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Confidence More at IMDbPro »

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Not bad.....possible spoilers.

Author: jtmahony from Paris, France
28 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to see this without knowing anything about it, as there didn't seem to be anything else that looked good. The opening line had me intrigued. What was coming now? The non-sequential timeline gave me a moment of "uh-oh" as I figured we were heading for another Pulp Fiction ripoff, but it worked out quite well. Ed Burns was great as a smooth talking, unscrupulous conman (anyone else see Ben Affleck in his performance?), Rachel Weisz had the part down to a T (great accent, you'd never think she was English), Dustin Hoffman was very entertaining as the King, reminding me a lot of Brick Top from "Snatch". Giamatti, as usual, had me in stitches. But I hardly recognised Andy Garcia, really great performance by him. The plot, though not exactly original kept my attention for most of the movie, though there were a few parts where it lagged, but the last thirty-forty-five minutes really kept me glued.

SO WHERE'S THE GODDAMN MONEY GONE????!!!

SPOILER BELOW

As soon as Burns' character says "probably in the hands of the Federal Government", I think....nah....no way. And then we see it all for what it was: from day one it was all to get the King, but I didn't spot that until I thought a bit more about it. All in all a pretty entertaining film, but hardly a classic.

3.5/5

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could've been so much better (contains spoiler)

Author: irishboy6364
11 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I generally like these types of movies. The smart, stylized caper film with a dry wit, ala Ocean's Eleven. Which is why I was drawn to Confidence in the first place-that, and the trailer is really good. I must say that my expectations were not met. Still, it was a decent enough film in itself, save for a few plot holes and the fact that it jumped around more than my sister on a caffeine high. The acting was passable, Ed Burns being the best. Sometimes he was just brilliant, when he was playing the cool, confident con man. However, he truly sucked when vulnerable. Paul Giamatti was funny at times, but fell below expectations. Rachel Weisz was good, but her character had no real substance. Dustin Hoffman was okay only if you didn't know he was Dustin Hoffman. If you did, he never failed to disappoint. I liked Franky G up until the end, when he became a jackass. The plot was as good as could be expected from a film such as this, and it had a few holes. In the beginning, the movie was good. Once it got rolling, though, it began sucking. The suckiness began to snowball. By the end, it was truly up sh*t creek. That is, until the VERY end. See the movie, and you'll understand what I mean. That was just cool. It would've been better had Burns just walked away and disappeared (instead of joining up with the team), but all right. When all is said and done, it was decent for what it was. But had, say, Steven Soderbergh directed it and the casting been a little better, we could've had a classic on our hands. Isn't it sad when a good movie turns out like crap?

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loved it

Author: kittycat164
11 October 2003

by reading some of these coments by other ppl some seemed not to like it but i loved it i thought it was cleaver and the acting was very good this was edward burns best acting that i have seen i thought the story was good b/c everytime u figure one thing out something else happened and one user said that the cons were stupid and only idiots would fall for them but thats the point of the person they con that he is an idiot and greedy at the same time so i recomend this movie to those who like movies in this genre

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Interesting story but it lacks zip.

7/10
Author: senortuffy from Glen Ellen, CA
27 September 2003

This was a pretty interesting film. I'm pretty good at seeing the plot twist coming, but this one completely took me by surprise. It's very clever how everything in the ledger is balanced out in the end.

But I have to say the movie isn't as good as the story. It's hard to put my finger on because I liked it, but let's just say that it lacks sparkle, pizzazz, whatever the word is. The acting and direction are all good, but it just lacks that certain something that makes other con game movies like "The Sting" or "The Grifters" great.

Edward Burns is good as the central character, Jake, but he's not particularly likable in the role. Smooth, yes. But appealing? No.

Dustin Hoffman has a role as the gangster they accidentally steal from and have to pay back, but he really isn't in the film very much and he plays his character as sort of an oddball. Andy Garcia also has an important part as a federal agent hot on Jake's trail, but he also doesn't have much to do and also plays the part a bit quirky.

This is an enjoyable film, but if you want to watch a movie about crooks who are more interesting, better to rent out "The Grifters" or "After Dark, My Sweet."

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style over substance

Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
20 September 2003

In `Confidence,' writer Doug Jung and director James Foley have fashioned a stylish, if conventional, tale of con men and drifting grifters, one that plays by all the rules yet still manages to throw us for a loop every now and then.

There's not much point in belaboring the film's complex and convoluted plot. Suffice it to say that there isn't a whole lot that's original here - i.e. criminal double crosses criminal ad infinitum with predictable results - but the writing, acting and directing combine to make for a relatively diverting time for people who just can't get enough of these `Sting'/`Usual Suspects'-type knockoffs. Jung's script emphasizes humor over violence and keeps us guessing most of the time, even though, when all is said and done, the film doesn't really amount to much. By far the most interesting character in the film is the man who goes by the name of `King,' a crime boss who is bisexual, suffers from ADD and rails against the crudity of life even when he is choreographing illicit sex acts for his nightclub or issuing orders for the rubbing out of an inconvenient rival. Dustin Hoffman chews up the scenery in the role, giving full rein to all the twitches and tics that have long defined his repertoire as an actor. Hoffman rivets our attention so much in the few scenes in which he appears that the rest of the movie almost inevitably suffers a bit when he isn't on screen.

