Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
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
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 »
When Angela is in Roy's house drinking a beer, there is alternately foam/no foam in the neck between shots. See more »
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.
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