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a pleasant souffle of a film
Roland E. Zwick27 July 2002
Steven Soderbergh's remake of `Ocean's Eleven' is a stylish heist picture featuring some of the brightest stars in moviemaking today. The cast includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon from the A-list, as well as such established veterans as Andy Garcia, Elliot Gould and Carl Reiner in there playing along with them. Coming right off the heels of two highly acclaimed, award-laden serious dramas (`Traffic' and `Erin Brockovich'), it's understandable that Soderbergh might have been in the mood for something a little lighter in tone right about now. Well, he has certainly found it with this property, which sails along smoothly like a well-oiled machine, with no angst-filled messages or heavy-handed themes to gum up the works.

Taking the basic premise from the original 1960 film (which featured a who's-who of Hollywood stars of its own day), Soderbergh has updated it to reflect the advanced technological realities of the 21st Century. In this film, recently paroled Daniel Ocean (Clooney) has decided to mastermind the robbing of not one but three major Las Vegas casinos all owned by the nefarious Terry Benedict (Garcia). The rub is that Benedict has also recently added Ocean's ex-wife, Tess (Roberts), to his list of assets, which gives Ocean additional incentive to take Benedict for everything he's got. One of the amazing things is that the filmmakers use an actual casino as their target (the Bellagio) rather than devising a fictional one for their story's purpose. One might think it could give certain audience members the wrong ideas. Be that as it may, the director does a fine job exploiting the Vegas setting, taking us right into the heart of casino operations.

A film like `Ocean's Eleven' stands or falls on the charisma of its stars, the intricacy of its plotting and the plausibility of its actions. Luckily for the audience, the film pretty much succeeds on all three counts. Scenarist Ted Griffin does a fine job gathering together the men who will participate in the heist, allowing each a moment or two to define his character and to become part of the team. The details of the plan itself are explained in very clear terms so that we rarely feel as if we are not able to follow the action. There is even an inspired use of `Clair de Lune' near the end of the picture to lend an air of romanticism to the accomplishment, for who would deny that such large-scale thievery has often carried with it a certain element of idealism and romance? After all, look how many books and films have featured robbers as heroes. It perhaps explains why Tess can go from being a principled, law-abiding citizen at the beginning of the film to being an accomplice in crime at the end, all for the love of a man – and we cheer her for it.

Unlike in Soderbergh's other films, we do not find hidden depths lurking beneath the shining handsome surface of this movie, and we certainly carry no nutritious food for thought away with us from this film as we did from the others. In fact, `Ocean's Eleven' is all ABOUT shining handsome surface and it makes no pretension of being about anything else. It's cinematic junk food of the highest order, but, then, since when has junk food not been satisfying?
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Fresh faced, extremely cool and slick – yes it's shallow but so what? Eat popcorn and enjoy
bob the moo26 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Freshly released from jail Danny Ocean begins to recruit key players to put together a job as daring as it is dangerous - the safe that holds the money for 3 casinos belonging to Terry Benedict. As well as splitting the $150 million between the gang, Danny also plans to steal back his ex-wife Tess who is currently dating Benedict.

The first movie wasn't exactly brilliant - only really interesting because it brought the whole rat pack together onscreen for the first time. This could have easily fallen into the same trap - trading purely on the stars' names rather than an intrinsic entertainment value. However it manages to take what worked from the original and give it a great modern shine. The story is daft of course, but it moves forward with a sort of slick illogical cleverness that appears wonderfully clever but is, of course, highly unlikely! The story unfolds in an entertaining manner, the build up is great with no dull moments as we meet the characters and find out the details of the job bit by bit.

The job itself is well handled. It is so slick that you don't mind that it couldn't possibly work in real life, but instead it just appears so clever! The romantic subplot I found to be a little redundant and I didn't think that Clooney and Roberts had good chemistry - compared to Clooney and Lopez in another great Sodenberg film `Out of Sight' where the screen crackled! However it takes up little screen time and compliments the heist quite well. Sodenberg handles the film well and doesn't allow his direction to be slick without substance - the editing is clever and Las Vegas internally and externally looks great.

Clooney is fantastic in the lead - his strength is that he has great charisma which means he doesn't have to ham it up. Instead he does his stuff but allows others to try and shine while he is comfortable with a constant warm glow. Pitt does likewise - he doesn't try to hog the glory but hangs around being smooth for most of the time. This allows Pitt and Clooney to be the two leads without taking away from the ensemble feel - they also have a good relationship going here. Roberts is OK but didn't convince me that Clooney would risk so much for her. Affleck and Cann are good in a sort of comedy double act role - they don't have a lot of scenes but they are funny. Old hands Gould (so good to see him on the big screen) and Carl Riener effortlessly steal all their scenes and Matt Damon seems happy to be on a smaller part than the other stars and has a rookie sort of role. Andy Garcia has a poor role as the bad guy and doesn't manage to bring him to life - although he does make him unlikeable when next to Clooney. However, Don Cheadle, a great actor, needs a real kicking for ruining things with a terrible cockney accent that makes Dick Van Dyke sound genuine. Happily he doesn't actually have that many lines - and he only has two scenes where he has to say more than 2 sentences at a time - but really he is just terrible. Someone please explain - why his character is English? Then someone explain - why they just didn't get an English star to play it?

