A remake of the breezy 1960 caper film that featured Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack buddies, this Ocean’s Eleven offers equal star power, lavishes more directorial attention on the Big Heist, and is even more entertaining than the original. George Clooney is perfectly cast as the titular trickster, Danny Ocean, a paroled con man determined to rob the wealthy casino owner Andy Garcia who’s taken up with his ex-wife, Tess Julia Roberts. To ...
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A remake of the breezy 1960 caper film that featured Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack buddies, this Ocean’s Eleven offers equal star power, lavishes more directorial attention on the Big Heist, and is even more entertaining than the original. George Clooney is perfectly cast as the titular trickster, Danny Ocean, a paroled con man determined to rob the wealthy casino owner Andy Garcia who’s taken up with his ex-wife, Tess Julia Roberts. To pull off the complicated robbery, he recruits some individuals with highly specific talents, among them Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner, and Elliott Gould. Their painstaking preparations consume a big chunk of the film’s running time, and director Steven SoderberghErin Brockovich devotes even more footage to the heist and its aftermath. But he realizes that Ocean’s Eleven, like its predecessor, isn’t just about a smash-and-grab job -- it’s about being cool, and to that end the director is extremely punctilious about the movie’s stylized settings, costumes, and music. The script sparkles with wry throwaway lines, and the actors convey a sense of fun that’s definitely infectious. Nobody will ever confuse this spirited romp for high art, but for a great way to pass a couple of hours we can’t think of anything better. Soderbergh provides a full-length commentary for the DVD, and Pitt, Damon, and Garcia throw in their two cents as well. Additionally, the DVD sports an HBO First Look featurette, a brief behind-the-scenes documentary called The Look of the Con, interviews with other members of the cast and production team, three different theatrical trailers, and DVD-ROM content.
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- Ed Hulse
Steven Soderbergh, a talented filmmaker known for alternating small, arty films with more commercial projects, finally hit the box-office jackpot in 2001 with the star-studded remake of the Rat Pack favorite Ocean’s 11, so a sequel was inevitable. Soderbergh successfully reunites the entire Ocean’s Eleven cast and adds several other stars who sweeten the celebrity pot. Like its predecessor, Ocean’s Twelve is a lighthearted caper flick that relies to a great extent on the interaction of its cast members, and the movie’s more about that chemistry than the caper itself. Terry Benedict Andy Garcia, the casino owner whom Danny Ocean George Clooney and his ten partners ripped off in the first film, has tracked the gang down, and he gives them two weeks to repay -- with interest -- the money they stole from him. In desperation, the thieves head for Europe to stage heists that will net them the required amount. What they haven’t counted on is competition from a master thief known only as the Night Fox Vincent Cassel and the tenacity of Interpol investigator Isabel Lahiri Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is determined to apprehend them. Ocean’s Twelve unfolds in Amsterdam, Rome, and Paris, affording picturesque backdrops for the ingenious thefts planned by Danny and his crew. As Danny’s wife, Tess, Julia Roberts -- whose part in the first film was largely decorative -- takes a larger role this time around, thanks to a clever gambit that draws her into the largest of the planned heists. Bruce Willis plays himself in an extended cameo, and Soderbergh favorite Albert Finney pops up as well. The ridiculously convoluted story holds together, if only by a thread. But that hardly matters, because it’s evident from the first reel that the cast is having a great time. In fact, Ocean’s Twelve is one of the most self-aware movies we’ve seen in many moons, and the in-jokes speed by like Vespa scooters. It basically dares the viewer to have as much fun as the onscreen participants -- a challenge that's easy to accept.