Two con artists try to pull off a scheme involving a set of counterfeit rare collector stamps called the \Nine queens."
Genre: Foreign Film - Spanish/misc SA
Release Date: 1-OCT-2002
Media Type: DVD"""
Too much praise for a movie that isn't overly well-known?
M. B. Alcat | Los Angeles, California | 02/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Nine Queens", or "Nueve Reinas" in its original Spanish title, is one of the more entertaining Argentinian movies I've watched so far. The dialogue is witty, the action doesn't stop, and the acting is flawless. Too much praise for a movie that isn't overly well-known?. Well, even good things are not widely recognized to be so sometimes, and this is one of those occasions.
The theme of the movie is not overly original: two conmen trying to pull off a scam that involves a set of stamps (the "Nine Queens"), and a lot of money. But what makes this movie interesting is how that idea is developed, managing to surprise the spectator until the very end. The director (Fabián Bielinsky) also wrote the script, that won a National Prize in Argentina.
Scam after scam, you will feel you are taking part of the many "adventures" of a very seasoned Marcos (Ricardo Darín) and an endearingly young and idealistic Juan (Gastón Pauls) in their quest to become rich, albeit for very different reasons. The question is, who is conning whom?.
All in all, I think you will thoroughly like this movie. The story and the acting are great, and so is the beautiful setting, the city of Buenos Aires. Watch it, and enjoy :)
Belen Alcat "
Fascinate unpredectible and original!!
Brian Bunton | 03/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Early one morning, Marcos observes Juan successfully pulling off a bill-changing scam on a cashier, and then getting caught as he attempts to pull the same trick on the next shift. Marcos steps in, claiming to be a policeman, and drags Juan out of the store. Once they are back on the street, Marcos reveals himself to be a fellow swindler with a game of much higher stakes in mind, and he invites Juan to be his partner in crime. A once-in-a-lifetime scheme seemingly falls into their laps - an old-time con man enlists them to sell a forged set of extremely valuable rare stamps, The Nine Queens. The tricky negotiations that ensue bring into the picture a cast of suspicious characters, including Marcos' sister Valeria, their younger brother Federico and a slew of thieves, conmen and pickpockets. As the deceptions mount, it becomes more and more difficult to figure out who is conning whom.
This movie make you see that thieves are around you all the time in every place, at every moment. This excelent movie catch you in a fascinate story that you won't imaginate what the end is.
Don't miss it."
Conning the Con
Brian Bunton | Conway, SC | 09/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Conning the con. It's a concept almost as old as conning itself. But the story in "Nine Queens", written and directed by Fabian Bielinsky as the winner of a Project Greenlight-style contest, takes a different spin. Who is the real conman? And what is the real con? "Nine Queens" is the story of two conmen. One is a seasoned pro, the other a small-time hack. Each has his own family responsibilities (or lack thereof). And each is very talented at getting what he wants. The older, more experienced con decides to take the young guy on as his partner for the day. Think of it as a sort of "Training Day" for crooks. Oops, I'm sorry, they're
not crooks. Crooks carry guns and use means other than their wit and mental agility to score. These boys are keepin' it real in Buenos Aires. And so the plot thickens. The obligitory Big Con of the movie happens to involve nine rare stamps, known as the Nine Queens. Forgeries have been made, and our heroes are on a mission to sell the fakes to a collector who is short on time and cannot guarantee their authenticity. What twists and turns await our beleaguered duo? There are plenty, and much of the fun of this movie is watching it unfold. The movie even works on a level if you don't care about the mystery what is really going on. Toward the beginning, each sequence exposes you to a series of one-upsmanship. One rips off a convenience store, the other rips off a coffee shop. Then one gets money free-will from a stranger in her house, the other gets a purse free-will from a woman in an elevator. And on it goes. By the time things get hot and heavy, we hardly notice that it continues, but the stakes get higher and paranoia reigns. The final enjoyable aspect of this film is the acting performances. Strong performances by the three leads, as they're able to glide through this movie with slick moves and even slicker tongues. While it's tried in most Hollywood films, it works in this one due to the strong script. The words match the characters. Unfortunately, the supporting cast isn't as talented. The younger brother and the creator of the forgeries felt like they walked in off the street. However, it doesn't distract from the overall feel of the movie as much as you might think. All in all, this is a comedy about trust. Trust in your partner. Trust in yourself. Trust in your family. Even trust in complete strangers. But most of all, for the director, it's about trust in your audience. Just after you feel that you're supposed to get a twist, the film will let you revel in it for a beat, then expose it to all its glory. In no movie I've seen has this worked so satisfyingly well. And the audience is richly rewarded."