Overall any criticisms against this are minor and are missing the point. It's not meant to be a classic or get Sodenberg more Oscar nominations. Instead it's a slick little package that is kept afloat by a starry cast, a cool soundtrack and a nice (if silly) plot. Sit, watch, chill, enjoy, forget.
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8/10
Just great
blanche-228 January 2007
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Shaobo Qin, Miguel Perez, and Livingston Dell make up "Ocean's Eleven," a 2001 film directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film also stars Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts. This is a remake of the rat pack "Ocean's Eleven," which I've never seen so I can't make comparisons. I suspect that this version has more emphasis on plot and the older one has more emphasis on the pack.

The mastermind of a plot to rob Las Vegas' Bellaggio Hotel vault of $160 million is Danny Ocean, a very recent ex-con who had lots of time on his hands in prison to plan it. With the help of his buddy, Rusty Ryan (Pitt) he recruits 9 people who specialize in a particular expertise to carry out the elaborate heist. Problems come in when Ocean, obsessed with his ex-wife (Roberts), approaches her, to the annoyance of her present boyfriend, the owner of the hotel, Terry Benedict (Garcia). He "makes" Danny by sending out a bulletin with Danny's photo to the hotel staff, which puts him out of his own plot at the insistence of Rusty. But Danny isn't one to exit easily, in either marriage or robberies.

This is a fast-paced, tension-filled, exciting movie that's highly entertaining. The plot is completely improbable so you have to take it for what it is - fantastic fun. And you never know whether something is going wrong or if it's part of the plan. The chemistry between the actors, particularly Clooney and Pitt, is great, and there is some wonderful acting. Clooney is solid as Ocean, a passionate man of quiet determination; Damon is terrific as an insecure participant; Don Cheadle, sporting a Cockney accent, is hilarious as an explosives expert; Elliot Gould is outrageous as their financial backer; Carl Reiner is excellent as an older con man who can do accents. Just as they all contribute their different talents to the heist, they do so in this movie. This includes the acting in the smaller roles played by Bernie Mac et al - everyone is perfect. Andy Garcia is fabulous as Benedict - both elegant and scary, he whispers instead of shouts and stays in control for the most part. Megastar Roberts is wasted - she doesn't have much to do.Any actress could have done the role, but I guess the producers wanted an all-star cast.

Highly recommended for blockbuster entertainment value and star power. Just don't look for it to be realistic.
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10/10
One of my all-time favorites
jojomcheyazsong25 May 2004
There is just something about this movie that makes it so great. There's nothing truly outstanding about any one aspect of the movie; nothing that will blow you away. However, everything is put together perfectly.

Personally, I have a theory that any movie that absolutely blows you away the first time you see it, will lose its entertainment value very quickly. Not necessarily because the movie was not good, but because it just seems to get old too fast. This is NOT one of those movies.

This is the kind of movie that will be enjoyed countless times. The dialogue is slick, and always to the point. There are few (if any) overdone scenes and/or lines that tend to become annoying over time.

This movie flows exceptionally well. Personally, I couldn't quite figure out why until I watched the "behind the scenes" footage on the DVD. I didn't really notice all of the work they put into using as few shots as possible. The extra features on the DVD really explain it all. Almost every scene uses considerably less shots than you would think it takes to convey all of the activity going on. The music punctuates the flow of the movie and the shots extremely well.

The cast is almost all big names. It's great to see actors like Pitt and Clooney and Damon come together in a movie and interact so well, without having to be the pretty boys or bad-ass heroes of the movie.
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8/10
Tasty cast in very cool and slick movie
Jenny Ho5 March 2002
What a tasty prospect for a film: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts and for the young at heart amongst us, Joshua Jackson of 'Dawson's Creek' fame in a cameo role -all directed by the Oscar winning Steven Soderbergh!

George Clooney plays Danny Ocean who soon after being released from prison, puts together a team of eleven to undertake a robbery of the three biggest casinos in Las Vegas in an attempt to bring in a reward of $150 million. What soon becomes clear is that it's not the money which will give Danny the ultimate satisfaction, but the opportunity to get revenge on the owner of the three casinos he is robbing -Benedict (Andy Garcia) who just happens to be the new beau of Danny's ex, Tess (Julia Roberts).

Some of the gang of eleven are more memorable than others -especially the Chinese acrobat, the explosives expert with a dodgy cockney accent and the medallion wearing Reuben -aka Monica Gellar's dad! The cast are brilliant at acting cool -even if all Brad Pitt is doing is snacking on the screen (he does this a lot!), you are still transfixed by him because he looks so good on screen.

What makes the story so intriguing is the fact that Danny's mission seems so impossible: security in the casinos is paramount and the route to the reward is littered with obstacles. The number of close calls that the gang is faced with is great fun and one can't help but root for these crooks throughout the film. It is also refreshing to watch a film which is dominated by male stars and is not filled with macho swearing. Instead, we have a banter between the stars which is indicative of their camaraderie.

