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Overall Rating
3.86

Awesome: 26.73%
Worth A Look43.32%
Average: 21.66%
Pretty Bad: 5.53%
Total Crap: 2.76%

15 reviews, 127 user ratings


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Ocean's Eleven (2001)
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by Derek Smith

"Popcorn flicks don't get much better than this one!"
4 stars

2000 was a year of triumph for director Steven Soderbergh. It was a year in which he made two meaningful films each of which earned him the coveted Best Director Oscar nomination, one (Traffic) giving him the win. Coming into 2001, he was one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood. What actor in his right mind would turn down the opportunity to work with the director that got Julia Roberts her Oscar and reestablished Michael Douglas as one of the best actors working today?

The answer is not too many. Ocean's Eleven boasts a stacked cast so full of star-power that not a single frame goes by without seeing one. Soderbergh admitted he wanted his next film to be of no social importance and simply to be "entertainment", a departure from his past, more serious films. We are taken to an alternate universe full of bright lights, smooth talk, and suave, sophisticated criminals. From the first frame, energy bursts through the screen and keeps us entertained until the credits start to role.

Ocean's Eleven stars George Clooney as Danny Ocean, a man who has just been released from prison and itching to make the big score. He meets up with his old friend Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), who is stuck teaching teenage celebrities how to play poker, and convinces him to take on the biggest challenge either of them will ever face, the MGM Grand. The largest and most famous casino in the world, owned by the rich and arrogant Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), is where they set their sights. To get some advice as to where to start, the two men visit Rueben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), a former casino owner that goes nowhere with a shirt or without a cigar. Rueben, laughing at the thought of robbing a casino, brings up two dilemmas. One, they would need one of the most experienced crews around and two, no one has ever successfully stolen from a casino and made it out the door. The idea is absurd to Rueben until he finds out that they plan to rob Terry Benedict's casino. If there's anything Rueben hates more than an unlit cigar, it's Terry Benedict.

Recruiting men they've worked with in the past as well as the best new thieves around, Danny Ocean gets his eleven men. The crew consists of Turk (Scott Caan) and Virgil Malloy (Casey Affleck), a pair of bickering brothers that are masters in disguise; Yen (Shaobo Qin), a man so flexible he could squeeze himself into a pickle jar; Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), the explosives expert with a Cockney accent that you can't help but chuckle at; Frank Catton (Bernie Mac), the straight con man and master of words; Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), the young pickpocket that reminds Danny of a younger version of himself; Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner), the old con-man that can always get what he needs and Livingston Dell (Edward Jemison), the nervous computer hacker. These 8 men, along with the leaders of the pack Danny, Rusty, and Rueben come up with an elaborate plan to not only get into the vault of Benedict's beloved casino but also how to get out.

The plan goes smoothly until Danny gives away his identity to Terry Benedict by visiting Benedict's wife, Tess (Julia Roberts). Tess just happens to be Danny's ex-wife and Danny just happens to still be in love her. There are other slightly implausible situations that come up throughout Ocean's Eleven but if you can turn a blind eye to them, the movie is quite enjoyable. Soderbergh treats the film as no more than it is, a popcorn flick. He does, however, add a style and flare that makes it visually beautiful as well as just plain fun.

We do not, of course, see every detail as to how they break in the casino and what we do see is not actually possible. The details are not important in this movie. The film is not meant to be a documentary of how to commit a large scale robbery, such as The Score, but rather a movie where you sit back and watch these eleven men work their magic. Every character has their own unique talent and watching these eleven talents mesh together is quite interesting. The plan unfolds as it happens on screen and we are not told ahead of time how everything will happen. Add in a couple nice plot twists and you have a very solid film. The film does, however, lack the substance that made Soderbergh's earlier films so good, but what it lacks in substance, it makes up in suaveness (through acting and directing). It flows very smoothly and is paced perfectly due to the great editing of Stephen Mirrione and always has a cool look because of Clooney and Pitt's dead-on performances and the brilliant cinematography done by Soderbergh himself.

