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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.

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tricks  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The airport scenes, set at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), were actually filmed in the main entrance of the Anaheim Convention Center, a mile south of Disneyland. Due to recent security measures in the nation's airports, filming rights have been severely restricted on airport property. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[first lines]
Roy: Uno, due, tre.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Alien: Resurrection (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Swedish Rhapsody
Written by Hugo Alfvén
Performed by Mantovani & His Orchestra
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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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
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predictable after 20 minutes. uludag
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