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Awesome: 26.73%
Worth A Look43.32%
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15 reviews, 127 user ratings

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Ocean's Eleven (2001)
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by Wacoshade

"Slick, quick, and maverick, Oceans 11 is an amusing caper flick."
4 stars

Given the same premise and penchant for big name supporting characters, as well as the 60-ish advertising artwork for Oceans 11, we cant help but form comparison with the Sinatra flick of 40 years ago, but I am pleased to say that the Soderbergh-Clooney remake not only holds up well to the first movie, it surpasses the original film in almost all ways (although I do think the ending of the original was pretty good), and it even proves to be one of the more entertaining movies Ive seen all year. The remake is funny, witty, fast-paced, well-acted, smartly directed, and highly entertaining.

This past Saturday night, I actually paid full price (through a failure to communicate on a possible discount ticket with a so-called friend. Grr) to see Oceans 11, and the price was worth every penny. I was entertained by a tight and intelligently written movie. I laughed, I grinned, I laughed some more, I even clapped at a couple of moments, and I didnt feel patronized.

George Clooney is Danny Ocean, a con man just released on parole. The first thing he does is find his old pal, Rusty Ryan, played by Brad Pitt, an interesting character who seems to be a hustler of all trades, and the two of them put together a collection of neer do wells for the purpose of robbing 3 Las Vegas casinos in one night (Amazingly enough, targeting three real Vegas hotels, and they actually filmed a big chunk of this movie in The Bellagio). The owner of the 3 casinos is Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict, a ruthless and meticulous businessman that makes Robert Deniro in Casino look like a Kindergarten teacher. Hes not above making an example out of a cheating customer or romantic rival; and to add a slight wrinkle to the plot, it so happens that he is currently seeing Danny Oceans ex-wife, Tess, played competently (i.e. somewhat BORINGLY) by Julia Roberts. Ah, something of an underlying motive to robbing these particular casinos? Maybebut then again, maybe.

The movie is stylishly fast-tempoed, although you can get the feeling that Steven Soderbergh is holding back somewhat from his characteristic shaky cam, jump cuts, and inverted plot structure. His restraint is admirable as it fits the movie well, although this particular movies direction doesnt hang on the originality or style of the director, it hinges on the directors ability to keep his audience up to speed with the story, and that he does as well as you would expect a recent Oscar winner. Here we get to see an amazingly talented film maker have more fun than he realized he would have when he signed on to do the picture.

Sure, there is practically no character development, but in this case, the cardboard cutouts are by Lichtenstein and Pollock touched up by Chuck Jones. There may not be much depth to the roles, and some of them are just plain small parts, but they are colorful, vibrant, and just fun to watch. Don Cheadle as a Cockney explosives expert was a funny idea, and he actually has a pretty decent accent. Carl Reiner pulls off a humorous Yugoslavian accent as an aging con man out of retirement; Elliot Gould is an over the top casino owner who bankrolls the heist (his casino was bought up to be demolished by Benedict in the movie again somewhat amazingly, they incorporated the actual demolition of the Desert Inn in the plot and furthermore, the Desert Inn was one of the casinos robbed in the original Sinatra flick); Scott Caan and Casey Affleck are bickering brothers with adolescent attitudes (Dont touch me! Im not touching you!) but who are expert car drivers; Bernie Mac is the inside guy, a blackjack dealer who gets a funny scene with Matt Damon and Andy Garcia; Ed Jemison is the perpetually nervous technical expert; and petite Shaobo Qin is a Chinese contortionist acrobat (youll see how that matters when you see the movie) who has one of the best lines in the movie. Matt Damon is a rookie grifter, making a living picking pockets on subways and wearing 70s Salvation Army t-shirts until Danny Ocean brings him to the big time. He has a role that couldve been even more interesting, but he plays it well, bouncing off Clooney, Pitt, and Garcia very smoothly in every scene hes in.

As for the main characters, Andy Garcia is good. He comes off as intense and fierce, but thats all he has to do, although his subtlety is more than excellent. We see the exact moment he realizes that hes been had, although we imagine that no one else in his presence does; and we can even see how much he understands and how much he doesnt with every glare. Julia Roberts plays the somewhat bitter and wise-tongued ex-wife who has a few okay punchy scenes with Clooney (why are they all in the restaurant?), but she too has not much else in her character. But then again, who needs more. Really.

