Pleasant Thieves
Ocean's Eleven
Review by Ross Anthony

Slick, punchy paced, light at heart and tone, "Ocean's 11" promises big names and big entertainment for the dollar - and delivers.

Danny Ocean (Clooney) rounds up 10 (hence the 11) proper villain buddies in order to take Ocean's Eleventhe owner of three top Las Vegas casinos for 160 million. But the take is only half the fun, Ocean seeks to win back ex-girl Julia Roberts from the unsuspecting kingpin (Garcia) as well as his dough.

Talented likable actors populate this picture ... it's almost a small town of strong stars. Even the small names have grand talent: Casey Affect (yes, Ben's brother) and Scott Caan, buffoon their way into useful intelligence. Pitt and Clooney and Mack are rock solid and the rest clearly enjoyable. If Roberts is your only draw, a word of caution - she's a minor character with minimal contributions to the whole.

Somewhat formulaic in form, the film boasts a brash unique stride, pride and smiling eye. Breaking out of the gates strong, the best moments are in the careful recruiting, planning, and build; in fact, the actual execution and climax pass in a comparatively lesser flash bringing rise to a few implausibilities. An odd contrasting surreal resolutions follows.

Though each of the eleven are quirky and lovable, none are very "changed" or developed. However, Matt Damon does make a leap from the shaky likely-screw-up to steadfast professional in 0.7 seconds. Interestingly enough, the actual casino names were used; I wondered why they would allow themselves to be shown vulnerable. A good answer... because they are not. Nonetheless, you'll find yourselves routing for the criminals.

The movie classic dialogue repartee between skilled actors, Joe Friday delivery coupled with modern sarcasm and clipping pace keep "Ocean's 11" an entertaining film and a nice night out.

Btw, The original 1960s picture cast Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

  • Ocean's Eleven. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Matt Damon, Bernie Mack, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Julia Roberts.
  • Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
  • Written by Ted Griffin.
  • Produced by Jerry Weintraub at Warner Brothers.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:28 PDT