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OCEAN'S ELEVEN

SYNOPSIS:
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) walks out of jail and sets up an ambitious plan to pull the heist of his life: over $160 million in cash from the world’s most guarded vault, owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) the tough operator of three leading Las Vegas casinos. He recruits a top team, ranging from a card sharp (Brad Pitt) and demolitions expert (Don Cheadle) to a premier pick pocket (Matt Damon). The extra sting in the sting is Ocean’s ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts) who is now dating Benedict. Is Danny after revenge or something even sweeter?

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Made in the United States of Entertainment, Ocean’s Eleven is effortless to enjoy, an escapist yarn with a sense of style that starts with the script and ends with the wardrobe. Steven Soderbergh cracks the secret of a cool caper movie for the new millennium, while paying his respects to a genre that remains one of the most popular in movie history. Back in the early 60s, the famous Rat Pack of Sinatra & Co took the leading roles, and while this new wild bunch is not quite as seasoned in the rogue stakes, they pull off a difficult job with aplomb. And that’s just the movie – the heist itself is near-impossible, and that’s what holds our interest, other than the deftly drawn characters. Andy Garcia’s menacing casino owner Terry Benedict goes a long way to give the film its credible harder edge, even while we are in on the game with the filmmakers that this is a film where people don’t get killed, maimed, exploded or drugged to death. There has to be some danger, though, or else the film will flop like a soufflé in the breeze. Economy in the writing, excellence in the direction and talent in the performances ensures a wryly entertaining two hours, with some nice schtick between the main players. And the best idea of all is the twist ending. Ocean’s Eleven is refreshing, humorous and romantic to boot.

Review by Louise Keller:
Smooth, slick with an unsinkable cast, Ocean’s Eleven is the simply the perfect caper movie. Steven Soderbergh's fine touch and dazzling cinematography complement a witty script, razor sharp editing and a cool, laid back jazzy soundtrack, delivering pure escapist entertainment. It really doesn't matter whether you remember the original Rat Pack version or not, this is the definitive indulgence, crammed with virtuosity of craft, ready to delight at every sharp turn and delicious twist. The star cast is a constellation of talent, with George Clooney firmly at the helm. Charismatic Clooney effuses wit, charm, humour and style naturally. With timeless, classic good looks, he is the Cary Grant of our time –a ladies' man, a man's man….. it should be illegal for any man to be quite so handsome! There's no rust on Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan, Ocean's right hand man and Julia Roberts has all the presence and glamour required to play the object of Clooney's desire. You won't find a better dressed team of crooks! It's a wonderful team and I especially love Elliot Gould's gold-chained Reuben Tishkoff and Carl Reiner's master conman, Saul Bloom. There's so much snap, crackle and pop integrated into the elaborate set up, we get sweaty palms when Eddie Jemison's electronics whizz wipes the exit route drawn on his palms on his sweaty brow. Then there's Andy Garcia's smooth, heartless Las Vegas hotel magnate, Don Cheadle's unpredicatable explosives expert, Matt Damon's nerdy pick pocket, those squawking, squabbling brothers Malloy and the acrobat/contortionist who gets wheeled into a tricky situation. We are kept on tenderhooks throughout the action and there is always yet one more twist, one more surprise, one more sting. Nice touch to see two of the cast members from the original, Angie Dickson and Henry Silva, in the crowd scene at the Lennox Lewis/Wladimir Klitschko boxing event. The glamour and unique nightlife of Las Vegas beckons alluringly and how the logistics of shooting at the beautiful Bellagio (which looks stunning) were managed is something to marvel at. Fresh, invigorating and totally seductive, Ocean’s Eleven is a royal flush.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FEATURE

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

OCEAN’S ELEVEN (M)
(US)

CAST: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Elliot Gould, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Julia Roberts

DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh

PRODUCER: Jerry Weintraub

SCRIPT: Ted Griffin (based on 1960 story by George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell; screenplay by Harry Brown, Charles Lederer)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven Soderbergh (as Peter Andrews)

EDITOR: Stephen Mirrione A.C.E.

MUSIC: David Holmes

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Philip Messina

RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: January 10, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2002







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