'Ocean's Eleven' is a welcome option in the choice of movies available at the moment which is dominated by Oscar nominees that are not going to be everyone's cup of tea. With this film, it's simply a case of sit back and enjoy the fun!
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10/10
Fluffy but lots of fun
preppy-310 December 2001
A rarity--a remake that's better than the original. 11 men led by Danny Ocean (George Clooney) prepare to rob a vault linked to 3 casinos in Las Vegas. His partners in crime include Brad Pitt, Carl Reiner, Elliot Gould, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon and Scott Caan. Also, the casinos are owned by Tery Benedict (Andy Garcia) who is romancing Ocean's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts). Fun, engrossing, just simply the most enjoyable film of 2001. It moves smoothly, the entire cast plays it cool and easy and Steven Soderbergh directs it with flair and intelligence. Yes, it's light; yes, it's a trifle but it's so FUN! I really loved this film. Affleck and Caan are hilarious as bickering brothers. My only complaint--Julia Roberts (the only woman in the cast) is shot very cruelly. She's beautiful so why does she look so bad? Aside from that this is a fun movie. Just sit back and enjoy.
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Soderbergh returns to his Suave and Sophisticatedroots...
giancarlorocks8 December 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Throughout the past 6 months, heist films have been protruding our screens at a sporadic rate. 'The Score' starring Robert De Niro was one of the first out the gate last July, while David Mamet's highly praised 'Heist' was just released last month. Now, the Holiday season plays host to one of the most enjoyable films this year 'Ocean's 11'. Steven 'Do No Harm' Soderbergh's latest opus in a nutshell is absolutely fantastic. Watching the film I could see Warner Bros. tagging the lines for upcoming promos from all the reviews such as 'the most fun you'll have at the movies' and 'the year's best film'. For once, I would agree with those promos. This is an absolute great piece of film. That is not to say that Soderbergh has not included a couple of clichéd crowd pleasing segments, but that takes hardly anything away from a superbly acted, written and directed film. George Clooney stars as Danny Ocean, who after just released from prison plans to concoct a daring caper to rob 3 Casinos for more than 150$ Million in cold cash. He therefore sets out to recruit, train and execute the plan which these three verbs respectively describing each of the film's three acts. First for recruitment is Brad Pitt who plays Dusty Ryan, a food-obsessed criminal who leads the plan with Clooney as they recruit Matt Damon, Carl Reiner, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck and many more. Hence the title; 'Ocean's 11'. With his newest film, Soderbergh seems to return to his roots with his 'Out Of Sight' style he created when Jennifer Lopez and Clooney collaborated on that film in 1998. From the opening sequence when the camera tracks Clooney out of the prison gates, to the cutthroat dialogue in the same vein as 'out of Sight', I knew Soderbergh was onto something. The result is a great, fun, fast paced film that moves so fast at some parts that if you blink, you'll miss it. The opening 20 minutes have Danny and Rusty recruiting all over the U.S. with great scenes that prove to be the some of most memorable. Who can forget Elliot Gould's character Rubin Tischikoff as he tries to talk the men out of the heist by providing examples of the most successful Casino heists ever achieved - which turned out all to be unsuccessful. Those who saw the film know that the aforementioned scene is just one of the many scenes that work. If we look at the film in a dissecting fashion, we can clearly see that the film works on many levels. The first act quickly, easily and 'non-challantly' introduces us to our characters in a subtle detailed manner while simultaneously mocking the teen cover boys acting industry. Pitt is first approached from Clooney while he teaches teen stars on how to play cards. None other than Joshua Jackson, Holly Marie Combs and Topher Grace appear in this scene. While the stars' presence can actually detract from what is another great scene in the film, just when you finish digesting that memorable scene, the film takes off a mere minutes after it starts with the recruitment of the Danny's 11 man-crew.

The 'training' act explores several sub plots including the introduction of the Julia Roberts character Tess Ocean. She plays Ocean's ex-wife who is currently dating one of the Casino owners they are trying to rob. The incredibly underrated Andy Garcia plays the film's unconformist villain with suave sophistication who seems to convey the notion of fear with his droopy-eyed close ups. Tense scenes between Garcia and Clooney while rare, are simply a treat to watch. Furthermore, romantics will certainly enjoy the love subplot that is truly predictable that as clichéd as it is, is still effective as only Soderbergh can create it to be.

The third act is completely mind-blowing as the 'execution' of the robbery is filmed in such a dizzying, comedic yet suspenseful manner that makes this film stick out from all the other heist movies. The film's robbery sequence set during a Lennox Lewis fight is epic, grand and deserves to be viewed more than once to take it all in. While some might say the film ends in a clichéd, predictable ending; I ask you, what did you expect? You are not going to get a sad ending with one of the best ensemble casts ever assembled for a motion picture. Furthermore, as a testament to Soderbergh's craftiness; witness the second to last closing scene. After all the frenzy, after all the comedy, and after all the intensity, Soderbergh assembles his cast right in front of the casino. The whole crew watches in a perverted sense of pride and accomplishment as they study the Casinos they just robbed with nostalgic music playing in the background; glamorizing their illegalities as only pure Hollywood magic can. They all take one last look at the Casinos, and slowly walk away one by one, each with a gaze of joy as they separate themselves from the 'job'. Truly an incredible scene that I played back in my mind repeatedly while writing this review, that one scene captures the true essence of the film. It still has to be seen as to whether or not any other film this year will come close to its' suaveness, its' look, its' style or its' satisfying effect it gives you when exiting the theatre. Pardon my colloquialism, but this film was damn cool. Notable mentions include the outstanding wardrobe. Seems as if Soderbergh simply wanted to make a film, put his actors in lavish sets and dress them up as good as he can. While some costumes may be outlandish to fit the character, Pitt's and Clooney's are simply stunning and had me looking through my GQ when I got home. Therefore, see it on the big screen and see it more than once to take in all the great elements this absolutely fantastic film had to offer.

