Ocean's Ocean’s Eleven
3.5 out of 5 stars

dir Steven Soderbergh
scr Ted Griffin
with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Bernie Mac, Edward Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, Joshua Jackson
release US 7.Dec.01; UK 15.Feb.02
01/US 1h56

The gang's all here. Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Gould and Cheadle get ready for the heist...

     roberts garcia reiner

R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E

are you in or out? A bright and breezy caper flick without any pretensions at all: no message, no hyperventilating action, no steamy sex ... just clever writing and a bit of mindless escapism.

Danny Ocean (Clooney) is just out of prison when he decides to stage an impossible heist, stealing some $150 million from three Vagas casinos. But his 11-man team start to worry when they discover Danny's ex (Roberts) is now seeing the casino owner (Garcia). Is this about the money ... or the girl?

Director Soderbergh and writer Griffin keep things witty and smart, adding flashes of style and humour in every scene, and letting the actors relax into their roles. There are no histrionics at all, no massive set pieces, just one quietly confident scene after another, punctuated with intelligent humour and starry glamour.

The standouts in the cast are easily Reiner (as a wheezy retiree drafted in from Florida to pose as a wheezy Eastern European zillionaire) and Gould (as a disbelieving casino oldtimer). The uncredited Cheadle also gets plenty of laughs with his ridiculous cockney twang, while Affleck and Caan provide goofy comic relief around the film's edges.

There isn't a plot twist you don't see coming a mile off, but it hardly matters as you won't be able to remember much of anything about this film 10 minutes after leaving the cinema. But sometimes it's wonderful to just switch off and smile for a couple of hours.
themes, language cert 12 17.Jan.02

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R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
are you in or out? send your review to Shadows... "This is one of those big-name flicks and a remake of a previous big-name flick. There has been lots of news, tidbits and stories on this movie - all kinds of interviews; and I love the story that supposedly Julie Roberts received a note in the mail from George Clooney, with a $20 bill in it, saying 'I hear you usually get 20 a film' - referring of course, to her $20 million salary. I think one reviewer said it best when he commented that it is a cast of actors who are obviously having a lot of fun while making a movie, and it is fun to watch. I can't really say more than that. We really enjoyed it, there were quite a few laughs, twists in the plots you could see coming, but it was fun and entertaining. I would highly recommend seeing it to anyone - maybe there is now a new Rat Pack in Hollywood?" --Laurie T, Minneapolis 17.Dec.01

© 2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall