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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Slight but fun

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
22 April 2003

Picked up on grand theft auto, Cosimo is told of a big job by a lifer. Cosimo goes to his friend Toto to help get a guy to do his jail time for him so he can do the job. After asking around Toto comes up with Pero. However Pero double-crosses Cosimo and leaves him in jail and sets up the group to do the job without him. After they enlist the help of expert safe cracker Jerzy the group start putting down the foundations for a job that has all the hallmarks of disaster.

I went to see this with the usual blaze of hype that goes with any movie, the usual OTT quotes from the hacks etc. I didn't expect too much so it was a pleasant surprise. The plot is quite enjoyable and is enlivened by a witty (but not hilarious) script. The comedy of the actual job is great and delivered well. However I will stress that anyone who goes along with the words of Jonathon Ross (`I haven't laughed so hard in years') will probably be disappointed as it isn't a laugh a second.

The strength of the film is in the strong cast. There is no real star (although it will be sold on Clooney) and everyone carries the story and the humour. Macy is good, Rockwell is funny as always, Clooney has a good cameo, Washington is solid enough but I prefer Esposito when she uses her normal voice. Gabrielle Union has a very small part but manages to be very seductive in the first of her two scenes – she is clearly going to be bigger in the next few years or so. For me the star of the film is Michael Jeter. It's such a shame that he died not even a month ago but this is a good film to follow his loss with. He makes many of the laughs with his pathetic yet endearing old man. In some scenes he makes laughs out of nothing and his performance is pitch perfect.

On the whole I was tickled by this film and that was enough for me. Many will be let down as they have been told it is a laugh riot. If you go in just expecting a bit of fun with good actors then that is what you'll get. It's very slight but it is amusing enough to justify watching.

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24 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

enjoyable caper

8/10
Author: Doug Taylor from Norwich, England
30 August 2004

These guys are anything but the Usual Suspects! They are a total bunch of likeable oddballs who you want to see get away with it,but they are so hapless that there is very little chance of that.No one is better than William H Macy at portraying the man with a big heart but down on his luck.This is probably his best performance since Fargo.Sam Rockwell played the meathead boxer to perfection,and the rest of the gang were uniformly good also.Luis Guzman brought some great comic relief as Cosimo,and George Clooney stole every scene in his cameo role.The heist scene at the end was absolutely hilarious.

The direction was also spot on by the Russo brothers.There was certainly a Coen brothers feel to the film throughout and it will be interesting to see how they will develop their careers.They have a long way to go to match the Coen's but this is an excellent start and I look forward to their next celluloid outing. ......."Yo mutha's a whore"!

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Safe crackers

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
5 July 2005

"Welcome to Collingwood" offers some of the most hilarious dialog in recent memory. Watching this comedy directed by the brothers Anthony and Joe Russo reminded us of maybe another film we had seen in the past, but since we missed the opening credits, we had to wait until the end to discover that what we were reminded of, was the 1958 Italian film "Big Deal on Madonna Street", directed by Mario Monicelli.

The Russo brothers put together a magnificent cast to portray all the characters in the film. Anything with William H. Macy, Luis Guzman, Sam Rockwell, Patricia Clarkson, the late Michael Jeter, in it, can't be bad. Since this is an ensemble piece all characters get an opportunity in which to shine.

The film presents us a group of inane would-be safe crackers from hell. No one could think these men could carry on a job like the one they undertake. Whatever could go wrong, and more, is what they succeed in doing. George Clooney makes a small appearance as the master safe cracker who is also seen impersonating a rabbi, only to be confused with a priest by the gang members coming out of Cossimo's funeral.

The best way to enjoy the movie is to sit back and relax, and let all these small time crooks do their thing. Let their funny lines make you laugh, as anyone can see this gang is doomed from beginning to end!

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Well worth a look - ignore the bad reviews on here!

Author: scarecrow59 from Melbourne, Australia
9 February 2004

It takes my breath away to see some of the uptight and/or pretentious "reviews" of this very funny film that are on this site. "No character depth"? "Weak plot"? Is there a class these people take, called "THE POINT, AND HOW TO MISS IT"??? It's just a well-shot, well-written, well-acted slapstick heist film, for goodness sake - and the characters are SUPPOSED to be shallow idiots! It tells you that on the video cover! Were the characters in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" deeply developed? And was that not a GREAT film, or did I miss something? I strongly suggest that anyone who is simply after a good laugh should watch this film, and that those who seek high art in everything they see should either learn to relax a bit, or spare the rest of us their tedious opinions! Sheesh...

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

Author: Harlan Thrimplestock from Jersey
19 June 2003

It's shameful that egotistic, pretentious film geeks need to rip apart remakes claiming that they can't possibly live up to the foreign originals upon which they are based. Foreign movies never translate and those that believe they are fantastic are likely only convincing themselves that is true. That said, I had no idea "Collinwood" was a remake and, regardless, thought it was surprisingly funny, well acted (the cast was phenomenal led by Sam Rockwell's perfectly funny lead) and just a good watch. Was is high handed film noir? No. Should it have won an award? No. Was is an enjoyable hour and change. Absolutely. Clooney, as always, was great in a limited, albeit offbeat role. Macy was fantastic. Michael Jeter was a tour de force as the old dude with the dirty shorts. And Luis Guzman was absolutely hysterical. It's a good watch regardless of what the pompous elite film police think. Check it out.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Crime, violence and death in a Walt-Disneyish format.