Giancarlo's Rating: ***1/2
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Positive and insightful!
clooneys_girl3 September 2002
Ok, so maybe the original 1960s film was just an excuse for Frank and his buddies to hang out and make some money out of it, but it was still a smash hit. Lets face it, if they had all just been sitting there doing nothing it would still have been a highly successful film. People would have paid to see them organise their sock draws. However, this time around with a brand new script and an immensely prosperous cast and crew we have ended up with a film ten times better than the original.

In the case of this adaption we are safe in the knowledge that the actors at least wanted to be there and that they all had fun making it. Firstly because of the fact that they all took pay cuts so that it could happen and secondly because it comes across on screen. The easy friendship between Clooney, Pitt, Roberts et al shines throughout the film and seems to draw the audience in to their inner circle. We know they had a good time filming it just as we are having a good time watching it.

It is easy to say that this is THE coolest film of the year. From the phenomenal script and direction from Steven Soderbergh to the impeccable easy going performances of the 'stars' - yes every single one of them! With so many big names you would expect some rivalry yet there is no scene hogging in sight. It is clear to see that they are all willing to share the limelight. The fact is that there is no main character or personality. They are all in it together - reflecting the sense of the film in real life. This is the first concept the audience sees from the poster. The names are printed in alphabetical order. Nobody is given priority. Clooney plays Danny Ocean with the same self - confidence, composure and unmistakable coll that hasn't been seen since Sinatra himself. All the other characters are brand new, that is except for the character of Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts). In the 60s original Tess, played by Angie Dickinson, is Ocean's defender (to some extent). However, Roberts' re-vamped character is more self assured and unmoved by Ocean's charm. Rusty (Pitt) is rarely seen without snack in hand and the suit are certainly something to look at. He may be a new character but he is still played in the carefree manner typical of the Rat Pack.

It is refreshing to sit and watch a film such as this and not have to suffer the usual barrage of swearing and violence. The lack of such profanities only increases its wide appeal. It just goes to show that it can be done and that films do not neccessarily need it.

Ocean's Eleven is not your typical heist movie. To start with there are eleven people working together all with specific, indispensable jobs to do. Yet the mood is still light hearted which makes it even more compelling to watch. The inspired direction and flowing script assure that there is never a dull moment and that every scene is important, as is every character. There are also a couple of cameo appearances from some other big names to look out for.

Admittedly there is a bad side as there is in every film. In this instance it is Don Cheadles's cockney accent. Nice try but not quite right!

This is a film that will keep you fascinated the entire time you are watching. It does not conform to the conventional values of the genre that we have come to expect. The twists and turns guarantee that by the end you will be sitting there thinking 'that was really clever'. Perhaps it isn't quite what you would expect from such a star studded cast and an Oscar winning director. But that is why it is so much better than the archetypal Hollywood blockbusters that we have come to expect.

This is no run of the mill film. It was not about money or self promotion. It was about having fun and enjoying the job. Ocean's Eleven is not a film that will be forgotten seconds after you have seen it. It will live forever as the epitome of cool for years to come.
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8/10
One of the most Entertaining films ever!
Christian Hall26 July 2004
Ocean's Eleven is a very easy-going and purely fun movie to watch. The film is loaded with celebrities such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, and Matt Damon. Ocean's Eleven is very "loosely" based on the original Ocean's Eleven starring Frank Sinatra. Steven Soderbergh did a fabulous job directing this movie and having all the characters to connect to Danny Oceans group of 11. The plan is to steal 160$ million dollars from three Las Vegas Casino's. Sounds wacky? The planning time took up most of the movie, and you almost believe that it could be done after you see this. Andy Garcia did a fabulous job playing Terry Benedict, the owner of the Casino's where Ocean (Clooney) plans to rob. Brad Pitt plays and interesting role as Danny Ocean's sidekick. The plot flows quickly and some parts leave you laughing on the floor. Each one of the eleven characters had its own story behind them and it is seen when Rusty Ryan (Pitt) and Danny Ocean (Clooney) first go to recruit them to plan this heist. I have to say Julia Roberts didn't have a flexible character but nonetheless her presence in this film as Tess, Danny Ocean's ex-wife, is apparent. Ocean's 12 is due out in December with the same old cast and it promises to be a hit. This movie is one of my favorites because the premise is great and the actors are great.

**** out of *****
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10/10
O.K. so I watched a "big" movie . . .
Iammymothersdaughter230 January 2002
At the request of my friends & family over the recent holidays I went to see this film. Though it's not my usual M.O., I really enjoyed this movie.

