Movie #321 Ocean’s 11
(2001, US, d. Steven Soderbergh)
What is it about watching people get away with things? There has to be a scientific explanation for it. I can watch heist film after heist film but the law of diminishing marginal returns just doesn’t hold true. Watching con artists steal a bunch of stuff is just the coolest thing ever. Now add that blatant love for genre with a legitimately fresh breath of air in Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the Sinatra classic and you got one of the best heist films of the decade. With the definition of an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Julia Roberts, Casey Afleck, Scott Caan, Andy Garcia and the late Bernia Mac, there’s really a lot of active work this film would have to do to make things go wrong. But the good thing is – it also happens to incredibly written. Writer Ted Griffin knows exactly what he is doing here: with the smart, dry, and witty humor that magically complements the action on screen, Griffin provides a wonderful new tonal element. He never takes his writing too seriously, but at the same time makes the words he types as sharp as knives. And finally we have the direction of Soderbergh, who takes an old film and makes it into the first step of a giant film franchise. It’s a film that gets you rooting for the bad guys, though to be honest, they are some of the most lovable characters you’ll meet in a heist film. You’ll be cheering, you’ll be laughing, and at times, you may even be moved. Finally topped off with the incredible chemistry all of these cast members share, it’s just genuine fun. Something Hollywood hasn’t been producing much of these days.