Ocean's Eleven improves on 1960's Rat Pack original with supernova casting, a slickly updated plot, and Steven Soderbergh's graceful touch behind the camera. Soderbergh reportedly relished the opportunity "to make a movie ... more »that has no desire except to give pleasure from beginning to end," and he succeeds on those terms, blessed by the casting of George Clooney as Danny Ocean, the title role originated by Frank Sinatra. Fresh out of jail, Ocean masterminds a plot to steal $163 million from the seemingly impervious vault of Las Vegas's Bellagio casino, not just for the money but to win his ex-wife (Julia Roberts) back from the casino's ruthless owner (Andy Garcia). Soderbergh doesn't scrimp on the caper's comically intricate strategy, but he finds greater joy in assembling a stellar team (including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Carl Reiner) and indulging their strengths as actors. The result is a film that's as smooth as a silk suit and just as stylish. --Jeff Shannon« less
Stylish, smart and cool - just don't think about it too hard
Mike Freed | 01/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Ocean's Eleven" is a Ferrari of a movie: cool, stylish, and classy. And if, like a Ferrari, it doesn't always work, that's OK - who will complain when it's so stylish?The premise is lifted right out of the 1960 Rat Pack original: Danny Ocean (George Clooney, suave as hell) is released from prison, and plots to steal over $163 million from the vault of a Las Vegas casino during a heavyweight fight. He recruits his old buddy Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), and they put together a dream team of crooks, each of whom has a specialty. There's a computer geek, a demolition expert, a con man, a pickpocket, and so on.And, of course, there's Danny's ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts), who's now involved with the manager (Andy Garcia) of the casino Danny intends to rob. So, Danny's not only after money - he wants his girl back as well. But she's having nothing of it, as evidenced by this neat dialogue piece:Danny: "I've paid my debt to society."Tess: "Funny, I haven't gotten my check yet."Dialogue like that is one of the great pleasures of this movie; watching it delivered by the likes of Clooney, Roberts, Pitt and the stellar supporting cast (Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, et al) is the other.And, in fairness, it's a good thing that the dialogue and acting is so good, because as a pure caper flick, "Ocean's Eleven" is, to be charitable, a little thin. In the best caper movies ("The Heist" comes to mind), the theft itself is the star of the movie - the intracicies, the backup plans, the intrigue. In "Ocean's Eleven," we're expected to believe that a casino with over $150 million in its vault wouldn't have a backup power generator, or that the vault's security system wouldn't have a motion sensor.But criticisms like that are akin to nitpicking that red Ferrari 575 because it has a small trunk - the point isn't realism, it's style, and like a Ferrari, "Ocean's Eleven" has it in droves."
Fun, Cool, A-List Stars
J. Daniel | New York | 02/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OCEAN'S ELEVEN is one of the five best films of 2001. I mostly wanted to see it because some of my favorite actors- Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon- star. I was disappointed that Julia Roberts didn't even show up until 45 minutes into the movie, and didn't even speak until several scenes later. She has a pretty small part, but when she is on screen, she steals the spotlight.Here's the basic plot of the movie. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a thief just getting out of jail. He meets up with Rusty (Brad Pitt) and comes up with a scheme to rob the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas. The vault in this casino contains more than $150 million (including money from the MGM Grand and Mirage casinos). The catch is that Danny's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts) is dating the owner of all three casinos, Terry (Andy Garcia). So Danny hopes to win her back while robbing her boyfriend. To help him pull off the elaborate heist, he seeks the help of eleven men, all with different expertises. Two are great with explosives or electronics, another is a pickpocket,two are drivers, one is a casino security expert, another is a former casino dealer, another is a acrobat, and two others are professional theives. The men are introduced, and after training the men (some of which have no skill in stealing whatsoever) the robbery comes into action. The plan to rob the casino is so detailed it's a little difficult to keep up with. There are a few surprises, including the fact that they actually call Terry and tell him they are robbing him (don't worry, that doesn't give away anything). I'll let you see the rest when you go see this great movie. Most kids could probably see this. The reason this film was rated PG-13 was mostly language (a certain four-letter word is heard once or twice, and the finger was shown) but also for a little sexual content. Most kids over 11 are probably mature enough to see this.I don't quite know what category this movie fits into. Drama, I guess, although there is some comedy and romance, and certainly action. I would recomend it to anyone. I have yet to meet someone who didn't like this. It's great entertainment that Hollywood could use more.THE BEST THING: The twists in the plot that
even fool the audience.THE WORST THING: Julia Roberts is not on
screen nearly enough, but she does do a good job with the acting, as usual.I hope you see this movie, and I also hope this movie gets nominated for the Oscars' Picture of the Year. It certainly deserves it."
Great Stars, Great Movie
krizisrad | Ada, MI USA | 05/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've got to admit, half the fun of this movie is the star-gazing. George Clooney is great as a convict recently released from jail, Brad Pitt is Mr. Suave as his right-hand man, and Julia Roberts plays the icy ex-wife beautifully. Throw in Matt Damon as a pick-pocket and Andy Garcia as a casino mogul and you've got the gist of this movie's star power.
The plot is pretty simple: Danny Ocean (Clooney) organizes a group of eleven highly skilled criminals to simultaneously rob three of Vegas' biggest casinos. Their plans are over the top and outrageous-and you can't help but smile watching them put into action. There are also some really memorable touches in the movie: including Brad Pitt teaching Shane West and Topher Grace how to play poker. This movie kind of serves as a who's-who in Hollywood. "Oceans" probably won't spark any deep conversations or teach you any life lessons, but it's fun watching the celebrities interact onscreen. If you want something deep and thought-provoking, this probably isn't your movie. But if you want to watch something purely for entertainment, this is a great and fun film."
Okay, now I gotta see Ocean's Twelve
Peggy Vincent | Oakland, CA | 01/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, it's impossible, it's ridiculous, it's contrived, but you gotta love the acting and the chemistry between the actors. Only Julia Roberts' role was maybe a mismatch, and that's difficult for me to say as she's one of my favorites. The 1960's original version with Frank Sinatra and the infamous Rat Pack was fun, too, but this contemporary one makes full use of all the modern cinema techniques that make action/adventure films such fun to watch. The whole setup (a plan to rob several Las Vegan casinos owned by a guy who has `taken possession' of Danny Ocean's ex-wife) is convoluted and sometimes difficult to follow - and frankly, rather than hit replay and try to figure it all out, I'd just advise suspending disbelief and going with the flow. It's a hoot. "
A fun slick spoof to relax with. Not to be taken seriously.
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 05/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This lighthearted romp of a caper movie is a remake of the successful 1960s film staring Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Las Vegas Rat Pack. The title refers to the name of the lead character, Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, who assembles a team of 11 men to steal $180 million from a casino. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film is a slick spoof all the way, the high profile cast being the glue that holds this film together. There's Brad Pitt and Matt Damon and Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia and Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner. And there was no expense spared on the wardrobe or the glittery sets or the use of modern high tech special effects. Forget about the story; it's not supposed to be real. But yet there's fast paced action and tension throughout as the cast deals with setbacks and complications leading up to and including the caper. It's fun all the way. Just relax and don't take it seriously."