI guy (an amusing surprise cameo here by an actor reprising his role from another Leonard movie) and seems to want more from life than doing her job competently. When Jack escapes from prison and winds up in a car trunk with Karen, it's the Elmore Leonard version of meet-cute; they bond by riffing on movies. (Quentin Tarantino, who adapted Leonard in Jackie Brown, owes more to him than to anyone else.)

Until now, George Clooney's most memorable roles outside E/R have been Seth Gecko and Sparky the gay dog; here, he proves what his performance in From Dusk Till Dawn hinted at — that, given a meaty character and sharp dialogue, he can project the effortless grace of a true movie star. His Jack Foley, who robs banks because he "isn't a 9-to-5 guy," is a habitual criminal but not a hardened one. He can take care of himself, but he's not a violent man -- he doesn't even fire a gun until near the end of the film. That Jack escapes being a thief-with-a-heart-of-gold is due equally to Leonard and to Clooney, who enjoys playing Jack's growing, ticklish attraction to Karen. He understands the giddy absurdity of it: A bank robber falling for a U.S. marshal makes so little sense that it makes perfect sense.

Jennifer Lopez is working on the same level, and she, too, transcends being the huntress-who-falls-for-her-prey. What struck me about Lopez here is that she hardly moves a muscle; Karen doesn't believe in wasted energy. (Of course, Lopez plays more than a few scenes in a tight leather coat, which prohibits movement.) Like Pam Grier in Jackie Brown, Lopez sits and takes the measure of the foolish men surrounding her; she lets them make a move, and then she strikes. She's never better than when she's rebuffing a succession of drunk ad executives at a Detroit hotel bar; when Jack finally sits down across from her, it's as if to show the other men what it takes to win her — brains, for starters.

Out of Sight was directed by Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies, and videotape), whose work here surprised me as much as Curtis Hanson's work in L.A. Confidential. Like Hanson, Soderbergh hadn't attempted a crime drama before, but the genre turns out to be a natural and comfortable fit. Working with a faithful script by Scott Frank (who also adapted Leonard's Get Shorty), Soderbergh loosens up and gets a jazzy rhythm going, with the help of cinematographer Elliot Davis (whose camerawork is laid-back and hand-held) and composer David Holmes, whose '70s-flavored score is so cool I stopped on the way home to buy the album. (And a fine one it is — loaded with great dialogue from the movie and primo music-to-chill-out-to, it's on its third spin on my player as we speak. It poses strong competition to the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas CD.)

Soderbergh seems thrilled to be working with such a rich supporting cast, too, and performers like Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn (who's hilarious) and Albert Brooks do some of the best work they've done in movies. Out of Sight makes it all look so easy: adapt a terrific novelist faithfully, get a solid director, hire a strong ensemble cast, and have fun with it.

If only more works of entertainment were made, like this one, by people who know what they're doing! But apparently it isn't that easy, and so a movie like 'Out of Sight' stands among routine Hollywood summer fare the way Karen Sisco stands among the deluded saps on both sides of her profession — an oasis of intelligence in a desert of dummies.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=32&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/27/07 19:19:37
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User Comments

