3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
get your cut This is of those twisting-turning heist movies in which you try to keep things straight until the next plot-changing revelation--enjoyable, intriguing, forgettable. Jake (Burns) and his merry band of con artists (partners Giamatti and Van Holt; cops-on-the-take Logue and Guzman) make a fatal error with their latest sting: They rob money from L.A.'s crime "King" (Hoffman). To get out of the mess, they have to work with King on an even bigger scam, taking one of King's henchmen (Franky G) into their gang to steal $5 million from a banker (Forster). Meanwhile, Jake has fallen for a sexy pickpocket (Weisz) who's also in on the heist. And Jake's nemesis, a tenacious Federal agent (Garcia), is on their trail.

But of course, this being one of those twisting-turning heist movies, there are changes in liaisons and identities around each corner, and surprises galore until we finally get it all straightened out. Credit to writer Jung that everything does fit together in the end, and director Foley certainly has enough visual style to make the film look fantastic. But besides the fiendishly labyrinthine plot it's nothing terribly original. Fortunately, the cast is far above average. While Burns has just the right mysterious blandness for the lead role, the supporting cast can get on with the scene stealing. Hoffman has a ball, adding so much subtext that you gleefully look forward to his next scene; while Garcia obviously enjoys playing a scruffy old guy for a change, and Weisz slinks gorgeously from scene to scene generating chemistry with everyone and everything ... except Burns. Like David Mamet's Heist, this is an efficient, water-tight, thoroughly enjoyable caper movie that keeps our brains engaged ... but never actually takes us anywhere we haven't been before.

cert 15 themes, violence, language, innuendo 12.May.03

dir James Foley
scr Doug Jung
with Edward Burns, Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, Paul Giamatti, Brian Van Holt, Donal Logue, Luis Guzman, Franky G, Morris Chestnut, Robert Forster, Tom 'Tiny' Lister
release US 25.Apr.03; UK 22.Aug.03
Lions Gate
03/US 1h38

Check him out. The King has a good look at the con-man (Burns and Hoffman)...

weisz garcia chestnut
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2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall