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15 reviews, 127 user ratings

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Ocean's Eleven (2001)
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by David Cornelius

"So very, very cool."
5 stars

Its not chic to admit it, but the 1960 Rat Pack caper Oceans Eleven is one of my favorite films. Thats not to say its a great work of art; its just a damn fine piece of fun that entertains on repeat viewings. That said, Im probably a harsher judge of Steven Soderberghs all-star remake. And that said, Im delighted to say that the new version is just as fun as the old. Maybe even more.

The reason the new Oceans Eleven works is that the only resemblance to the original is the title, the name of the main character, and the general premise. By shucking everything else, the movies allowed a fresh start, without having to be concerned about the ghosts of the original. With that said, Ill do my best to refrain from comparisons.

The new Danny Ocean is George Clooney, fresh out of prison and looking for a heist to pull. He tracks down old pal Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and informs him of his plan to knock over three Las Vegas casinos at once. The reason? It turns out that all three casinos are owned by sleazebag Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), whos been shtupping Dannys ex-wife (Julia Roberts).

Of course, nobodys ever managed to steal from a casino in Vegas history, let alone pull off a job as big as this one (the take reaches nine digits). But Dannys sure it can be done, and he and Rusty line up a whos who of crime; the eleven of the title is the amount of guys it takes to do a caper this big.

The whos who is what makes the film the all-star event that it should be. In addition to Clooney, Pitt, Garcia, and Roberts (which, lets face it, is more than enough right there), we get Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, and newcomers Eddie Jemison and Shaobo Qin. If thats not enough, there are a handful of celebs-as-themselves cameos. And they all look like theyre having a ball, even if theyve been relegated to supporting roles with little screen time. Thats because theyre each given the chance to provide some big laughs at one point or another, and each one becomes a memorable piece of the puzzle. (The one to watch is Qin, a member of the Peking Opera who makes his film debut here; his acrobatics will knock you on your ass.)

The weird thing is, you dont really get to know any of their characters names, since the film is more interested in the stars than in the characters. But that doesnt really hurt the film at all. The caper is so much fun that the Serious Things that matter in more dramatic movies (like character development) dont really need to come into play here. This kind of movie is all about the heist - which is a doozy - and the jokes - which are hilarious - than anything else.

Well, its also about style, which Oceans has in spades. Clooney and Pitt turn their cool meters up to eleven (so to speak) for this one, with the help of crisp dialogue from Ted Griffins airtight screenplay, which zings enough to earn plenty of sly grins. Soderbergh captures all that is cool about Vegas, filming the heist sequence like its the most fun ever. Even the soundtrack plays up the cool, letting the spirit of the Rat Pack slip in, if only subconsciously.

Theres only one real flaw in this new version, and it comes at the end. What we think is the perfect ending to the film is in fact not the ending, although it should have been. Instead, we fade out to an epilogue that, while fairly good, feels inexplicably tacked on. It doesnt flow with the rest of the film; the movie would have been dynamite ending on the fade out.

That teeny quibble aside, the new Oceans is a wonderful piece of slick fluff. The stars are all delightful, especially Clooney and Pitt, who make a surprisingly good team. Soderbergh captures the tone of the original without getting stuck in its shadow. The action is tight and the comedy is loose, and the result is a sharp, giddy blast. Sinatra would be proud.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3897&reviewer=392
originally posted: 12/14/04 13:46:38
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

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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