Jake Vig (Burns) is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss (Hoffman) and his enforcer.
Jake Vig leads a small Los Angeles based team of grifters, each member who has his specific role in each con: Jake is the main man, Miles the adversary, Big Al the scared innocent bystander, and Gordo the dead shooting victim. He also has in his pockets crooked LAPD detectives Lloyd Whitworth and Omar Manzano who basically play themselves as needed. Beyond getting the money, the basic goal of each con is to ensure the mark is so scared by what has happened - usually being an accomplice in a "murder" - that he won't come back looking for the money. Jake learns the hard way that their latest mark, Louis Dolby, who they fleeced for $150,000, was carrying money for a criminal named King, who takes a no prisoners approach in getting even, he who knows who stole his money. Instead of returning the $150,000 to King, money which he no longer has anyway, Jake convinces King to parlay that money and a bit more into a bigger con against a mark of King's choice, that person being banker Morgan ... Written by
Everyone must love a good con artist tale. We all see our selves as both victim and perpetrator. We love the thrill of the ride, of the something for nothing, of doing bad, but not really hurting anyone who does not deserve it. These are the archetypical elements of a good con movie, and Confidence delivers them with panache.
There is nothing really new here. No mind bending twists beyond the twists that have to be constructed for a picture like this to succeed, and succeed it does. Why? It is the cast. Everyone delivers the performance of their career in the film, and I mean everyone. I have not seen Dustin Hoffman act in a long time, and here he does much more than phone in the part. He proves himself to be a real risk taker. Nothing less can be said of any of the cast members, some familiar, others not so. This may be the defining role of Edward Burns' career, and likewise for Rachel Weisz. I did not even recognize Andy Garcia, that is how transformed we has. Imagine Paul Giamatti in a role that you did not want to slap him for or ask why he was wasting his talents!
This film is like a really rich dessert. Even though you know it is not good for you, you just cannot help yourself because it is so delicious.
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