Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Matchstick Men (2003)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writers: Erica Garcia, Nicholas Griffin, Ted Griffin

Composer: Hans Zimmer

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce Altman, Bruce McGill, Jenny O'Hara, Steve Eastin, Beth Grant, Sheila Kelley

More info: IMDb

Tagline: lie cheat steal rinse repeat

Plot: A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  No.  Twice is fine.

I enjoyed this a lot more when I saw it ten or so years ago, but despite my wonky memory, as soon as something happened (and very early on), it all came back to me as to how the rest of this picture plays out.  That can be a bad thing for a crime picture about grifters pulling cons on folks all the time.  Once I remembered that 'thing' then the steam was let out and it wasn't as much fun.  The performances are great regardless.  And it's a good story but it's a delicate balancing act that I don't envy anyone who has to keep everything in play without giving anything away.  Scott does a pretty good job with things but there are a few too many clues along the way.  Without saying anything I probably told you too much so now you'll know.  It's not as clever as it should've been but it's still a good light-hearted crime picture with a great soundtrack full of classic standards.  The Warner Bros. DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print with only three extras in a commentary track from Scott and the two Ted writers, a behind the scenes making of that clocks in at 72 minutes (!) and the theatrical trailer (anamorphic widescreen).

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