A con artist with phobias and his partner are in the middle of a big swindle when the con artist's teenage daughter shows up uninvited.
Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Release Date: 7-JUN-2005
Media Type: DVD
Debbie Lee Wesselmann | the Lehigh Valley, PA | 01/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cross between "The Sting" and "Paper Moon" pits master con artist Roy (Nicholas Cage) against himself. He has the smooth moves, the grasp of the intricate game he must play, the equally smooth partner (Sam Rockwell), but he cannot master his own obsessive-compulsive urges which manifest themselves in agoraphobia, tics, and, at times, full paralysis. When his partner Mark insists that he sees a shrink for his problems, Roy makes halting progress, leading to his discovery of his previously unknown teenage daughter Angela (Alison Lohman.) What happens next is both hilarious and heartbreaking as Cage exposes his character's heart tic by tic during his biggest con scheme yet. I cannot fault a single performance in this film. No one plays comedic pathos the way Cage does, and he is at his absolute best here - even non-fans might be converted. Supporting actress Alison Lohman's performance is bubbly, nuanced, and adorable, making Roy's instant affection for Angela completely believable. The direction, screenplay, and other supporting performances add yet another layer of perfection to the film. This is the kind of movie you can watch several times before you get enough of it."
A Must See
Keyser Soze | Peoria, Arizona | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As one of the best actors of our time Nicolas Cage may have increased his already huge star power with his performance as Roy the "Con Artist" in Matchstick Men. As a divorced con man who left his pregnant wife, Cage gives an unbelievably believable peformance of a struggling soul with a guilty conscience. Facial tics, stuttering, and strange noises when expressing himself through words are executed with frightening realism by Cage as someone tormented by an obsessive compulsive disorder. Playing Roy's foil and partner in crime is Frank played by Sam Rockwell, who turns in a great, if not equal performance. Roy's penchant for cleanliness is challenged by Frank's slovenly behavior and shoot from the hip attitude. This relationship works well as Frank portrays the rough around the edges protege of Roy the mentor. Angela(Allyson Lohman) is Roy's 14-yr. old daughter that he has never known. Until now. In the middle of the biggest score of Roy's life, Angela shows up and begins to pull Roy out of the funk that began 14 years ago. Connecting on a criminal level, son and daughter forge a common bond that is engaging and enjoyable to watch. Cage's obsessive compulsive behavior seems to lessen each time he shares a pizza with Lohman. These characters are truly flawed and represent the human condition in all of its tragic imperfections perfectly. In the end we all may have do something emotionally upsetting to make ends meet in a world revolving around money. With equal amounts of comedy, drama, and suspense; Matchstick Men is a movie that truly has purpose. Discovering the purpose makes for one of the best surprise endings , as well as movies, of the year."
It's nice to see that Nicolas Cage & Ridley Scott can still
chefdevergue | Spokane, WA United States | 02/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Matchstick Men" may not have been a box office success (compare it to the total gross of "National Treasure" [Cage's next film] and "Kingdom of Heaven" [Scott's next film]), but it certainly is one of the better-crafted & better-acted films to be associated with either of these men. I was beginning to wonder if Cage could ever repeat a performance like what he did in "Leaving Las Vegas." While his obsessive-compulsive con-man may not be the disaster along the lines of a suicidal alcoholic, he comes close with the impact he makes on the viewer. This could easily have veered into caricature, but Cage creates a creditable & believable obsessive-compulsive.
Perhaps this could be classified as a comedy, but it has an awfully bittersweet quality to it which makes the movie difficult to categorize with any ease. The characters of Roy & Angela (a very very good performance by Alison Lohman, who is entirely believable as a 14-year-old) are real enough to cause the viewer to have a vested interest in their ultimate fate, as the movie takes numerous twists & turns.
Ridley Scott did quite a good job at crafting a movie that avoids being too obvious, and which flows along nicely, maintaining viewer interest throughout. This was a very satisfying film, through & through...I wish these two guys could make more like this."
Gage is a master
Michael Bird | Yorba Linda, CA United States | 03/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, Nicolas Cage is a wonderful actor with tremendous talent, and this flick certainly bares this out. So I have to ask, why in the world does he take some of the dumb roles he does? But I digress. This is a great movie and very well acted.
While the "con" type movie is done over and over, this movie really isn't so much about action and pulling off a con, like say "The Italian Job" a fun movie in it's own right, but rather a movie about a person with a mental disorder that works as a con for a living and isn't really connected to the human race. Enter a girl. It's always a girl, isn't it?
I won't give away any surprises here, but I will say I didn't predict the ending to the movie and was very entertained by the whole thing.
A strong recommendation and probably not a bad one to own, although since it's not really an action flick it'll probably be some time before I'd be excited about seeing it over."
Cage finally wow'd me!
Damian Gunn | I am everywhere | 12/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Matchstick Men' is one of those movies that makes you realize why some actors have support. Up until watching this film I had been a `Cage-Hater', a guy who just couldn't wrap his head around all the critical support (granted, I saw this movie before watching `Adaptation' and since watching that film I've realized this man `can' act, he just chooses not to half the time). Here though Nicolas Cage gave me a brief glimpse of the man that everyone else sees. As con-artist Roy Waller, Cage gives us a brilliant performance.
My main problem with Cage has been his stiff natured acting, the fact that every time he speaks it feels as if he's reading a prompter card, and so I think that the fact that his character here suffers from a severe case of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) helps a lot in that regard since he's supposed to sound stiff and unnatural.
Roy works with fellow con Frank (Sam Rockwell), the young hotshot protégé who has higher ambitions than Roy himself, and this is causing them to butt-heads a bit. The real drama though comes in the form of Angela (Alison Lohman), a young 14-year old who claims to be his daughter. At first Roy's put off and distant, but after Angela shows major interest in her fathers line of `work' they begin to bond by pulling small con-jobs together. Meanwhile Frank is getting more and more agitated with the new bond between father and daughter because it's causing a strain on a big job they have coming up.
Filled with twists and turns and an ending I never saw coming, `Matchstick Men' is the perfect kind of caper. It's got great acting from a cast I never knew had it in them and a great moral message that manifests itself as the film unravels. Alison Lohman is charming and natural and Sam Rockwell is the perfect side-kick, but the real shocker (at least to me) was the mere fact that Nicolas Cage steals the show from everyone!"