1/21/18 Anne Selby lousy and boring 1 stars
2/15/07 AJ Muller This flick is awesome - Leonard adapted right. Sexy and funny and suspensful. A winner. 4 stars
8/25/05 ES easy to forget, not so easy to forgive 1 stars
6/07/05 Steve Newman Great film. Definately see again. Lopez to look at is stunning - loved it 4 stars
9/07/04 Douglas Reese Good! Jennifer Lopez deserved an Oscar. So did Clooney 5 stars
4/05/04 Agent Sands Among the best of heist films, screenplays, acting, music, & direction of all time. 5 stars
1/14/04 Suresh In my top five, one of the few movies I'll call "sexy" 5 stars
10/24/03 BratlerJlo J-Lo's only good film, she's as sultry as hell in this, Cloony cool as usual 4 stars
5/16/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) REALLY entertaining, fun, and VERY well-scripted. 5 stars
4/17/03 Andrew Carden Lopez Is Good and Provides Sex Appeal, but The Film Isn't Anything Special. 2 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Trciky narrative structure can't disguise underwhelming story. Nice performances. 2 stars
1/05/03 Hacim25 soderbergh's best 4 stars
11/14/02 Dave da New Yorker It sucked, Lopez has no talent big butt tho 1 stars
8/15/02 R.W. Welch Completely unrealistic but stylishly done caper pic. 3 stars
6/12/02 hilarydsur awesome 5 stars
6/10/02 Francis mildly enjoyable rubbish 3 stars
5/22/02 Butterbean The ending was good. But the rest of the movie was a snore. 2 stars
12/17/01 Monday Morning "Just Average" as hell. 3 stars
11/25/01 Tam Lopez-Clooney chemistry is good, but plot was mediocre. 3 stars
8/18/01 Edwin Menguin Superfly, Is Tatantino the only other director on this planet, you daft cunt 4 stars
6/17/01 James W Pure Shit! The only good thing about it is Jennifer Lopez! mmmmm sexy 3 stars
4/15/01 LiL Great movie, George is so sexy. Jennifer Lopez is pretty good too. 4 stars
2/20/01 jaybo2 Jen Lopez is masturbatable 5 stars
2/11/01 Jake Way overrated! It sounded good on paper but looked ridiculous on film. Romance was forced. 1 stars
6/24/00 Naushad Khanji Not many Twists.Slow and moves at snails pace. 2 stars
8/26/99 LushZero the best movie of 1998, the best leonard adaptation 5 stars
6/24/99 David Keech Lopez [proves hot women can act, and Don Cheadle proves he kicks ass. Super stuff. 5 stars
6/03/99 Matthew Bartley Slow at times but Clooneys and Lopezs chemistry make up for it 4 stars
4/14/99 Jon Jackson Great movie, the DVD's got lots of nice extras too. 5 stars
4/06/99 Michael Grimm only redeeming quality was Lopez's ass, Michael keatoon seemed lost 1 stars
3/10/99 Meg Soderbergh's still shots make this film great, the music rules 5 stars
2/09/99 jaybo Clooney' best work, Lopez (and her butt) are very hot, Cheadle is excellent as always 4 stars
1/20/99 jvt That rare mainstream film that has some quality to it, but the pacing does seem off 4 stars
1/11/99 Joe C. SO hot my VCR melted! Lopez and Clooney smolder on screen... 5 stars
12/28/98 tr one boring piece of crap!!! 1 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink I loved every moment, it's very funny and thrilling, and Lopez and Clooney are HOT! 5 stars
11/16/98 Jeff C. VERY dull, don't spend time or money on it 2 stars
11/12/98 Lord Of The Dunce Superb adaption, the style of directing really made this work. Clooney's best. 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob A really good film on all fronts. Great news for E.L. fans...This one works!! 4 stars
10/22/98 Ike Clever, hilarious. Even better than "Get Shorty." Brilliant acting & dialogue. 5 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Lopez has to be the most sexual actress around. Chemistry, thy name is Clooney & Lopez. 5 stars
9/14/98 Como Erectus A fuckin' great flick. What Jackie Brown should have been. 5 stars
9/13/98 anonymous bad movie 1 stars
9/12/98 loriann no 1 stars
9/11/98 Joanne Clooney and Lopez were awesome. Loved the style of this movie. Great editing. 5 stars
9/11/98 norawild not very good 1 stars
9/11/98 ethel Awesome movie. George was terrific. 5 stars
9/11/98 MHen Summer's best (year's best) little crime caper. Should do great on video. 5 stars
9/10/98 Matthew Malouf worth a look not too bad not too good 4 stars
9/05/98 Young Einstein This wwas very cool, but the ending was kind of stupid. Enjoyable. 4 stars
9/05/98 ethel Loved it!!!!!!! George was fabulous!!! 5 stars
9/05/98 Con Cave Clooney is great in this good film. The character Jack Foley belongs to Clooney. More!!! 5 stars
9/05/98 Karen Z. Out of Sight finally brings to the screen the actor we glimpsed in Red Surf.Check it out! 5 stars
9/05/98 Kid Pee-Pee Lopez got me hard and I didn't hate Clooney. 4 stars
9/05/98 CHRIS ??? 5 stars
9/04/98 Ida Kern Clooney at his finest! 4 stars
9/04/98 Spiderworman Best Summer Movie! 5 stars
9/04/98 magda It made me feel so horny! 5 stars
9/03/98 Badass "I never forget a man I cuffed and shackled" Great entertainment! 4 stars
8/25/98 zubilicious Good flick to see with a significant other. It puts you in the "mood" for lossa sex. 4 stars
8/24/98 Kimberly Jennifer Lopez is sooo sexy! 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Some really big plot holes, but some big performances too. It was okay. 3 stars
8/22/98 Mister Whoopee Tres sexual. 5 stars
8/15/98 Johny A little slow, but cool 3 stars
8/12/98 {{OZ}} The kind of film Jackie Brown should have been. 4 stars
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  26-Jun-1998 (R)
  DVD: 02-Sep-2003



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