Saturday, June 8, 2013

Criminal (2004)

Director: Gregory Jacobs

Starring: John C. Reilly, Diego Luna, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Mullan, Zitto Kazann, Jonathan Tucker, Laura Ceron

More info: IMDb

Tagline: By the time you figure it out've been had.

Plot: Two con artists try to swindle a currency collector by selling him a counterfeit copy of an extremely rare currency bill.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

I dig a good con man picture.  This one came close.  I've been a huge fan of John C. Reilly for well over a decade and I look forward to seeing his films.  This is one of the few I've seen that he carries from start to finish.  I know he's capable of delivering a better performance but there's something here that feels like he's often phoning it in.  Maybe he memorized the script and tried to go off it every once in a while and that's what feels 'off'.  Diego Luna does a wonderful job as the con man in training.  My biggest issue is the ending.  It's one of those "a gazillion things have to fall into place in order for this whole scheme to work and it does" plots.  I won't spoil anything but it felt like a cheat on the film maker's part.  Sure, I could look at it like the audience was taken but it felt cheap.  I would have preferred the film to end just before the coda.  There are still lots of good things to find (Michael Shannon has a very funny bit part as a stickup man) but you won't find a solid winner overall.

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