I've not seen the original 'Rat Pack' version of the movie (except bits and pieces), so a comparison between the two is not possible on my part.

This version I found playful and relatively harmless, and the plot twists are undeniably clever. The comradery between the actors is the most entertaining part of this film in my opinion. Elliot Gould's part had to be my favorite character if forced to pick, followed in close order by Clooney, Pitt & Damon. Actually all of the actors did an excellent job with their roles.

This movie won't change the world, or probably change your mind about anything significant, but the plot is fun, the cinematography is excellent, the actors all shine in their roles, and on occasion that is enough.
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10/10
This film is about a group of men who come up with the idea to rob three of the largest casinos in Las Vegas.
Annie Greer12 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Cheating the System

In Oceans Eleven, cool colors are used throughout the entirety of the film because it helps calm the audience from then building suspense when the colors the actors are wearing are relaxing and soothing and because when the surroundings are not vibrant and explosive the mood seems to change and contradict the plot. However, Julia Roberts character, Tess, her clothing color choices are warm, which reveals the importance of her character.

My experience with this film has always been an enjoyable one. I have seen this film on various occasions, my first being at the local movie theater in town. I bought this movie when it first came out onto DVD for my sister.

The cool colors that the actors wore, mostly blues and greens and browns, were very soothing to the viewer. The characters had to keep their "cool" throughout the film because they had to pull off the impossible feat which was attempting to purloin three huge casinos in Las Vegas. By wearing certain colors they were able to keep the audience under control and not cause any hyperventilation from the insane unending suspense. For example, throughout the planning and the first steps of the actual Bellagio robbery attempt, the characters were faced with a few major dilemmas. After they got the person inside the container and inside the vault, they noticed that the person had placed a briefcase on top of the container, and since his breathing time was running out the other characters were forced to figure out how to get him out of the box, without bumping off the briefcase and without setting off any of the alarms. With the cool color choices, the low key lighting, keeping the scenes darker, and the cool colors, the characters were able to pull it off, without being forced into frantic.

The cold colors are not depressing at all due to the contradiction that they served. They were used throughout the film in not only the clothing choices but the scenery as well. All the furniture and props that were used all considered within the cool color range. They were all very relaxing and seemed very comfortable and soul soothing. For example, when they are in the room waiting for everything to follow through with the plan and waiting for the next person to do their part, the room has a "cool" feel.

However, the cool colors, the blues, greens, and purples, weren't always used appropriately for say through out the film. As previously mentioned Tess's character threw off the serene feel that the other characters were attempting to produce. She was commonly found wearing red. She was drawing attention to herself in hopes to throw off her ex-husband and sidetrack him so that he wouldn't be able to finish his task even though she didn't know exactly what he was up to. She was a symbol of what was at stake for Danny, who was played by George Clooney. He could loose her again if this whole thing flops, conversely he doesn't have her back. Her vibrancy is an obstacle that is being forced upon Danny. The real challenge for Danny may possibly not be to rob the casinos, but to be able to do so without the interference of his ex.

The movie Oceans Eleven has an overall uplifting theme that can make anyone smile.
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10/10
Are you in or out?
thesar-221 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I actually do like a lot of rebooted/remakes, such as Dawn of the Dead, Halloween or Star Trek. But, of course, for every three that are good, a dozen or more are mediocre at best. That's not the case here.

Granted, I have not seen, nor really desire to see the original Ocean's Eleven, after what I read and researched about it. I'll just take this movie at face value.

More than just a remake, this movie ranks HIGH on my all-time favorites list. I have probably seen it twice the number in the title and plan on more visits to one of the most creative, funny and just plain entertaining movies I have ever seen. It helps that I am a George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon fan and I can enjoy Brad Pitt and Andy Garcia from time to time. But, put all of those, plus a lot more, together and you have probably the highest level of chemistry between any casts in any movie.

Ocean (Clooney) is released on probation from jail and first things first: he starts high-rolling his latest heist scheme by rounding up the usual suspects through his buddy, Rusty (Pitt.) Their diabolical plan is to rob three Las Vegas casinos in a single night, all from the same vault under the Bellagio. To do so, they need (almost) a dozen men and everything to go as planned.

That's the basic premise, but there is so much more richness to this movie that causes oodles of repeat watching.

Number one: Even though the chemistry is pitch perfect across the board, even involving enemies, its Clooney and Pitt that make this jump three levels. Their banter and understanding of each other while finishing each other's thoughts and sentences hasn't been seen since the 1950s. Usually that involved Cary Grant and a various female lead. Here, sexuality aside, these two cats had it down. They added humor, pose and you rooted for them every step of the way, even though, in reality, they're the bad guys.

Number Two: The remaining cast was excellent. Each held their own, each had their own depth. Not two alike. Damon was great as the nervous and up'n'coming'thieving Linus, brothers Virgil and Turk were played hilariously by Caan and Affleck and Jemison played the computer nerd wonderfully. Those are just four. Mark my words: EVERY SINGLE actor in this film was perfect in their respective roles. I could go on another 1,000 words on each one and not do them the justice they did for themselves.