Nevertheless, Edward Burns is so smooth, sly and alluring as the handsome young con man that we come to understand how innocent victims can so easily fall under the spell of his not inconsiderable charms. He receives superb support from the likes of Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia, Paul Giamatti, Franky G and the always-reliable Luis Guzman.

Despite the fact that `Confidence' never digs very far beneath its own shallow surface, the filmmakers keep the movie interesting by employing an intriguing dual-level structure, moving back and forth in time with relative ease and fluidity. The movie has a cool, hip look that polishes over its relative emptiness.

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Comic con

Author: Harry T. Yung (harry_tk_yung@yahoo.com) from Hong Kong
25 August 2003

There are a number of things that made me feel as if I was watching a comic strip. First and foremost is the use of what I would call `mini flashes', both backward and forward. While there is nothing unusual with this technique, the unique thing about it in Confidence is that they are really short, many not more than a second or two. Without these clever and efficient tools of story telling, the movie could have been much longer than its friendly 97 minutes. Another thing is the characters, many of which a very close to, without actually being, noire. What's more, some of the frames are deliberately made to look like they're in a comic book, e.g. when the team of 5 was in the bank vice-president's office, there are shots of them that look like they are posting for a group photo.

Despite the bells and whistles, the story line is actually quite simple, better suited to a comic strip than a book. It's not such a good idea to compare this movie to The Sting, THE classic con movie. The brilliance of The Sting is not in the suspense of how the guys pull it off at the end, because this is known to the audience all along, but in everything else. It is better to compare Confidence to two recent remakes, The Thomas Crown Affair and Ocean's Eleven. The twists in both of these I would say are a little bit better. Confidence however pleases by a delivering a smooth, well orchestrated performance, by a well balanced cast. Hoffman of course stands out but then his appearance is almost cameo, which is good in maintaining the overall balance. But whenever he appears, he dominates (I was about to say `steals' but that sounds disrespectful) the scene. The comical part of the character `King' he delivers effortlessly. It's when it comes to projecting the dark and menacing side from behind the comical surface that Hoffman is really awesome.

One inconsequential point and I'm done. Those who remember the immortal Canadian comic team Wayne and Schuster might recall a line delivered by Johnny Wayne playing detective Charlie Chan `You Occidentals all look alike'. What's the relevance here? Well, I don't know how it looks to `occidental' eyes, but whenever my mind wondered off a little when I watched Confidence, I would think that I was watching Ben Affleck and Monica Bellucci.

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coming in low and stealthy

9/10
Author: humpback
22 August 2003

Wow, this bird came in low, stealthy, under the radar and delivered the goods with a wham, while the whole lot of big budget summer "super slammers/ blockbuster/ whatever" came up cold ( as usual ). Go figure - and shoot the entire PR department who spend the money on Dumb Rai... ahem, Tomb Raider 2 and the other inanities.

Well - as for the highlights : Excellent movie, clever plot, clever dialogue, great performances ( Dustin Hoffman (cast against type) is interestingly creepy, Rachel Weisz is pure "bait with brains" (her performance could serve as the ultimate reminder NEVER NEVER NEVER to trust any woman smiling at you... God she is gorgeous, though. 'nuff said ) and Edward Burns (not my favourite actor by far, and the one I dreaded as the weak link on this outing) comes over with a surprisingly great amount of believable suave confidence... as for the supporting cast - as good as the leads, Andy Garcia takes the cake, candles and all, though ), moody soundtrack, and - just for once - in this almost "sucked-dry" genre of 'Heist' and 'Sting' movies, an unpredictable ending..... and while "confidence" breezily skips over some of the the less interesting, technical details of the sting's setup and planning (like some forgeries, research etc. ), the story stays sound - especially through Burn's off screen comments filling us in on details, attitude and his personal superstitions. Old trick, but expertly used.

And while "Confidence" invites comparison to "Oceans Eleven" with its slick production and high-end grifters, it is less swinging, ironic or hip, but rather much grittier with ugly stains poking through the peeling gloss, and somewhat less certainty about the outcome. It is really hard to tell how precisely the chips will fall in the end.

As for the story - a group of confidence men (soon to be reinforced by pickpocket Weisz ) pull-off the wrong guy, or rather they con him out of the _wrong_ money. Now, under the thumb of the local mobster (Hofmann ), they agree to trick an old enemy of said mobster out of several million bucks - and doing this with crooked cops, irritated gangsters and federal agents on their tail, and also trying to get away with some payback to various people.

Sounds simple, but like all good sting stories it has a cartload of double-dealing, backstabbing and utterly corrupt gears busily shifting and turning. Rather surprisingly for a contemporary gangster/crime story the violence, while definitely there, is neither overwhelming nor sickeningly self-serving, the camera-work is hands on, and for once the world is at its most dangerous when it looks glossy, stylish and neat.

