343 user 157 critic

Matchstick Men (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 12 September 2003 (USA)
0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

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 »
3,503 ( 746)
5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Chicago weather man, separated from his wife and children, debates whether professional and personal success are mutually exclusive.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Hope Davis, Nicholas Hoult
Lord of War (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol Agent.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto
8MM (1999)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A private investigator is hired to discover if a "snuff film" is authentic or not.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard


Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Frechette
Mrs. Schaffer
Mr. Schaffer
Laundry Lady
Slacker Boyfriend
Bill Saito ...


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:

Los tramposos  »


Box Office


$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,087,307, 14 September 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Frank Mercer was named for Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mercer. Roy Waller is seen playing records by the two. See more »


After pulling the things from the pool to dispose of them, Roy goes to take his pills, puts them on the counter and reaches for a paper towel. When he gets the paper towel, the pills aren't on the counter. Then in the next shot they are back. 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 »


Featured in Conan: Dial T for Misdialed Murder (2011) See more »


3 Sheets to the Wind (What's My Name)
Written by Kid Rock (as R.J. Ritchie)
Performed by Kid Rock
Courtesy of Lava Records LLC
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Nic Cage's greatest acting
13 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

I know he won an Oscar for another film (don't get me started on that!), but this performance is really the one I regard as his crowning achievement. He's so convincing as a man who's totally out of control even when he appears to be in control that it's like a spinning top which doesn't really look like it's moving fast at all.

Sam Rockwell and Cage are partners, if you can call Cage's tic laden role a man who ever really connects with anybody at all. They con for a living and are quite accomplished at the game. So when his new challenge, a teenage daughter he had no contact with up till now, enters and shakes up his OCD world, this walking, talking repetitive routine he calls life gets flipped over into something resembling a normal existence.

The great Bruce McGill appears as someone you don't want to cross, unless it's out of his way to avoid the inevitable trouble. He fakes humbleness and charisma perfectly until the cobra he really is gets uncoiled and strikes.

This is an odd choice for Ridley Scott to direct. I'm glad he made it, as this film is as great socio-comedically as "Blade Runner" was poignantly techno-emotional. "Matchstick Men" gets under your skin, in funny and tragic ways, usually simultaneously. There really are men out there like Cage's Roy, as disturbing as that might be. Here Cage gets to be a three dimensional person and not just the human function of a lame action formula.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 343 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page