Ocean's Eleven doesn't develop its characters or provide any social insight, but it takes us on a two-hour journey of the biggest heist imaginable. As far as popcorn flicks go, this is as good as they get. Soderbergh sucks us into an intriguing world of crime where it's the bad guys versus the bad guys and you have to root for somebody. This world is a simple world and even if we're only there for a little while, it's a nice visit.

Don't count on this getting Soderbergh any more Oscars but definitely check out of the years cooler, suaver movies. ***1/2 out of *****

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3897&reviewer=298
originally posted: 03/20/02 12:49:52
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

6/05/19 Suzanne Lots of fun; Clooney and Pitt were a hoot. 4 stars
10/30/13 The Big D I endured this lame, boring thing because a friend talked me into going. 1 stars
8/12/13 rick original was a lot better 2 stars
6/09/10 Serge A modern classic, fantastic chemistry between all players 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. enjoyable. and ..what everyone else said, haha :] 4 stars
10/19/08 Samantha Pruitt lots of fun to watch, the cast is what makes it so good! 4 stars
4/27/08 Totir Alexandru It is a great movie and I really enjoyed watching it. The same for 12 and 13. 4 stars
11/19/07 Erica Munro Love it!!! 5 stars
11/11/07 cosmic conundrum Well, the cast did get reassembled.. not once, but twice 4 stars
10/21/07 Tiffany Losco This movie was great. And had all the hot guys in it!! Love Brad Pitt 5 stars
8/16/07 Quigley Excellent crime film with a great ensemble. Soderbergh's direction is superb. 5 stars
6/06/07 gr117 Love it! The cast is amazing. 5 stars
6/02/07 gcc awesome ending, great cast 4 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca Lots of fun. Great summer film. 4 stars
1/23/07 Matt Should have been much better, but not the worst way to kill a couple of hours. Forgettable. 3 stars
1/05/07 Watch This Movie. Worth watching once, just to see the end. 4 stars
8/14/06 Cosmic Conundrum Entertainer with panache 4 stars
5/20/06 Kcaj Okay so I'd give it a C+ 3 stars
2/16/06 Indrid Cold Great chemistry and several funny moments, Soderbergh won't let you down. 4 stars
11/04/05 tatum Pure fluff, but well made fluff 4 stars
9/03/05 ES s'ok certainly better than the sequel, but star power a classic doe not make 3 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins The original is an infamous failure this is just too prefabricated. 2 stars
6/08/05 Agent Sands One of the three classic heist movies of all time. Class-A filmmaking. Clooney is a dream. 5 stars
5/22/05 Cham Dull remake of a terrible original. 2 stars
5/10/05 Carol Great movie 4 stars
5/06/05 Mind Junkie pretty good 3 stars
5/05/05 Kristi Achilleos great movie with excellent set of actors 4 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens Doesn't compare to the original, but is good 4 stars
4/27/05 chandrakanth k s A MUST WATCH 5 stars
4/24/05 Dan Awesome! 5 stars
4/24/05 Charlene Javier Excellent popcorn flick 4 stars
12/18/04 Theresa Wagner It's suspenseful in a kind of you know the bad guys will get away because they are supersta 4 stars
12/17/04 Ken Cenerelli Fun caper flick I enjoy watching over and over. I can always find something new each time. 5 stars
12/08/04 keithers.. great cast but it falls short entertaining non the less 4 stars
11/16/04 Naka Waaaaaay better then the original. A fantastic good time. 5 stars
8/09/04 john bale Good cast but the Rat Pack they're not. So why remake ? Another ho hum hi tech heist movie. 3 stars
5/11/04 J.Peckerfoot big names.cool dialogue.slick.safe.and great entertainment.critics need not apply. 4 stars
3/04/04 Agent Sands Easily among my top 3 movies. Everything is fucking brilliant!!! 5 stars
