Runtime: 117 minutes
Original Release: 7th December 2001 (USA & Canada)
UK Release: 15th February 2002
Budget: $85 million
Worldwide Gross: $450.7 million
George Clooney (Batman & Robin, Michael Clayton)
Brad Pitt (Fight Club, World War Z)
Matt Damon (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Jason Bourne)
Andy Garcia (The Godfather: Part III, Jennifer 8)
Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Closer)
Ocean’s Eleven, a 1960 film starring the Rat Pack.
A gang of crooks plot the biggest heist in Las Vegas history: robbing three casinos at once.
Danny Ocean, a charming con man fresh out of prison, planning his biggest job yet — well, anyone’s biggest job yet. To do it he’ll need ten more men, including right-hand-man Rusty, newbie Linus, explosives expert Basher, inside man Frank, old pro Saul, tech head Livingston, gymnast Yen, general double-act support Virgil and Turk, and all of it bankrolled by Reuben.
Smug Las Vegas big shot Terry Benedict, owner of all three casinos the gang are targeting. Also: he’s shagging Ocean’s ex-wife.
Best Supporting Character
The aforementioned former Mrs Ocean, Tess, who’s shacked up with Benedict in part because he’s a more honest man than her ex. Or so she thinks…
Danny: “Because the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes, the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big, and then you take the house.”
Rusty: “Been practicing that speech, haven’t you?”
Danny: “Little bit. Did I rush it? Felt like I rushed it.”
Rusty: “No, it was good, I liked it.”
As with any good entry in this genre, the heist itself — which is less “a scene” and more “the third act”, of course — is the highlight of the movie.
Letting the Side Down
Don Cheadle’s cockney accent is less Guy Ritchie, more Dick Van Dyke. But then, as we know, that’s how cockneys are meant to sound anyway.
As slick and stylish now as it was a decade-and-a-half ago, Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the Rat Pack comedy-thriller is that rarest of all things in moviedom: a remake that’s better than the original. Apparently Soderbergh said that he saw this as an opportunity to give audiences “pleasure from beginning to end… a movie that you just surrender to, without embarrassment and without regret.” Well, he nailed it. It’s a film packed with likeable characters, memorable lines, snazzy direction, cool music cues, and the raison d’être of a heist movie: a final act that pulls the wool over the audience’s eyes. It’s pretty much perfect entertainment.