Clooney is the easy standout for most folks, riddling the screen with the suave charm and glittering smiles that captivate an audience. Hes Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Spencer Tracy, and Montgomery Clift all rolled up into a modern day package. Hes at the root of the fun of watching this movie, and he plays every line of dialogue like Jerry Lee Lewis playing a burning Steinway on a Saturday night in Carnegie Hall.

For me, however, I was most amused by Brad Pitts role. He is Rusty Ryan, Danny Oceans right hand man, the guy who knows everything there is to know about who is where and into what and how to get whatever the boss might want. Hes smooth, slick and even a little cheesy. His character has wonderful small touches, too. When he first appears onscreen, he is teaching poker to a bunch of trendy teen stars (a few cameos of actors playing themselves), but youd think he was flipping burgers at Mickey-Ds when you see how bored he acts. Furthermore, note how almost every time he pops on the screen, he is eating something, maybe a snack pudding or yogurt or candy bar or sandwich, and having to wipe off his hands with a napkin or handkerchief. And if you arent paying attention, youll miss the couple of lines he speaks in Chinese. This is a colorful character I wanted to know more about.

Anyway, the dialogue is fairly crisp, and, although broadly drawn, the characters are interesting and fairly amusing. The cinematography is crisp and colorful, and the editing is nearly perfect. Energy just flows off the screen, and every audience member can feel it. The director, cast, and crew basically just had a ball making this movie, and that pumps out from every pore of the flick. With this script and director, we dont have the typical action suspense-slash-gunfight-slash-corny one liners-slash-explosive action packed ending. Thats right, Chester, you wont get pandered to in this film. If youre in the mood for that, go rent Tom Cruise outrun a flaming helicopter while riding on the hood of a high speed train. Otherwise, if you want an intelligent and entertaining caper flick, see Oceans 11.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3897&reviewer=227
originally posted: 12/13/01 17:22:45
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
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User Comments