Of course everyone missed it on the big screen while watching the Hulk, Tomb Raider 2 and Charlie's Angles : FT and cussing their hearts out - go figure. Just like the perfect con - you don't notice its excellence until it's over.

4,5 of 5 mobsters for this one

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I didnt like it.

Author: caity_07 from Sydney, Australia
2 August 2003

When I saw this movie I thought that it would be somewhat similar to Ocean's eleven. This movie tried to be Ocean's eleven without success. I found the movie confusing where it didn't have to be and all in all a bore. I have to say that the acting was quite good. Rachel Weisz is one of my favourite actresses and she was really strong in this film as was all of the other characters. The problem with this movie was in the script, there was no big problem, or if there was it was made insignificant among the other smaller problems in the film that they made stand out. Sorry if all this doesn't make sense. This ocean's eleven wannabe film is only good for watching if your a big fan of the actors. . . and even then its hard to sit through.

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Modern, stylish and fun.

Author: Philip Tsatsas (filmrocker82@msn.com) from Sunderland, England
25 July 2003

Director `James Foley' has had a very unbalanced career for quite some time, with very few hits stirring away at the video store and few films hitting the local theatres. Finally striking it clean with a saucy enjoyable piece that deserves almost everyone's attention comes the slick movie `Confidence'. Edward Burns plays con artist `Jake Vig', a man making his way through life pulling off clever tricks to obtain large amounts of cash with the help of his partners who he has a healthy friendship with. When a local job leaves one of Jake's crew members dead and with the rest of them owing a large sum of money to a famous mob leader `The King' played by non other than `Dustin Hoffman', our main character re-gathers his smart team along with some new recruits to pull off one big last heist to repay his depts. It was really great to see Edward Burns dabble with style as the leading role who always knows what to do in the worst off situations. He played the character very cool with very little surprises up his sleeve. This worked out well for a plot that has been re-written many numerous times to suit our generation, and at no point in the film did the acting seem over done. Rachel Weisz provided the sex appeal to fill in the wholes although I couldn't help but wish that her part could have given the film more depth and meaning to `Burn's' character. Her performances was pretty much forgettable but nice to watch. Which all in all is a shame because she can clearly do more than look good in tight dress. Dustin Hoffman's portrayal as the mob boss `The King' was by far the role that stood out from nearly all the rest, giving the film that extra edge that labels the film as having something new to see, but not mind blowing. At such an age in his career is so wonderful to see an actor experimenting with new and different roles in upcoming movies. What I loved most about the movie was the key lighting that really gave off the realistic effect of the lives of the criminals, and their hangout places as well as their gatherings. The cinematography was simply modern fun that kept the plot that seemed a tad dull at times, a joy to experience.

`Confidence' is definitely worth a trip to the theatre and for some of you, a really great movie experience that might be worth another look someday. It's a hard film to dislike with its snappy moments and enjoyable twists. It can do nothing but create a cute grin on your face. How long the grin stays on your face will depend on your ability to appreciate films with nothing new to offer and a little something for the moments that carry you away in it's predictable charm.

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Modern, stylish and fun.

Author: Philip Tsatsas (filmrocker82@msn.com) from Sunderland, England
25 July 2003

Director `James Foley' has had a very unbalanced career for quite some time, with very few hits stirring away at the video store and few films hitting the local theatres. Finally striking it clean with a saucy enjoyable piece that deserves almost everyone's attention comes the slick movie `Confidence'. Edward Burns plays con artist `Jake Vig', a man making his way through life pulling off clever tricks to obtain large amounts of cash with the help of his partners who he has a healthy friendship with. When a local job leaves one of Jake's crew members dead and with the rest of them owing a large sum of money to a famous mob leader `The King' played by non other than `Dustin Hoffman', our main character re-gathers his smart team along with some new recruits to pull off one big last heist to repay his depts. It was really great to see Edward Burns dabble with style as the leading role who always knows what to do in the worst off situations. He played the character very cool with very little surprises up his sleeve. This worked out well for a plot that has been re-written many numerous times to suit our generation, and at no point in the film did the acting seem over done. Rachel Weisz provided the sex appeal to fill in the wholes although I couldn't help but wish that her part could have given the film more depth and meaning to `Burn's' character. Her performances was pretty much forgettable but nice to watch. Which all in all is a shame because she can clearly do more than look good in tight dress. Dustin Hoffman's portrayal as the mob boss `The King' was by far the role that stood out from nearly all the rest, giving the film that extra edge that labels the film as having something new to see, but not mind blowing. At such an age in his career is so wonderful to see an actor experimenting with new and different roles in upcoming movies. What I loved most about the movie was the key lighting that really gave off the realistic effect of the lives of the criminals, and their hangout places as well as their gatherings. The cinematography was simply modern fun that kept the plot that seemed a tad dull at times, a joy to experience.

`Confidence' is definitely worth a trip to the theatre and for some of you, a really great movie experience that might be worth another look someday. It's a hard film to dislike with its snappy moments and enjoyable twists. It can do nothing but create a cute grin on your face. How long the grin stays on your face will depend on your ability to appreciate films with nothing new to offer and a little something for the moments that carry you away in it's predictable charm.

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