Out of Sight (1998) Poster


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Good Little Movie
dcshanno15 October 2004
Ah, 1998… Bill Clinton was still in the White House, the Gulf War had no sequel, gas was under $2.00 a gallon, and a kinda-known actress was in her pre-J. Lo/Jenny from the Block/Bennifer/media whore phase.

Back when she used to have a little (now she has a lot), Jennifer Lopez was actually enjoyable in Steven Soderbergh's 'Out of Sight.' I saw this in the theater when it came out and remember thinking it was one of the better films I'd seen that year. I watched it again last night on DVD, and I have to say that it still holds up. Clooney is finally given a worthy vehicle, and he and Lopez have actual, undeniable chemistry on the screen. The supporting players (especially the incomparable Don Cheadle) are perfectly cast. Soderbergh effortlessly knocks this one out of the park.

One critic gave the film two and a half out of four stars and claimed 'Out of Sight' was in need of a 'shot of adrenaline,' but I have no idea where he's coming from. When you think of all the bad movies that are released in any given year, you'd think you'd appreciate something like this.
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Yes, that's right...this movie is "Out of Sight".
Pavel-815 December 2004
When released in 1998, "Out of Sight" was Steven Soderburgh's most mainstream film to date, after he burst onto the indie scene a decade earlier with "Sex, Lies, and Videotape". Based upon the novel by Elmore Leonard ("Get Shorty", "Jackie Brown"), the movie tells the tale of odd couple Jack Foley (George Clooney), a career criminal, and federal marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez). After a unique first encounter, their paths continue intersecting, with various degrees of intent, to comprise the bulk of the story.

Similar to the Soderburgh-helmed "Ocean's Eleven", "Out of Sight" blends the standard apples and oranges of genres into a delicious smoothie. This is a drama, minus the driving intensity, light-hearted enough to pass as a comedy. It's a comedy, but not of the HAHA sort. The humor lies in things like Clooney's glances, JLo's relationship dilemmas, the paradox of Ving Rhames' self-righteous thief, and the sheer absurdity of Don Cheadle's gangsta. It's also a romance and a cop-and-robber story, but neither love nor crime is the whole point. All of these pieces unite to form a fantastic puzzle of a picture.

The tasty complexity is further deepened by the non-linear storytelling technique. Flashing backward here and there throughout the film is a good choice because the viewer can only fully understand the previous events with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Plus it eliminates what could have been a painful first half hour of exposition, instead spreading the backstory through the rest of the film.

The stylistic singular color palettes for different locations that Soderburgh later used magnificently in "Traffic" are present here as well. From bright sun-drenched Florida to the ice cold blues of Detroit, this technique serves as virtual atmosphere, allowing one to determine the geography even without the convenience of titles. In a non-linear film like this, that ease in recognizing time and place facilitates comprehension of what is happening when. Unique among Soderburgh's work (to my recollection) is the film's use of occasional freeze frames. Stopping the picture for just a second or two, Soderburgh gently identifies poignant moments, obvious or not, allowing an extra moment to deservedly linger on them.

With the high technical accomplishments, the acting almost doesn't matter, but the slightly understated method works wonders. Clooney is his usual suave self, complete with snappy dialogue and a cornucopia of confidence. In a role that "Enough" can only dream about, JLo almost looks like a real actress (joke). She is absent her too-common ditziness and easily holds her own, despite being a tad too glamorous. Rhames, Cheadle, and Albert Brooks are their usual solid selves, playing parts both similar and drastically different from their wheelhouses. Everyone seems to have perspective in their parts, not utilizing excessive gravity or levity, but rather hitting the appropriate notes as they inhabit their roles to perfection. Ultimately you believe all of these actors in their parts, even if JLo's skirts are entirely too short for a federal agent.

Like "Ocean's Eleven", "Out of Sight" is a very good film, merging quality in all aspects of film-making into a fully enjoyable two hour experience. The main themes of crime and love are basic, so the movie doesn't soar to remarkable heights. But if you're looking for a brilliantly made film that you might have missed on its theatrical run, espy Out of Sight and settle in for a quirkily involving night. If you saw it a few years back, check it out again to see Soderburgh's foundation for his own excellence.

Bottom Line: A wholly absorbing movie that serves as a film-making clinic of brilliance. 8 of 10.
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See? J.Lo CAN act!
David, Film Freak1 June 2002
Chemistry so hot that they ignite the screen. Too bad it didn't ignite the Box Office, but Out Of Sight is one movie both George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez can feel damn proud of. Maybe it's the fact that George's criminal character is *actually* funny and multi-dimensional. Maybe it's the fact that the storyline actually has a story to it - and an interesting one at that. Hell - maybe it's just that J.Lo walks around in skimpy outfits - curves flaunted - and likes to kick butt. After much consideration, I must concur: it's equal parts to all 3.