6/05/19 Suzanne Lots of fun; Clooney and Pitt were a hoot. 4 stars
10/29/13 The Big D I endured this lame, boring thing because a friend talked me into going. 1 stars
8/12/13 rick original was a lot better 2 stars
6/09/10 Serge A modern classic, fantastic chemistry between all players 5 stars
1/12/09 Anonymous. enjoyable. and ..what everyone else said, haha :] 4 stars
10/19/08 Samantha Pruitt lots of fun to watch, the cast is what makes it so good! 4 stars
4/26/08 Totir Alexandru It is a great movie and I really enjoyed watching it. The same for 12 and 13. 4 stars
11/18/07 Erica Munro Love it!!! 5 stars
11/10/07 cosmic conundrum Well, the cast did get reassembled.. not once, but twice 4 stars
10/20/07 Tiffany Losco This movie was great. And had all the hot guys in it!! Love Brad Pitt 5 stars
8/15/07 Quigley Excellent crime film with a great ensemble. Soderbergh's direction is superb. 5 stars
6/05/07 gr117 Love it! The cast is amazing. 5 stars
6/01/07 gcc awesome ending, great cast 4 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca Lots of fun. Great summer film. 4 stars
1/23/07 Matt Should have been much better, but not the worst way to kill a couple of hours. Forgettable. 3 stars
1/05/07 Watch This Movie. Worth watching once, just to see the end. 4 stars
8/13/06 Cosmic Conundrum Entertainer with panache 4 stars
5/19/06 Kcaj Okay so I'd give it a C+ 3 stars
2/15/06 Indrid Cold Great chemistry and several funny moments, Soderbergh won't let you down. 4 stars
11/03/05 tatum Pure fluff, but well made fluff 4 stars
9/02/05 ES s'ok certainly better than the sequel, but star power a classic doe not make 3 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins The original is an infamous failure this is just too prefabricated. 2 stars
6/07/05 Agent Sands One of the three classic heist movies of all time. Class-A filmmaking. Clooney is a dream. 5 stars
5/21/05 Cham Dull remake of a terrible original. 2 stars
5/09/05 Carol Great movie 4 stars
5/05/05 Mind Junkie pretty good 3 stars
5/05/05 Kristi Achilleos great movie with excellent set of actors 4 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens Doesn't compare to the original, but is good 4 stars
4/27/05 chandrakanth k s A MUST WATCH 5 stars
4/23/05 Dan Awesome! 5 stars
4/23/05 Charlene Javier Excellent popcorn flick 4 stars
12/17/04 Theresa Wagner It's suspenseful in a kind of you know the bad guys will get away because they are supersta 4 stars
12/16/04 Ken Cenerelli Fun caper flick I enjoy watching over and over. I can always find something new each time. 5 stars
12/07/04 keithers.. great cast but it falls short entertaining non the less 4 stars
11/15/04 Naka Waaaaaay better then the original. A fantastic good time. 5 stars
8/08/04 john bale Good cast but the Rat Pack they're not. So why remake ? Another ho hum hi tech heist movie. 3 stars
5/11/04 J.Peckerfoot big names.cool dialogue.slick.safe.and great entertainment.critics need not apply. 4 stars
3/03/04 Agent Sands Easily among my top 3 movies. Everything is fucking brilliant!!! 5 stars
1/03/04 Littlepurch Enjoyable and surprising the first time. A bit repeative on repeat viewings. 4 stars
12/21/03 Matt Wow, everyone loves but me...oh well 2 stars
6/29/03 Rosalie I really enjoyed this one. 4 stars
5/30/03 JoeSco entirely amenable and Clooney as suave as ever 4 stars
5/16/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) EXTREMELY entertaining, which makes up for its on&off seeming immorality. 4 stars
5/15/03 Piz Not mind-blowing but thoroughly entertaining. 4 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon Lite, healthful entertainment. Contains plenty of Vitamin C but only some Vitamin B. 4 stars
3/08/03 Jack Sommersby Competently rendered but mechanical and empty. 2 stars
3/02/03 John What's so goddamn great about this movie?? 3 stars
1/04/03 R.W. Welch Compares favorably with the original, crisply done. 4 stars
12/28/02 Ken Increibly entertaining. Doesn't fall into typical "Vegas-movie" stereotypes. 5 stars
11/22/02 Croweater its enjoyable & entertaining, a good crime caper film 4 stars
11/16/02 spacecowboy good stuff... 4 stars
10/25/02 sparks Loved everything but Julia Roberts. Completely useless. Did anyone else see her mustache? 4 stars
8/25/02 Sesco i love u 1 stars
7/26/02 Punk_Ass I really enjoyed this film, very few gripes, Solid Entertaining. A good "Heist" movie 4 stars
7/15/02 Calvert Not bad, but lacking somehow 3 stars
6/28/02 Film Dude Top notch entertainment. 5 stars
6/28/02 Shelley Smith Aside from Julia Roberts, I absolutely love this film!!! Outstanding editing! 5 stars
6/16/02 FrayLo pretty damn entertaining, but hey, i'm fascinated by vegas 4 stars
6/11/02 hilarydsur awesome-but not to see a 2nd time 5 stars
6/03/02 Phoenix Enourmously entertaining. 5 stars
6/01/02 Chris A flawless film. You'll enjoy it so much it will blow you away. 5 stars
5/29/02 ő ̃XeB[uE\_[o[Oē‚AubhEsbgAW[WEN[j[AWAEo 4 stars
5/23/02 Matt Chez Good movie but could have been better, Pitt was excellent 4 stars
5/19/02 The Bomb 69 good popcorn flick 4 stars
5/13/02 Monday Morning Fun romp, very enjoyable. Needed to show Julia's tits for a "10", tho'. 5 stars
5/12/02 Matt All REDS!!!! : ) 4 stars
4/28/02 David A. Very Boring. No fistfights, no ghosts, predictable stale humor, and no pretty ladies. UGH! 1 stars