Number Three: It's pure fantasy. I consider myself somewhat a Vegas Expert – I've been following, studying and visiting Sin City since I was about 13-15. THIS COULD NEVER HAPPEN. Even if one aspect of their master robbery plan would partially work, it would be thwarted in seconds. And that's part of the fun. You know this is unrealistic, yet, we're so drawn into it, it's extremely enjoyable. That's due to (#4 below) the dialogue and character depth that acts as a (no coincidence) diversion to the improbability of what's happening on screen.

Number Four: The dialogue was original, deep, snappy and quotable from line one. Speaking of which, those first two words spoken, by both the probation officer and repeated by Daniel Ocean, "Good Morning" seriously became my tagline, no matter the time of day. I would walk into Santisi Brothers, my local pub and watering hole for going on ten years and tell my favorite waitresses "Good Morning." I did it so much, that I didn't catch myself sometimes and some newbie's would tell me it was evening. I always replied, "It's morning somewhere."

I mention that story because this movie had such an impact on me, it became part of my subconscious. Oh, and there's plenty more lines I absolutely love: "Whiskey. And whiskey." "I only lied about being a thief and I don't do that anymore. – Steal? – Lie." "All reds!" There's more than a hundred more. Admittedly, some still go over my head including ones about the caper lifestyle I'm not familiar with. Though I can't necessarily follow what an "Ella Fitzgerald" is, it just proves how brilliant this movie is. (And no, I refuse to Google it. I love my ignorance and the movie's intelligence.) It's nice to revisit a movie and either hear/catch things I haven't before or enjoy the dialogue I did.

Number Five: I get cranky when it comes to Vegas-Themed movies. They rarely get it right – Con Air and 21 being the most offensive and misappropriated views of the city. This movie got it right. And it was gorgeous. Though now a (only a tad) bit dated – it's 9 years old, after all, it still captures the essence of the beautiful strip, inside the casino and out. It doesn't just take the finale in front of the Bellagio water fountains to tell you: they knew Vegas.

Number Six: Simply intelligence. This script was perfect. Rarely will I encounter such a well written, well rounded script from minute one to the end where they introduce Julia Roberts. Everything worked here, from dialogue, to interactions, to tension, to comedy. In a word: masterpiece in writing.

If you have yet to experience Ocean's Eleven, you are missing out on a modern classic. Whether or not you like George Clooney or Bad Guys as heroes, you will love this. This worked in 2001 and will be timeless enough to be shown in 2050 and have the same impact. SEE IT!
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8/10
Smart Crime Thriller
mjw230526 January 2005
A remake of a rat pack film, this was a brave venture to take on, and thank you Steven Soderbergh for this valiant effort.

Retaining a good cast, Soderbergh has modified this movie to fit with the times, and he has helped create a very slick and stylish thriller.

Danny Ocean, wants to pull off the crime of the century, by ripping off three Casino's at the same time, while at the same time settling a score or two with the casino's owner. With the help of ten others, he might just do it. Or is he not quite as smart as he appears to be.

8/10

Recommended
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Eleven Samuri
tedg10 December 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Ridley Scott's attention is focused on projecting each scene into the future; Soderbergh's is on the present, the zen of forgetting what's next. He pulls this off by immersion in the craft. Alone among major directors, he is a triple threat: he lives through the actor's eye; he works the director's end (as the variety of director that is storypuller); and he literally is the cameraman.

This last is the special skill, because he seems able to accomplish this zen thing by making the camera flow. It is almost always godlike -- never taking a position or focal stance that a human would; but flowing like an invisible human observer might. The trick is that it is not just within a shot, as others would have, but seamlessly across great phrases of shots. This is architecture in the master builder sense.

The story is throwaway except for two elements:

--The method of shooting noted above is pure Kurosawa, and in particular `Seven Samuri.' And the story reflects it, with all the mechanics of collecting the team. Kurosawa himself collected actors from a single acting tradition and had them act as discrete characters. Soderbergh understands actors well enough to select actors from different traditions to act different types of characters. So we get a richer ensemble: Reiner's style is all timing; Clooney's all body; Pitt's heavily eye's; Julia's all mouth; Cheadle is a nervous projector; Garcia resolutely quite. (Pitt is the anchor of this film. He's really growing.)

--As with all purely modern, postironic film, there is a film within, around which all things revolve. This film within the film is a carefully produced set piece where they fool the viewer. As with several other `casino' films -- particularly the self-referential `Snake Eyes' which is quoted here, there is a constant camera eye.

It's very competent, cinematic storytelling. Someday soon, he'll do something important. And with his growing skill, it will alter lives.
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8/10
Mind popcorn
wnterstar1 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** I watched this movie because the guy I was dating at the time sat me down one night and said I HAD to see it. I am so glad he did.

This movie is a fun, silly respite from reality. You can tell by watching it that all of the people involved in the movie had fun making it.

Brad Pitt and George Clooney have a great chemistry that shines. All the supporting cast not only work with that chemistry, but bring their own nuances to it.

The plot is simple...let's go steal money from the casinos. You go into the movie KNOWING that they make it. The joy of the movie is watching the journey.

It's not a perfect movie. I'm sure if I looked at the movie too critically, I could find hundreds of errors and flaws.