Strong performances by Clooney (Jack) and Lopez (Karen), as well as George's Ocean's 11 co-star Don Cheadle. Witty script and likeable characters with a satisfying and plot-twisting ending. What more can you want? Did I hear you say Jennifer Lopez naked? Yeah well, you won't get that here... but it's good all the same!
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The Resurrection and Gradual Appreciation of a Classic Film
gradyharp23 July 2006
Steven Soderbergh knows his way around the bizarre, nearly impossible story lines and can translate them to film as few others can. OUT OF SIGHT is a little masterpiece of film-making despite the fact that when it initially screened in 1998 it seemed to slip by theatergoers' attention. Based on the inimitable Elmore Leonard novel the story begs indulgence in credible situations but shines in quality of script and characterization and an atmospheric cinematic capturing of a dark, film noir comedy drama that grabs you by the head and holds you glued to the screen for the duration.

The story is rather simple on the surface - a jailed bank robber escapes with the help of his buddy and plans a major hit only to encounter a federal agent in pursuit of the two who becomes the love interest portion of this strangely convoluted tail. Subplots and sidebars are sprinkled throughout Soderbergh's telling of Leonard's story, serving to keep our minds alert and mesmerized by the plot development.

The cast is absolutely first rate with George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez and Ving Rhames especially pungent in roles that seem written for them. The strong supporting cast includes such fine actors as Steve Zahn, Catherine Keener, Don Cheadle, Luis Guzman , Isaiah Washington, Dennis Farina, and Albert Brooks. And for those who enjoy powerful sexual chemistry Clooney and Lopez offer some of their finest collaborative acting. This is a fine movie and one that doubtless in time will be considered and under appreciated Film Classic. Grady Harp
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The "Pulp Fiction" of 1998
tfrizzell4 November 2000
Wild and chaotic action/drama/comedy that was basically ignored by everyone in 1998, but was definitely one of the top ten films of the year. Bank robber George Clooney escapes prison one day and is tracked by a female federal marshal (Jennifer Lopez, in a very hot performance). There is definitely a chemistry between Clooney and Lopez that will lead to fireworks on more than one occasion. Clooney has teamed up with some crazed criminals for a jewel heist, but Lopez continues to track him relentlessly. "Out of Sight" is so full of, well, everything. It is packed with action, romance, drama, and some very black comedy. Clooney and Lopez do the best work of their careers. The supporting cast is super as well. Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames, Michael Keaton, Dennis Farina, and Albert Brooks all shine with the inventive screenplay and the top-notch direction. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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One of the best films of the 90's
davemograth29 February 2004
Great film. The characters seemed believable. The dialog well written, sharp, but not overly polished, no character has a monologue. How often in the 90's do we see a thriller, or crime mystery, or a buddy film, all components the film plays with, and would consider a discussion about the script? Leonard has a way with the practical aspects of crime, the fist fight and shoot outs are awkward, characters miss their mark more often than not, they run out of gas. How often in an action film does the hero miss a shot? I'm sick to death of wildly unbelievable stories, huge explosions and car chases. The photography is very well done and the soundtrack is fantastic. Of particular note is the editing, of which the film received an oscar nomination. One of the best love scenes in a contemporary film. What you hope you get with an adult crime movie, sleek, smart and sexy.
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Cool and Passionate
ianos9998 December 1999
'Out of Sight' is one of those rare films that can boast of having class in every department. The direction, script, cinematography, design and costumes disply such an acute and almost natural flair for bringing Elmore Leonard to the screen that it should be made illegal to film any of his novels without these people. But the acting is in a world of its own. Farina, Keaton, Rhames, Cheadle and Zahn all bring depth, comedy and intelligence to their roles. All are eclipsed however by the irresistable pairing of Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney. Clooney has finally managed to act without peering beneath his eyebrows and the effect is electric. This is the part he was born to play. His charisma is tangiable, but there is also a sense of fatalism whihc makes his character all the more compelling. Lopez, after her screaming shit-fits in the woeful 'Anaconda' proves that sexuality must also equal intelligence. Her Cisco is a mouth-watering mix of sass, beauty and cut-throat determination. It is one of those moments when you can actually see a star being born on screen. Put Clooney and Lopez together, and you have the type of chemistry with which executives have wet dreams over
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Great movie!
Jules1622 February 2000
I, too, had a little trouble buying that such an intense relationship was born from such a minor conversation between them in the trunk. However, when I was able to get past that inconsistency in the plot, I found a great movie. Clooney and Lopez have great chemistry and show that they are both actors worthy of recognition. I loved the editing--the choppy cuts and the freezing of certain scenes. And I have never seen a better seduction scene in my life. The supporting cast was great too, especially the incomparably zany Steve Zahn. And once I got past the improbability of the relationship being so intense that she would risk her career for it, I thought that the way that she did risk her career was just great. I laughed out loud at the scene when he waves to her from the elevator. That is just a wonderful illustration that not everything is clear-cut or easy to do. Clooney was phenomenal, so cool...and just resigned to his life. I loved it.