4/09/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite Julia Roberts is wasted, but tilte gang is memorable and exciting. 4 stars
4/07/02 stoolie-bird cute....... but thats about it 3 stars
3/27/02 Chris It's Great Fun. I Definatly recommend it. 4 stars
2/28/02 Chowie pretty good, but 'introducing julia roberts', she wasn't needed, so FUCK OFF JULIA! 3 stars
2/21/02 Jeff great movie 5 stars
2/20/02 speedy very good movie, can't wait until the DVD is out 5 stars
2/18/02 TLsmooth The rat pack were fags. 5 stars
2/07/02 sarahfar88 cool, funny, go see it 5 stars
1/22/02 Jimbo Just a movie (although i'm pretty sure i saw the cameraman's reflection in a mirror) 3 stars
1/19/02 natasha funny, smart, stylish -- pure entertainment 5 stars
1/18/02 Adam Voorhees Its not crap but its also no where near as cool as it shouldda been. 3 stars
1/16/02 Mister Char it was entertaining and interesting, julia roberts is too old to be sexy though 5 stars
1/16/02 Jockstud An action movie without action, a comedy without comedy, a drama without drama... 1 stars
1/15/02 ^ZuLu^ Quite entertaining - but nothing you'll remember in a year or two. 3 stars
1/15/02 King Krack Very entertaining. I fucked during the movie. 4 stars
1/14/02 thejames This movie sucks my fucking ass 1 stars
1/14/02 Glen Funny and Classy film. (best movie ever) 5 stars
1/13/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the smartest film i have seen in 2002 & it kicked ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/12/02 parkallan Not oscar material, but a fun way to spend an hour and a half 4 stars
1/11/02 Matthew Smirh a fast paced and very entertaining heist film 4 stars
1/08/02 Cherry Excellent, fun movie 5 stars
1/07/02 Danielle Sharpe Amazing...From the many casino movies i've seen, this could possibly be the best. 5 stars
1/06/02 Ian Clavel Two reasons to see it: Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner 4 stars
1/05/02 mrgoddamnhair This film is goddamn awesome 5 stars
1/03/02 Matt Utt Senator Blutarsky you are right on the money man. Oreilly rules and Clooney is a pussy!!!! 5 stars
1/02/02 George Clooney..... JK!!!!! The movie was okay, I luv Brad Pitt. So what if he's married, he's wicked hot! 4 stars
1/01/02 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) This movie rocks! It has all the good actors and a good music score. I liked it. 4 stars
12/31/01 John Lyons Not as good as the original, but okay. J. Roberts sucked. 4 stars
12/30/01 Jim Heard Good movie. But sllllooowwwww.... 4 stars
12/29/01 Artist Freak Fun escapist heist movie, a little lowbrow for the man who brought us Traffic, but good fun 4 stars
12/28/01 paul flashy and fun, but nothing new or exciting here... 4 stars
12/24/01 ryan good movie even w/ geroge clooney and julia roberts 4 stars
12/23/01 flick chick run of the mill 3 stars
12/20/01 Johnny Walker not a swanky caper flick like Snatch or tha Score was, but it was well acted n' coo' 4 stars
12/18/01 Jimmy James plot holes big enough to drive trucks through 2 stars
12/17/01 Caiphn T'was alright. I'd watch it again. 3 stars
12/17/01 The king daddy Pot rating King As smooth as vaporized chronic 5 stars
12/16/01 Obi Wan Wow! Ticket prices dropped 4 bucks in my area at Loews! 4 stars
12/16/01 spaceworm THE RIGHT STUFF used Clair de Lune first - and better. Stop smirking, George. 3 stars
12/14/01 Justin Jaku Julia Roberts was fantastic. She left me satisfied and wanting more, much more! 5 stars
12/14/01 Gorge Duvidous Who said substance and pretense were the standards of quality? This movie is amazing, fun 5 stars
12/13/01 Axe Murderer i truly underestimated this one....this movie rocks... 5 stars
12/13/01 Thor-Leo Eric D Snider's review said it all... 4 stars
12/12/01 Grenamier This movie is a lot of fun and shows a great deal of cleverness. 5 stars
12/12/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Great Goddess, am I retarded? Hollywood hype at its worst. 3 stars
12/10/01 Xalt PFC. Pretty Fucking Cool. I liked the twists in the plot, and that was great acting. 4 stars
12/10/01 Emily awesome 5 stars
12/10/01 poetchuck Nobody dies or gets shot--just good fun 5 stars
12/10/01 Gibbo A very pleasant way to spend two hours - good fun, not too cerebral, worth a look. 4 stars
12/10/01 several commas good entertainment 4 stars
12/09/01 soapydog great cast great movie 4 stars
12/09/01 frosty Awesome movie, coulda used a better ending. 4 stars
12/09/01 Gary Boy is this a fun movie, even though the movie man and I agree, it is very rare! 5 stars
12/09/01 kishuta A very enjoyable movie. A heist movie done well. 4 stars
12/08/01 ajay the best 'lines' are in the previews, but I still enjoyed it. 4 stars
12/08/01 jaime this movie is definitely worth seeing 5 stars
12/07/01 Jihan Not the best heist movie, but a damned good one. 4 stars
12/07/01 Emily awesome 5 stars
12/07/01 Monster W. Kung Nothing special. 3 stars
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  07-Dec-2001 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Steven Soderbergh

Written by
  Ted Griffin

  George Clooney
  Brad Pitt
  Julia Roberts
  Matt Damon
  Don Cheadle
  Andy Garcia

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