Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Review

3 Stars

Indie Auteur Steven Soderbergh steps into the world of big-budget blockbusters in this breezy fun re imagining of the little seen Frank Sinatra film of the same title. The cast and Soderbergh play it so nonchalantly cool that the central heist and conflicts never build any suspense and ultimately the entire enterprise fails to resonate beyond face value. Danny Ocean (Clooney) is freed from prison after a robbery conviction and heads to Vegas to assemble a team of 11 other thieves in order to rob three Casinos run by Terry Benedict. To complicate matters Benedict (Garcia) is now dating Danny’s ex-wife, leading the members of the Ocean’s crew to question are they after money or the girl?

The screenplay credited to Ted Griffin has moments of genuine humor and insight into the world of Las Vegas security rituals but the somewhat European inspired directorial flourishes by Soderbergh threaten to derail the film on numerous occasions. Undeniably well shot with a golden hue continually cast on the faces of it’s attractive stars, the sumptuous production design and art direction try hard to convince you that your watching a film of artist value. In reality it’s a straightforward tale ridiculously padded out over two hours. A stronger voice in the editing room would have been a plus. As is ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ plays like a love song to Vegas and it’s lead actors.The beautifully realized epilogue set against the water-show at the Bellagio is spellbinding.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts

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