1/04/04 Littlepurch Enjoyable and surprising the first time. A bit repeative on repeat viewings. 4 stars
12/21/03 Matt Wow, everyone loves but me...oh well 2 stars
6/29/03 Rosalie I really enjoyed this one. 4 stars
5/31/03 JoeSco entirely amenable and Clooney as suave as ever 4 stars
5/17/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) EXTREMELY entertaining, which makes up for its on&off seeming immorality. 4 stars
5/16/03 Piz Not mind-blowing but thoroughly entertaining. 4 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon Lite, healthful entertainment. Contains plenty of Vitamin C but only some Vitamin B. 4 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby Competently rendered but mechanical and empty. 2 stars
3/03/03 John What's so goddamn great about this movie?? 3 stars
1/04/03 R.W. Welch Compares favorably with the original, crisply done. 4 stars
12/29/02 Ken Increibly entertaining. Doesn't fall into typical "Vegas-movie" stereotypes. 5 stars
12/04/02 rob vegas IT DIVIDED THE AUDIENCES INTO THOSE WHO HATED IT AND THOSE WHO HATED IT! 1 stars
11/23/02 Croweater its enjoyable & entertaining, a good crime caper film 4 stars
11/16/02 spacecowboy good stuff... 4 stars
10/26/02 sparks Loved everything but Julia Roberts. Completely useless. Did anyone else see her mustache? 4 stars
8/26/02 Sesco i love u 1 stars
7/27/02 Punk_Ass I really enjoyed this film, very few gripes, Solid Entertaining. A good "Heist" movie 4 stars
7/15/02 Calvert Not bad, but lacking somehow 3 stars
6/29/02 Film Dude Top notch entertainment. 5 stars
6/28/02 Shelley Smith Aside from Julia Roberts, I absolutely love this film!!! Outstanding editing! 5 stars
6/17/02 FrayLo pretty damn entertaining, but hey, i'm fascinated by vegas 4 stars
6/12/02 hilarydsur awesome-but not to see a 2nd time 5 stars
6/04/02 Phoenix Enourmously entertaining. 5 stars
6/02/02 Chris A flawless film. You'll enjoy it so much it will blow you away. 5 stars
5/30/02 演で贈る のスティーブン・ソダーバーグ監督が、ブラッド・ピット、ジョージ・クルーニー、ジュリア・ロバ 4 stars
5/24/02 Matt Chez Good movie but could have been better, Pitt was excellent 4 stars
5/20/02 The Bomb 69 good popcorn flick 4 stars
5/14/02 Monday Morning Fun romp, very enjoyable. Needed to show Julia's tits for a "10", tho'. 5 stars
5/12/02 Matt All REDS!!!! : ) 4 stars
4/29/02 David A. Very Boring. No fistfights, no ghosts, predictable stale humor, and no pretty ladies. UGH! 1 stars
4/10/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite Julia Roberts is wasted, but tilte gang is memorable and exciting. 4 stars
4/08/02 stoolie-bird cute....... but thats about it 3 stars
3/28/02 Chris ソ。 It's Great Fun. I Definatly recommend it. 4 stars
2/28/02 Chowie pretty good, but 'introducing julia roberts', she wasn't needed, so FUCK OFF JULIA! 3 stars
2/22/02 Jeff great movie 5 stars
2/21/02 speedy very good movie, can't wait until the DVD is out 5 stars
2/19/02 TLsmooth The rat pack were fags. 5 stars
2/08/02 sarahfar88 cool, funny, go see it 5 stars
1/23/02 Jimbo Just a movie (although i'm pretty sure i saw the cameraman's reflection in a mirror) 3 stars
1/20/02 natasha funny, smart, stylish -- pure entertainment 5 stars
1/19/02 Adam Voorhees Its not crap but its also no where near as cool as it shouldda been. 3 stars
1/17/02 Mister Char it was entertaining and interesting, julia roberts is too old to be sexy though 5 stars
1/17/02 Jockstud An action movie without action, a comedy without comedy, a drama without drama... 1 stars
1/16/02 ^ZuLu^ Quite entertaining - but nothing you'll remember in a year or two. 3 stars
1/16/02 King Krack Very entertaining. I fucked during the movie. 4 stars
1/15/02 thejames This movie sucks my fucking ass 1 stars
1/14/02 Glen Funny and Classy film. (best movie ever) 5 stars