An Intricate, Clever And Satisfying Con Game
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 07/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Argentine film has to be one of the great con movies...intricate, funny, difficult to see where it's going, and satisfying. Juan (Gaston Pauls), a young, naive-looking con artist, tries to play a bill-changing scam twice at a convenience store and gets caught. A smooth-looking older guy, Marcos (Ricardo Darrin), who was watching, suddenly steps forward, says he's a cop and hustles Juan out the door. But it turns out Marcos is a con artist, too; a lot more experienced, it seems, who is looking for a partner. He's willing to show Juan the ropes. When Marcos and Juan walk down a busy street, Marcos points out all the hustles. The scammers are all around them. "They're there," he says to Juan, "but you can't see them. That's what it's all about. They're there, but they aren't. So mind your briefcase, your door, your window, your car, your savings. Mind your rear. Because they're there and they'll always be." "Thieves," says Juan. "No...that's what everybody calls them. They are spitters, breakers, skin workers, blind fronts, hoisters, hooks, stalls, petermans, night raiders, mustard-chuckers, fences, operators, swindlers. I'm hungry. Let's go to my office and get a meal." And they step into a near-by bar where Marcos owes money.
Marcos has conned and cheated everyone who has ever dealt with him, including former partners, his sister and his younger brother. Now he comes across what will be the biggest con of his career. It involves the nine queens, a sheet of stamps from the Weimar Republic, defective, rare and extremely valuable. Marcos and Juan need a set of forged stamps, which they can get, and the real stamps, which they can get but only for a high price. And they can give the mark, a shrewd crook of a wealthy businessman who collects stamps and is being deported the next day, no time to thoroughly check the goods. Juan and Marcos' sister will prove instrumental in the deal.
I had to watch the movie twice. First, to really follow the intricate plot. Second, to fully appreciate that the director/writer wasn't hiding any cards. If you know what to look for, you just might figure out the movie. Marcos' lecture to Juan about all those scammers has a point that you'll look back on with a smile. Third, to find out some things, you need to pay close attention to the little details. An off-hand remark or bit of background history later becomes important to a piece of action. Why this movie is so good is that the first time you watch it you're taken off guard by the scams within scams. But the second time, it's sheer pleasure in seeing how these scams are being set up.
The actors do a fine job. Pauls brings a combination of innocence, likeability and shrewdness to the role. Darrin can be charming, but he also makes his character a man you'd trust only if you had no alternative.
If you like puzzles you'll probably like this movie. There are cons within cons, scams and slights of hand. You might find the final con a stretch, but it's satisfying. There are no extras of any significance. The DVD transfer looks great."
Even better than all the hype
C. O. DeRiemer | 03/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am always hesitant to see a movie after it receives so many rave reviews, becuase it is often dificult for such movies to meet my expectations. This film, is one of the few examples in which it actually exceeded all of the hype. It's a con movie, in the tradition of classics like "The Sting" but it moves much quicker. It's not until the credits start rolling that the viewer gets an idea of how complete the heist was and exactly who was in charge. I saw this movie first in Europe, and was incredibly disappointed that it was not released in the US, so I could watch it again, because it is a movie that you can watch again and again and gather more clues with each viewing. I was sad to hear that a US company bought the rights to the story. It will be difficult for them no to butcher it, because this was perfect."