...On an East Coast Island off season, a woman's naked and badly beaten body washes ashore. Jessy Turner , the sister of the murdered woman, comes to the island to identify her sister's ... See full summary »
Two grifters - boyish, likable Rodrigo and the scheming, cynical Richard - meet by chance. Richard, who has cheated everyone he knows, including his siblings, is missing his partner, so he offers Rodrigo a job for a day. Rodrigo accepts because he has some savings, but needs more to pay his father's gambling debts. Richard gets a call when an aging, ill ex-associate needs help to sell a forged treasury note to a businessman whose visa is expiring the next day, a wealthy man who sees a chance to turn a quick profit buying what he thinks is a stolen document. When the con men have to improvise, Richard asks Rodrigo to use his savings to set up the deal. Is Rodrigo being conned? Written by
A Gem: John C. Reilly, Diego Luna and Maggie Gyllenhaal were never better together.
Lovers of the grifter genre - you will love this one most of all. It earns a 9 out of 10 from yours truly. Sincerely. Sure, I'm biased for the genre.
But this one has the style of a low budget 'Sting' with a story line on par with Steve Martin's 'The Spanish Prisoner'.
Grifter movies rely on competent, likable con men and women, gullible marks and a logical plot. The audience can be(come) the mark, as can the cons themselves. That's why this genre yanks me in and why it entertains so well. I am (you are) the detective. Figure out what's going on before they tell you: That's the ame. I'm a cynic by nature and I'm always equal to the task.
Now this one - I couldn't figure it all out before they revealed it. What they reveal is worth the wait and meandering through the story. I doubt you'll piece it all together either. Therein lies how it earned its 9.
The plot works. Oh . . . and "Cut to the chase' will never be the same after you see how "Criminal" cuts to it. It's brilliant and timed with perfection. It's something you'd expect from the likes of Spike Lee.
Sorry to be oblique here; but if I tell you any more, the ending would be exposed. The last two minutes tell all - and the first 85 are every bit as entertaining and important. John C. Reilly, Diego Luna and Maggie Gyllenhaal are worth the admission price. Superb, all! See it. Tonight!
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