1/13/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the smartest film i have seen in 2002 & it kicked ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/12/02 parkallan Not oscar material, but a fun way to spend an hour and a half 4 stars
1/12/02 Matthew Smirh a fast paced and very entertaining heist film 4 stars
1/09/02 Cherry Excellent, fun movie 5 stars
1/08/02 Danielle Sharpe Amazing...From the many casino movies i've seen, this could possibly be the best. 5 stars
1/06/02 Ian Clavel Two reasons to see it: Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner 4 stars
1/05/02 mrgoddamnhair This film is goddamn awesome 5 stars
1/04/02 Matt Utt Senator Blutarsky you are right on the money man. Oreilly rules and Clooney is a pussy!!!! 5 stars
1/03/02 George Clooney..... JK!!!!! The movie was okay, I luv Brad Pitt. So what if he's married, he's wicked hot! 4 stars
1/02/02 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) This movie rocks! It has all the good actors and a good music score. I liked it. 4 stars
1/01/02 John Lyons Not as good as the original, but okay. J. Roberts sucked. 4 stars
12/30/01 Jim Heard Good movie. But sllllooowwwww.... 4 stars
12/29/01 Artist Freak Fun escapist heist movie, a little lowbrow for the man who brought us Traffic, but good fun 4 stars
12/29/01 paul flashy and fun, but nothing new or exciting here... 4 stars
12/25/01 ryan good movie even w/ geroge clooney and julia roberts 4 stars
12/24/01 flick chick run of the mill 3 stars
12/21/01 Johnny Walker not a swanky caper flick like Snatch or tha Score was, but it was well acted n' coo' 4 stars
12/19/01 Jimmy James plot holes big enough to drive trucks through 2 stars
12/17/01 Caiphn T'was alright. I'd watch it again. 3 stars
12/17/01 The king daddy Pot rating King As smooth as vaporized chronic 5 stars
12/17/01 Obi Wan Wow! Ticket prices dropped 4 bucks in my area at Loews! 4 stars
12/16/01 spaceworm THE RIGHT STUFF used Clair de Lune first - and better. Stop smirking, George. 3 stars
12/15/01 Justin Jaku Julia Roberts was fantastic. She left me satisfied and wanting more, much more! 5 stars
12/14/01 Gorge Duvidous Who said substance and pretense were the standards of quality? This movie is amazing, fun 5 stars
12/14/01 Axe Murderer i truly underestimated this one....this movie rocks... 5 stars
12/13/01 Thor-Leo Eric D Snider's review said it all... 4 stars
12/13/01 Grenamier This movie is a lot of fun and shows a great deal of cleverness. 5 stars
12/13/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Great Goddess, am I retarded? Hollywood hype at its worst. 3 stars
12/11/01 Xalt PFC. Pretty Fucking Cool. I liked the twists in the plot, and that was great acting. 4 stars
12/11/01 Emily awesome 5 stars
12/11/01 poetchuck Nobody dies or gets shot--just good fun 5 stars
12/11/01 Gibbo A very pleasant way to spend two hours - good fun, not too cerebral, worth a look. 4 stars
12/11/01 several commas good entertainment 4 stars
12/10/01 soapydog great cast great movie 4 stars
12/10/01 frosty Awesome movie, coulda used a better ending. 4 stars
12/10/01 Gary Boy is this a fun movie, even though the movie man and I agree, it is very rare! 5 stars
12/10/01 kishuta A very enjoyable movie. A heist movie done well. 4 stars
12/09/01 ajay the best 'lines' are in the previews, but I still enjoyed it. 4 stars
12/08/01 jaime this movie is definitely worth seeing 5 stars
12/08/01 Jihan Not the best heist movie, but a damned good one. 4 stars
12/08/01 Emily awesome 5 stars
12/08/01 Monster W. Kung Nothing special. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-Dec-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  10-Jan-2002


Directed by
  Steven Soderbergh

Written by
  Ted Griffin

Cast
  George Clooney
  Brad Pitt
  Julia Roberts
  Matt Damon
  Don Cheadle
  Andy Garcia



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