7/10
Author: TxCracker from Houston
31 May 2003

This movie was recommended to me by a friend. I never saw an ad or a trailer, so I didn't know Clooney was in it and was not bothered by the fact that his role was so small. I thought the whole cast was suitable, and found the film pretty enjoyable, all in all. The opening scene, with the small crew of bandits standing at the side of the road, looking whipped and haggard, caught my attention immediately. It had a way of telling you, "don't go away; this won't be boring", and it really wasn't. It turned out to be an interesting, light-hearted comedy with enough twists and turns to keep you in your seat to the very end, but when the ending did arrive, I felt a little bit cheated....just a little bit. The events kept building up so that you expect them to continue building, but at a point that I can't define, it sort of levels out, making the ending a slight disappointment. I reckon I expected a bigger bang of a climax, but it turned out sort of low-key. If you watch the movie with that in mind and you can live without high dosages of George Clooney, you should find this flick very entertaining and well worth watching. Now I'd like to see the original (Big Deal on Madonna Street), but it's probably a rare find in the United States.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Very funny, well made remake of the 50s Italian film.

Author: alexthehamlin from Bozeman, Montana
21 October 2004

This is one of those few great films that comes out these days. I work at a movie theater, and every week I see countless pieces of crap, and so it's great to see a good one come along every once in a while. The film is about a bunch of broke small-time criminals who hear of a job that could make them rich beyond their dreams. The film follows the obstacles they have to overcome, such as how to get in, crack the safe, etc. George Clooney plays a very funny small part as a handicapped ex-criminal, who tries to show the guys the ropes. Other good actors are Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy and Luis Guzman. (Luis Guzman must have a fantastic agent, he's always in these great movies.) I've never heard of these Russo guys before this movie, but I look forward to their future projects!

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Alan Ford type of comedy

7/10
Author: johnny-08 from Rijeka, Croatia
18 November 2007

Cosimo (Luis Guzman) ends up in prison for car burglary and there he's given the plan for the perfect heist from a lifer in prison; so he has to get out of jail, fast. He tells his girlfriend Rosalind (Patricia Clarkson) to find a man who will do his time in prison for some money. But no one wants to do the time for Cosimo's crime and yet everybody seems to know a guy who will do that. Soon bad boxer Pero Mahalovic (Sam Rockwell) founds out the details of this so called "perfect job".

First of all, I think this movie was very funny and from my point of view I would recommend it to everyone. This movie is remake of Italian comedy "I Soliti Ignoti". I didn't watch the Italian original so I cannot judge or compare those two movies. But "Welcome to Collinwood" is great comedy for itself, about four people trying to rob the money from the vault in one house. Everyone gave their part of brilliance from this movie cast. Really excellent movie for these actors: Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy (great), Isaiah Washington, Michael Jeter (great), Luis Guzmán, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Esposito and finally George Clooney gave their share in this project.

Maybe to say that this movie is only comedy, isn't fair. This is more then that. Because of one difference. All of thieves in this movie have very small wishes when they are asked: what will they do with their money? It is mostly securing their future in very humble way. This fact goes beyond comedy into the soul of that criminals. And not only them but also cop Babitch, who is presented like corrupted one; so here directors Russo presents us fact that criminals and cop are the same. Actually all in Collinwood are; and not only in Collinwood, cause all people chase money, on legal or illegal way. I don't like all movies were audience eventually likes and cheers for thieves. But, this one is exception. You have to love them all. Riley with his little baby and wife in jail. Toto with his pants. Cosimo with his line: "Your mother's a whore!" and all others. They are just like characters in my favorite comic, Alan Ford. They all trying to make some money, but simply they are out of luck. But they all did one good deed: they gave money to Riley, so he can get his wife out of prison. They are all heroes in my eyes, cause lots of "honest" people wouldn't do that.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Completely Surprised

10/10
Author: CherryDarling180 from Ontario, Canada
12 November 2005

The main reason I wanted to see this movie was because of the wonderful cast. A ton of my favorite actors in one movie equals amazing with out actually seeing it. But this movie caught me off guard. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. It's been a while since I've seen it but I do remember I could not stop laughing!!! And it wasn't just the cast that did it for me. The script was amazingly written. Every time you were expecting something to happen it didn't happen. There were so many twists and turns but it fit with the whole tone of the movie instead of coming off as pretentious. The cinematography, along with the set, was absolutely beautiful as well. I really can't say anything bad about this movie! Expcept, I would have Andrew Davoli a little more screen time!

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A great laugh!

Author: xEowenx from London, England
18 May 2004

Ive just watched this film for the first time and am amazed by all the bad reviews. I thought it was class! Ok so its no Oceans Eleven, but the actors are fantastic and what could be better then watching amateur con-men get it completely wrong! Michael Jeter in particular, is a breath of fresh air, and shows just how much he's going to be missed in Hollywood!!! Sam Rockwell provides the eye-candy but also shows his versatility as an actor producing some of the high and low moments perfectly! George Clooney is fab as the safe hacker, although i'd love to have seen more of him (Im sure most would agree), and the rest of the ensemble are perfect in there own little ways! Id recommend this film to anyone who enjoyed Matchstick Men! Loved it!

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