Ocean's 11 movie review by Dhyana Kearly
We first meet Ocean as he's about to be released on parole. He exits the New Jersey penitentiary in the tuxedo he was wearing at the time he was incarcerated. This is our first clue of what makes this suave, high rolling thief tick.
Losing no time with trivial life concerns, Ocean immediately embarks on his next scam, and this one's a doozy. After making contact with longtime friend and card shark Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), a scheme quickly unfolds for what turns out to be the most ambitious casino heist in history _ which is clearly what Ocean has been spending his `time' cooking up.
Although the money to be gained from such an ambitious heist is nice, the whole scheme of breaking into the vault of Las Vegas big-boy Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has more to do with the fact that Ocean's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts) is now Benedict's prize ornament.
Looking to share about $150 million, this handpicked team of `proper villains' maintain finely honed talents which, properly coordinated, just might have what it takes to make such a risky heist a success.
There's Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) who's specialty is pick-pocketing. And, although he's young and has a lot to learn, he does have a knack for getting what he wants.
Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner) is the old guy on the team, and plays the pivotal role around which the rest of the plan revolves.
Then there's that little Chinese guy Yen (Shaobo Qin) who can fold himself in half, enough to get himself inside a narrow canister and inside the vault.
To illustrate the subtle cleverness of the dialogue in this film, the verbal exchanges involving Yen are all conducted in untranslated Chinese being answered in English, as if that's normal and everyone understands ... which they seem to with only slight sideways glances.
Ocean's 11 is the bubble gum of movies. It's sweet and mild enough to keep you engaged - and every once in a while it builds up enough steam to create a bubble, with a little snap. Although it never reaches great cinematic or theatrical heights neither does it stoop to lower levels of common Hollywood panacea.
This film is also filled with one-liners you'll wish you could remember long enough to repeat at more opportune moments.
Utilizing Clooney's natural ability to appear intelligent and reserved yet single mindedly preoccupied, combined with Pitt's versatility of coming off comedic while maintaining that serious look, Ocean's 11 maintains a certain subtle charm and wit throughout.
Although I can't figure out why they were selling tickets for this film more than a week in advance, it's still a fairly enjoyable two-hour tour and probably worth the price of theater popcorn. **** Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual content