Are You In or Out?

Ocean’s Eleven made heist films cool again. 2001 was filled with first installments in successful franchises. I never watched the Ocean’s trilogy, because I’ve never been a big fan of heists. Luckily Ocean’s Eleven has more entertainment value than the 1960 original. A remake was considered for decades until Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh gave it a fresh spin. The Rat Pack has its familiar faces, but I knew the modern cast of Hollywood A-listers a lot better. You’ve got George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, and Carl Reiner all in one movie. Along with cameos from original cast members and TV actors.

The only character who keeps their name from the original movie is Danny Ocean. Clooney is effortlessly charismatic as the ex-con gentleman thief who plans a scaled down heist of three Las Vegas casinos. The job is personal since Danny plans on winning back his ex-wife Tess who’s dating rival casino owner Terry Benedict. Roberts has believable chemistry with Clooney and Garcia makes a good villain. Ocean’s Eleven consists of criminal specialists and trusted colleagues. Pitt is the perfect foil for Clooney as his constantly snacking right-hand man Rusty Ryan. The heist itself requires meticulous planning, surveillance, and deception. Damon is lowly pickpocket Linus Caldwell who gets close to the mark.

Mac acts as con man card dealer Frank Cotton. Reiner is another much older con man Saul Bloom who commits to his role. Gould is the wealthy casino informant Reuben Tishkoff. Casey Affleck and Scott Caan are mechanic brothers Virgil and Turk Malloy. Eddie Jemison is the all important electronics expert Livingston Dell. Cheadle is explosives expert with an exaggerated English accent Basher Tarr. Shaobo Qin is a real life acrobat who plays a crucial role in the heist as “The Amazing” Yen. The heist itself is tense and full of clever twists. It’s satisfying to see Ocean’s team actually get to keep the money. Ocean’s Eleven makes every second count.

2. Ocean's Eleven

Ocean’s Eleven

Remake of: Ocean’s 11 & Followed by: Ocean’s Twelve

2 thoughts on “Are You In or Out?

  1. I liked this one a lot, though it can’t compare to the Rat Pack original. One of the first All Star Casts of the 21st Century. Wasn’t too thrilled at first that they made Danny Ocean an ex-con, but Clooney pulled off that take on the character quite well so I didn’t mind in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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