MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 233 this week

Matchstick Men (2003)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 93,534 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 328 user | 173 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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Staff Picks: Favorite Horror Movies

We asked IMDb staffers to provide their favorite horror movies.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 09 Jun 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 08 Oct 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Matchstick Men" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Matchstick Men (2003)

Matchstick Men (2003) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Matchstick Men.

User Polls

2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
White Squall (1996)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife.

Director: Brett Ratner
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A married New York cop falls for the socialite murder witness he's been assigned to protect.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Berenger, Mimi Rogers, Lorraine Bracco
G.I. Jane (1997)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A female Senator succeeds in enrolling a woman into Combined Reconnaissance Team training where everyone expects her to fail.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Anne Bancroft
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan. In Japan, ... See full summary »

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands
Windtalkers (2002)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
Adaptation. (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
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
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tricks  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Bluffmaster! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
Written by Eddie Holland (as Eddie Holland Jr.), Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier
Performed by Marvin Gaye
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A fine brew of psychological character and crime story. A-
15 September 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ridley Scott and Nicolas Cage deliver some of their best and most intelligent work in a few years, even if Matchstick Men is not quite either's great contribution for this year in film. What they have done, from Eric Garcia's novel (adapted by The Griffins), come off rather entertaining, if anything else, and boasts much more thought than would usually be attributed to such a Hollywood film. Nicolas Cage, who plays Roy, part anxious/obsessive compulsive, part sly con man, and part father to a daughter he never knew he had, is a main reason to see this movie. His performance is on par with someone like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets for watch-ability of a truly sad lifestyle, and while Nicholson's performance was and still is funnier and more charming, Cage gets so into his character, the little mannerisms that pop up more often than expected, that we feel for the guy even as his eyes get twitchy and goes over certain spots in his house like a detective. He may be the most believable obsessive compulsive/con man you'll see in a long while. Add then an outgoing, occasionally sneaky daughter (Alison Lohman in a performance that skillfully balances sweetness and irritability, sorrow and playfulness in a teenage girl) to the mix, along with a protégé-cum-partner (a cool Sam Rockwell) who has a love/loathe relationship Roy, and there's the map work for an interesting, if here and there predictable, drama/comedy/crime film.

Along with the performances, which are all above average (Cage could be deserved of an Oscar nomination come February, and Lohman could deserve the win possibly), is the visual framework that Scott pushes in each scene. By getting certain camera tricks, and fantastic editing by Dody Dorn (of 'Memento' fame), the viewer can really get into Roy's head even in the smaller scenes, the ones that have little to do with the plot and only to do with the neuroses of Roy (there is even a little touch that I loved when Roy is waiting online early in the film at the supermarket, and the music in the background is an excerpt of the mental hospital music from 'Cuckoo's Nest'). This echoes the style that Scorsese used in Bringing out the Dead, also with Cage, in moving the film to get so into the mood that the story, no matter how intriguing and important, becomes secondary.

Which brings me to my own personal beef with the movie, and that is the last fifteen minutes or so. It was clever, up to a point, but as it unfolded, no matter how much I was still emotionally involved with these people, I felt that the twists (I won't reveal them here) undermined a lot of the rest of the film. It will be based on viewer to viewer, but I just thought that it did a little too much to jab at Roy's lifestyle. And yet, when I walked out of the theater, though I wasn't sure I had seen anything spectacular, I didn't feel like I had wasted time and money either. Matchstick Men is witty, sometimes wonderful moviemaking.


80 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So cruel Souljah1990
£50 notes? bowmanblue
predictable after 20 minutes. uludag
Bad Ending yojimbosblade
Here is my ending to this movie joshyposhy90-1
my alternate ending twist wrrwrrw
Discuss Matchstick Men (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?