Ocean’s 11

Review Date:
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Ted Griffin
Producers: Jerry Weintraub
George Clooney as Danny Ocean, Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan, Matt Damon as Linus Caldwell
A conman named Danny Ocean puts together a team of eleven people to rob three casinos in Las Vegas.
It’s no secret that this movie had set my undies in a bunch since I’d heard about it late last year. Rumors were flying about an amazing cast, Oscar-nominated director Steven Soderbergh, a boxing fight featuring Mike Tyson and Vegas, baby…Vegas!! Well, the time finally came and even though some of the reports didn’t pan out (like the casting of Bruce Willis and the Coen Brothers in key roles), most of my excitement about the film remained. Pitt. Clooney. Roberts. Damon. Soderbergh. Could you go wrong? Well, this movie certainly doesn’t “go wrong” but the truth of the matter is that if it wasn’t for those five names, I doubt that this story would ever have been greenlit by anyone anywhere else. So how is the actual movie? It’s okay. It’s not great, it’s not bad…it’s so-so. There are a lot of characters in this movie, so expecting development from them all, is pretty much impossible. The filmmakers obviously concentrated on Clooney’s character for the most part, and to me, he was probably one of the least interesting figures in the film. In fact, it’s ironic that with a cast packed with so many “name” faces, it was Bernie Mac and Carl Reiner’s smaller characters who stuck out the most for me. Pitt was also kickass, but that’s because the bastard oozes charm no matter what he does (note that he wears a cool suit and has something in his mouth in almost every scene).

The rest of the cast was also good, but nothing entirely memorable. The only uninteresting character in the entire film was definitely the one played by Julia Roberts, who didn’t seem to have much purpose in the movie. In fact, I didn’t buy into the whole “romance” thing between her and anyone in the film! (especially in the end) She and Garcia also seemed to be playing their parts too seriously, compared to the rest of the cast, who were pretty light on their feet. And the story? Once again, I have to answer with a simple “it’s okay”. The whole film is basically just a set-up for this huge heist (think THE SCORE but without the big-name talent…uhhhm, I mean…), and even though most of it was semi-interesting (mainly because of the aforementioned “names” involved), nothing really stuck out or blew me away. There is little action in the flick, the style is “Soderbergh” all the way (although if you want to see a better ‘bergh film with some of the same elements and actors…rent OUT OF SIGHT) and the ending isn’t as surprising as you might think. Granted, my expectations for this movie were sky-high, so taking that into consideration, you shouldn’t take my comparatively “negative” review to heart. Overall, the film moves well, features a great cast, cool scenery and an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide for all that much spark, features a lame “romance” angle and tacks on a two-minute epilogue specifically designed for the moviegoers-impaired club. See it for the stars, see it for the city that is the wonderful Las Vegas and see it because…well, did I mention the stars?!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Ocean's 11