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Matchstick Men (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  12 September 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 102,027 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 332 user | 170 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.



(book), (screenplay) (as Nick Griffin) , 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Schaffer
Mr. Schaffer
Laundry Lady
Slacker Boyfriend
Tim Kelleher ...
Pharmacist #1
Pharmacist #2
Stoney Westmoreland ...
Man in Line


Meet Roy and Frank, a couple of professional small-time con artists. What Roy, a veteran of the grift, and Frank, his ambitious protégé, are swindling these days are "water filtration systems," bargain-basement water filters bought by unsuspecting people who pay ten times their value in order to win bogus prizes like cars, jewelry and overseas vacations--which they never collect. These scams net the flim-flam men a few hundred here, another thousand there, which eventually adds up to a lucrative partnership. Roy's private life, however, is not so successful. An obsessive-compulsive agoraphobe with no personal relationships to call his own, Roy is barely hanging on to his wits, and when his idiosyncrasies begin to threaten his criminal productivity he's forced to seek the help of a psychoanalyst just to keep him in working order. While Roy is looking for a quick fix, his therapy begets more than he bargained for: the revelation that he has a teenage daughter--a child whose existence he... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


lie cheat steal rinse repeat

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence, some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tricks  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,087,307 (USA) (12 September 2003)


$54,290 (Hong Kong) (2 January 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alison Lohman went to the audition dressed and acted like a 14-year-old girl. Ridley Scott only realized her real age when she told him. She was 22 at the time. See more »


When Angela is in Roy's house drinking a beer, there is alternately foam/no foam in the neck between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Roy: Uno, due, tre.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, letters such as "M" and "W" are separated lines (presumably matchsticks), much like the type in the main title. See more »


Referenced in Community: Grifting 101 (2015) See more »


La Dolce Vita
from La Dolce Vita
Written by Nino Rota
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Cage's Best
20 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nicolas Cage plays Roy, a con artist, who has numerous psychological issues. He is an obsessive-compulsive con artist, with an insane need for neatness. Roy also suffers from agoraphobia, yet despite these problems, is an efficient con man. Much like in Luc Besson's Leon (1994), Matchstick Men adopts the same theme of a criminal figure taking in a young female apprentice. Although after the exciting exposition the film has a rather drab middle, the conclusion is stunning. This film is one of Nicolas Cage's finest, whom I have long questioned as to ability in acting. Alison Lohman does a fine job as Angela. Due to the spectacular finish, I am going to give this film ***1/2 / **** or 8/10.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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the main con is so bad... skypawel
So cruel Souljah1990
£50 notes? bowmanblue
predictable after 20 minutes. uludag
Bad Ending yojimbosblade
Here is my ending to this movie joshyposhy90-1
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