6 items from 2015
Ridley Scott has worked in many genres over his career —period pieces (“The Duellists”), war movies (“Black Hawk Down”), con man movies (“Matchstick Men”), sword and sandal epics ( “Gladiator”) and even soggy, feel-good pap (“A Good Year”). Last year’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” had a small faction of staunch vocal supporters, but his landmark sci-fi masterwork “Blade Runner” marks the last time the director made a film that could credibly be described as visionary. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the film on VHS: the images of those towering, terrifying billboards adorned with ghastly, smiling faces burned into my impressionable young mind forever. Woefully misunderstood upon its 1982 release, Scott’s film has since found a devoted following: in fact, a sequel has recently been announced —it's to be directed by “Enemy" and "Prisoners" helmer Denis Villeneuve and with Harrison Ford confirmed to reprise his terrifically grizzled turn as. »
- Nicholas Laskin
It’s the first acting gig for Hirsch following his Jan. 25 arrest for allegedly choking a female executive at the Sundance Film Festival. Hirsch checked into a rehab facility following the incident and is due in court on March 15.
Im Global’s Octane genre division will fully finance “Jane Doe.” Producers are Fred Berger (“La La Land”) and Eric Garcia (“Matchstick Men”) under their Impostor Pictures banner with Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh at their 42 shingle.
Cox and Hirsch will play father and son coroners who receive a mysterious homicide victim with no apparent cause of death. »
- Dave McNary
Exclusive: Emile Hirsch (Lone Survivor) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity) have signed on to star as co-leads in The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, the English-language debut of Norwegian director Andre Øvredal (Trollhunter). Stuart Ford’s sales-finance-production powerhouse Im Global will fully finance the film through its Octane genre label. Fred Berger (La La Land) and Eric Garcia (Matchstick Men) produce under their Impostor Pictures banner alongside Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh… »
In Focus, Will Smith's first film since 2013, the superstar plays Nicky, a long-time conman who is planning his last big score, but ends up reuniting with a con woman who he trained years before.
The film, which performed mildly at the box office in its debut this weekend, joins the ranks of Hollywood's long love affair with the art of the con.
In celebration of this newest entry in the grifter genre, here are nine of the best conman movies ever made.
(Note: This list doesn't include movies about heists that happen to involve conmen -- i.e. Ocean's Eleven or The Heist -- just films that celebrate the age of tradition of swindling.)
9. Matchstick Men (2003): Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell play con artists who are planning one of the biggest scams of their careers. Things get complicated when Cage's teenage daughter shows up and »
In the midst of veteran con man Nicky’s latest scheme, a woman from his past – now an accomplished femme fatale – shows up and throws his plans for a loop.
The fundamental problem with films like Focus lays in how many similar films like Focus you may have seen. You know exactly what you’re in for (namely, a con) but the fun is always in how the con is pulled off and how the film can gain the confidence of the audience only to trick us at the end. Unfortunately, even if you’ve seen just one similar film chances are it’s far better than this.
When I think of all the best con artist movies I »
- Gary Collinson
Big Willy’s latest big screen outing makes its way to the multiplex this month. In Focus, Smith plays the consummate con man, a smooth operator who liberates people of their wealth with the help of a Margot Robbie-shaped femme fatale.
The duo of tricksters aren’t the first con artists to grace the silver screen however. So from pool sharks and grifters to tricksters, card cheats and American hustlers; here’s our rundown of the most memorable con artists in movie history.
One of the finest fraudster films to ever grace the multiplex; The Hustler stars Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson, a pool shark intent on toppling legendary cue-man Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). With its smoky sets, stunning black and white cinematography and superb performances from Newman and Gleason; the film is just as good today as it was on its release more than 50 years ago. »
- Daniel Bettridge
6 items from 2015
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