2000's, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Brad Pitt, Caper, Carl Reiner, Casey Affleck, Comedy, Crime, Don Cheadle, Eddie Jemison, Elliott Gould, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Ocean's Eleven, Scott Caan, Shaobo Qin, Steven Soderbergh
- George Clooney as Danny Ocean
- Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan
- Matt Damon as Linus Caldwell
- Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict
- Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean
- Don Cheadle as Basher Tarr
- Bernie Mac as Frank Catton
- Scott Caan as Turk Malloy
- Casey Affleck as Virgil Malloy
- Carl Reiner as Saul Bloom
- Elliott Gould as Reuben Tishkoff
- Eddie Jemison as Livingston Dell
- Shaobo Qin as Yen
A witty, breezy and thoroughly enjoyable caper movie, Ocean’s Eleven is a joy to watch and you’ll be sure as hell smiling by the end of it because of its charm. Loosely based on a 60’s Rat Pack movie, Eleven, as directed by the highly talented Steven Soderbergh mixes an old-fashioned glamour with a contemporary edge to craft a wholly amusing, well-crafted and undeniably slick heist flick.
Cool cat Danny Ocean is released from prison after serving time for theft. Being the suave man of action that he is, he has no desire to becoming a moral citizen. Instead, he has already formulated a crafty plan of his own and soon sets about assembling a team to help him with a heist. But this is no ordinary and simple heist, this is a complex maze that is highly dangerous. Danny wants to hit an underground vault that holds the money from three prominent casinos in Las Vegas, which is heavily guarded and nearly impossible to penetrate. With the help of best friend and card shark Rusty Ryan, the team is recruited for their various skills; Linus Caldwell is a somewhat naive thief who wants to be like his infamous parents, theatrical explosives expert Basher Tarr, inside man Frank Catton, the Malloy twins Turk and Virgil who are expert mechanics, aged but still hanging in there con man Saul Bloom, bankroll Reuben Tishkoff, neurotic technology wizard Livingston Dell and lithe Chinese gymnast Yen. Through careful studying, methodical planning and determination, the plan swings into motion and the stakes are indeed high with $150 million if they can accomplish the audacious heist. Making matters dangerous for the rag-tag group is the casino’s owner Terry Benedict who is a really dangerous guy. There is also the matter of Terry dating Danny’s ex-wife Tess, and Danny still obviously carrying a torch for her that could complicate everything. Can Danny and the rest of the team pull off possibly the most dangerous heist known to man?
Straight off the bat, Steven Soderbergh showcases his talent as a visual director. With stylized cuts as the heist is going on at various parts of the casino and the magic of the bright lights Las Vegas setting, Soderbergh’s direction exudes confidence and slick tactics. He crafts scenes of hilarity that are matched by nail-biting suspense as the plan is executed with danger at every turn for the misfit group. The pacing is stunningly executed and moves along at a briskly which takes you from the opening frame and pulls you into the caper of it all. And while the heist is a huge part of the film, the planning of it is just as much fun to watch, as it is seen from what the group wants to happen and then shown what does actually happen. A whip-smart script brims with amusing one-liners and banter between the characters, particularly Danny and Rusty who make a good double act during parts of Ocean’s Eleven. The script creates such likable characters in the main gang that you want them to succeed in this daring scam of theirs. And as I said earlier, the harking back to old-fashioned capers makes Ocean’s Eleven a cool and witty yarn that is impossible to resist. A smooth score of jazz is the perfect backdrop for the story as motives are planned and hiccups arise, challenging what could be a heist worth millions. To say this movie was enjoyable is to do it a disservice as it is a rollicking good time.
A huge draw for Ocean’s Eleven is the star-studded ensemble cast that have fun with their roles and each shine in their own way, particularly the main team who have superb chemistry with one another. Heading the way is the debonair performance from George Clooney who is the personification of charm and style. With a glint in his eye, suave delivery of lines and a fox-like smile, Clooney is clearly having a blast as the mastermind behind the heist and is perfectly cast in the part. On equally slick form is Brad Pitt, who offers irresistible wit and smarts as card shark Rusty who is the second in command. Matt Damon plays the role of thief Linus very well, constantly capturing his eagerness to prove himself and make the audience relate to him. Andy Garcia nails the part of the slimy and very dangerous Terry, who becomes increasingly angered as he realises that his casino and money is being targeted. Julia Roberts as the main woman in the film shows that it isn’t just the boys having fun, as she plays the suspicious and glamorous Tess, who can’t deny that she is in love with Danny despite the pain he’s caused her. Despite the dodgy attempt at a cockney accent, Don Cheadle is a hoot as the sometimes crazy Basher who specialises in explosive devices and is prone to exaggeration, while Bernie Mac is a blast as the inside man on the case. Scott Caan and Casey Affleck have fun portraying the Malloy twins, who are in almost constant arguments and scrapes with one another. Carl Reiner as the still determined but aging con man and Elliott Gould as the financier of the mission both provide their sterling credentials to Ocean’s Eleven. As computer whiz and panicky guy Livingston, humour comes from Eddie Jemison and then there is the acrobatic frame and grace provided by Shaobo Qin as the flexible Yen.
Executed with wit and vigour, Ocean’s Eleven is engaging from start to finish due to awesome direction, humorous script and cool work from the cast.