I chose not to look that close, and recommend that you do the same.
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1/10
Most Overrated Film Ever?
Python Hyena4 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Ocean's 11 (2001): Dir: Steven Soderbergh / Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle: Disastrous remake starring George Clooney as a thief named Daniel Ocean (how clever). He is released from prison after serving time for being part of Batman and Robin, and immediately hooks up with fellow thief Brad Pitt to (ominous drum roll), rob a casino! The casino is owned by Andy Garcia playing Al Pacino and he is dating Julia Roberts who dumped Clooney due to his lifestyle. For every great film Steven Soderbergh makes he tops it with sh*t. For example, Traffic is terrific while Erin Brockovich is overrated garbage. One can suppose that this is his bad counter to his effective Out of Sight. The cast sleepwalk through the charade with Roberts embarrassing in her pitiful grinning in the backseat bull- crap when she accepts the redeeming Clooney. Yet we are suppose to be proud that they pulled together a cast that play like a high school class of roll call. The original film isn't much better with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin leading a large cast through the same charade. The remake is so much worse in its pointless bull and yet somehow this garbage managed to gain popularity. This is one that Soderbergh doesn't score high in terms of character driven writing, but it can claim to be one of the year's very worst films. Score: 0 / 10
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9/10
You'd better believe that I'm in!
Lee Eisenberg14 January 2006
I've always had a low opinion of Frank Sinatra, so I've never seen the original version of "Ocean's Eleven", but the remake was pretty neat. The plot of course has ex-con Danny Ocean (George Clooney) getting eleven people to help him pull off a heist in Las Vegas. The neat factor mainly comes from their planning, which takes up most of the movie. Really cool performances from Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Don Cheadle, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, Bernie Mac, and everyone else, make this one neat movie. Apparently, it has a different ending than the original had, but obviously only those who have seen the original will even know that. Really cool. I have yet to see the sequel.
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10/10
One of the Best Heist Movies Ever
john-life528 May 2007
When you want to steal $160 million in cash from a huge casino in Vegas, you can either do it with force, or you can do it in a sneaky way. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang map out the casino and find a way to get down into the vault without anyone knowing what is going on until Rusty (Brad Pitt) calls the owner of the casino, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) to state the terms. A large reason for the heist was that Benedict was going out with Danny's sexy ex-wife (Julia Roberts) and he wanted her back. The key to Danny and Linus (Matt Damon) getting into the vault was a device that Basher (Don Cheadle) stole, a bomb powerful enough to wipe out the power of Las Vegas. Not many people would find a movie about stealing money entertaining, but the way that this one was made certainly can catch people's eye. I really think that it is one of the best of the new decade.
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1/10
So Bad That You Root For The Casino To Win!
TBoldOne14 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Why do modern movies not have original ideas? This movie is horrid. Everyone knows that this is a remake of the classic 1960 of the same name. There are so many things that are bad about this movie that I can only focus on the most egregious problems.

First - NO CHEMISTRY. That character development is so bad that you end up rooting for the casino! They try to portray the casino owner, who's supposed to be Steve Wynn, as some kind of jerk. I found him to be a sympathetic character. In a heist picture, you are supposed to have sympathy for the crooks. Otherwise, they are just jerks who decide to steal because they are too lazy to make an honest living. Well the movie makes the bad guys look like jerks, and the casino out to be the hero. One wag once said, "Rooting for the Yankee's is like cheering for the house to win in Blackjack." I found myself cheering for the house.

Second JULIA ROBERTS. She can't act, and is not beautiful. She is the source of the dramatic tension in the movie. I just don't get it.

Third TOTALLY PREDICTABLE ENDING. You just knew that the cops coming into the building were fake, and would walk out with the loot. There are so many plot holes, that it strained credulity. The originals plot was more believable, and it was not supposed to be realistic.

Fourth ACTORS LOOKED BORED. Clooney, Damon, and Roberts looked bored to tears. To me it was obvious that they were there to pick up a paycheck.

Overall, horrid, bad, terrible, disjointed. The only rip-off in this movie is to the people who paid to see it in the theater, or worse bought the DVD. I can't believe they made two sequels to this turd.
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1/10
Everything about it fills me with hatred and animosity.
haydenmunch1 June 2005
No idea why- perhaps it was the needless Joshua Jackson cameo, or perhaps Brad Pitt's sickening ego- but I genuinely couldn't stand this film.

I felt it did the original no favours, and it was all a bit of an excuse to get Matt Damon into yet another big film with his-older-yet-more-attractive 'mates'.

I have nothing against George Clooney's better films, but this certainly wasn't one of them. And the plot wasn't that exciting the first time round- why on earth we needed to remake this film, let alone make a sequel is beyond me.

Julia Roberts leaves me cold on a normal day, but surrounded by such a haplessly dull cast made her performance seem even less impressive- it's no great loss to the film industry that I didn't like this film as every single other person on earth loved it- but then again, Brad Pitt's a relative God to a lot of people for no good reason anyway...
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1/10
Awful
peanutthegreat18 May 2002
This is a really bad film. First of all, there is the acting. Most of it was rather dull, with the exceptions of Brad Pitt, Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner, and Andy Garcia. Even Matt Damon--one of my favorite modern actors--gave a dull performance. Clooney was the worst, as the arrogant thief who sets out to prove that it's okay to steal $160 million dollars, as long as its because some respectable businessman who works for his money dates your ex-wife while you are in jail. That is pretty much the theme to this film. Then there is the dialogue. It's just plain terrible (with a few good one-liners here and there, I must admit). Probably the worst dialogue comes at the very end (in Rusty's car). By far the worst scene was near the end, when the robbers are standing near the fountain, it was bad stuff. This film does not even compare to the original. Frank Sinatra is much, much more of an actor than Clooney is, and he's not conceited. The original was better, and the premise was better. I liked a group of army buddies with nothing to lose better than some guy trying to 'screw the guy thats screwing his wife' with a bunch of people he had never before met. The original had the far superior ending too.
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6/10
Making the most of an average concept
Duncan Gowers10 January 2002
Movie goers around the world undoubtably drooled at the prospect of a movie carrying four heavyweight, A-list actors and the hottest director of the moment. "Ocean's Eleven", a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack caper, contains these expensive commodities. Directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh and starring (deep breath here...) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, this movie was sure to make Roadshow Entertainment a bucketload of money on the premise alone. It has done so, and while it may not be the world's most original and inspiring movie, it is a solid piece of entertainment, pleasing critics and audiences alike.

Clooney is the title character, Daniel Ocean, a compulsive thief who has just been released from prison. Upon leaving lock-up he has already devised a plan to knock off three of Las Vegas' biggest casino's, all in one night! Realsing he needs the best criminals in the business to pull off this massive heist he sets out on a sort of "Dirty Dozen" (minus one) round up of robbery genuises.

This ensemble of characters hits and misses. Clooney is excellent as Ocean. He is classicly stylish, very smooth and ultra-cool. Pitt plays Dusty Ryan, a card shark and general villan with a heart of gold. Since "Fight Club", Pitt has chosen solid and varied roles. His portrayl of Dusty is spot on, you instantly like the character and admire is style and charisma. Don Cheadle is great as Basher Tarr, pulling off a decent English accent as the explosives expert. Scott Caan and Casey Afleck play Turk and Virgil Molloy and provide the comic relief of the film. Matt Damon has an understated role as Linus Cauldwell, the pickpocket of the group. Perhaps most memorable of all, despite his limited screentime is Elliot Gould as Reuben Tishkoff, an outrageously over the top former casino owner. Swathed in gold and diamonds and sporting some hideously cool sunglasses, he hams his role perfectly as the jewish millionaire.

Other characters are not as memorable or effective, but fulfill their roles enough to compensate for their lack of charisma. Andy Garcia is effective as casino owner Terry Benedict. It's great to see him back in an A-list move for the first time in a while. Julia Roberts' role is small and more supporting that lead billing, but she plays Clooney's ex-wife to a tee.

Soderbergh has a firm grip on proceedings and the film only lapses in a few instances. The quality of camerawork and the tightness of editing is commendable and as an audience we are thankful that it is Soderbergh in control and not some MTV-style, music video director. His contribution ensures that the film delivers on both an entertainment and artistic level.

The film contains equal amounts of romance, laughs, action and dramatic tension and is enjoyable right the way along. It may not be the best work of any of its key contributors but any film that can charm picky critics and audiences with a very small attention span is bound to be a hit. Let's hope for more movies that can pull this difficult task off in the future.
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10/10
No small riptide... Ocean's stands tall.
Benjamin Wolfe24 July 2006
After the (2001) Ocean's Eleven re-make they should have left it alone. Lightning struck, but not twice unfortunately. Having a second time around where they get 'caught' by Garcia's character is slightly more than just a little embarrassing. Get my meaning from the spelling there?! It made them look like a bunch of 'Wussies'.

That is how silly this new Ocean's twelve is. The biggest thing for me about this is that I like these players. They all brought a ton of talent and pulled this thing 'off' with incredible style and ease. With the first remake, not only were the camera-film shots very pleasing and artistic in set up, but also complete in story view/telling. The lines felt as if they were straight out of "the book of cool" from the sixties, only with a current 'pop' to them. Pitt was perfect. Always sporting a good appetizer platter with him and a well-delivered line not too much, not too little, just right. Along with Clooney and the rest, just fell solidly into place. Epic, right down to the soundtrack that blended into the foreground and back drop, bounced and moved along in and out with a silky-groove-dream sequence sensibility. The score (music) was the additional character that should have made that one 'Ocean's twelve'.

The story I thought had graduated into current times and left the sixties version at a deficit.

The interaction between the players from the two Utah brothers,(Caan and Affleck) who were more like elementary school kids than skilled heist men, that was obviously part of the fun! To the blackjack dealer with attitude (Bernie Mac-man) Clooney's Danny Ocean was one of the funnest characters he has had along with other good supporting guys (Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner) they all were top drawer in this hip-heist film. It was an 'edgy' story that made it out alive...Then they had to make a sequel. How many sequels truly make it. Probably less then more. Anything to make money right? Naw, couldn't be, "We're having a lot fun!" They said. Well good deal for them, but in the mean-time write something else good, and or original.

But for me this is a library addition keeper of a good time. Ocean's is tops. (****)
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