By the way, seeing this movie after Jennifer Lopez has launched her career in pop music simply infuriated me that Hollywood has all but lost a true talent to the world of bubblegum pop.
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Easily the best Elmore Leonard adaptation & a GREAT film
theo4710 July 1999
Expect good things in the future from everyone involved with this film, because they all come off nicely. Scott Frank gets Elmore Leonard just right, and Steven Soderburgh makes all the right decisions, pulling George Clooney's best performance out of him. Clooney has great chemistry with Jennifer Lopez, who is sly and tough as always. Their characters' conversation in a Detroit hotel bar is the sexiest scene I've ever seen. Albert Brooks and Don Cheadle are perfect, and Steve Zahn steals yet ANOTHER movie. The DVD is nice, if only for one deleted scene (right before the bathtub scene) that is hilarious, yet still never would've worked had they kept it in the film. SEE this film - and see how long the characters stay with you.
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Great Movie
claudonio15 February 2000
"Out of Sight" was one of the best movies of 1998, and yet it was ignored by moviegoers. I am amazed that most of George Clooney's movies fail, with the exception of "Batman and Robin" all of his films have been good. This film has good performances from a talented cast and great direction from an original story by Elmore Leonard. Highly reccomended.
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Oozes sexual chemistry
party21 February 1999
I like this film a lot - I thought its dialogue was pretty smart and the story a nifty spin on bank heists. What stood out for me though was the chemistry between Clooney and Lopez (the latter the sexiest role I have ever witnessed) - it made me adjust my polarneck on more than one occasion! Also the soundtrack is excellent (David Holmes and a couple of Isley Brothers tracks)
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Opposites Attract
seymourblack-17 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Out Of Sight" is a crime thriller which neatly combines action, comedy and romance with dialogue which is sharp, scintillating and witty and characters who are fascinating to watch. The humour is extremely enjoyable, the action is full of surprises and the characters, with their various flaws and weaknesses provide the movie with its strongest element.

Jack Foley (George Clooney) is a bank robber extraordinaire who's spent too much of his life in prison. His modus operandi involves the use of charm and intelligence rather than guns and masks but when his getaway car fails to start after his latest robbery, he soon finds himself incarcerated in a Florida prison.

He joins some other inmates in a jail break but is suddenly confronted by Federal Marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) who threatens to shoot him if he continues. Fortunately, Jack's friend Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames) had also been waiting for him outside the prison and quickly bundles Karen and Jack into the trunk of his car before driving off at great speed. Surprisingly, during their time together in this exceedingly confined space, the couple develop a certain rapport and it's quickly evident that there's a strong attraction between them.

During his time in prison, one of Jack's fellow inmates was Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks), an ex-Wall Street man who'd been convicted for being involved in insider trading. He'd openly told others in the prison about the $5 million worth of uncut diamonds that were hidden in his mansion in Detroit, so after the jail break, some of the escapees make their way to Detroit with the intention of robbing Ripley's house.

Jack, having reached a point in his career where he felt that he could never face another spell in jail, decides to take part in the robbery as it could provide him with one last big pay day before he retires from his life of crime. Karen, however, is determined to stay on his trail and their confrontation at the Ripley mansion turns out to be both tense and unpredictable.

Jack and Karen are both repeat offenders. He's had a long career of robbing banks and spending time in prison and Karen has consistently been attracted to the guys who she should be bringing to justice. They're both intelligent but also have lapses where their normally good judgement fails them. Getting involved with each other is dangerous for Jack and unprofessional for Karen. Jack also aims to profit from one last job although, by his own admission, he's never known of any criminal who's successfully achieved such a thing.

Clooney and Lopez are both very good individually and sensational together as they so powerfully convey the intensity of their mutual attraction. The supporting cast are also top class. Ving Rhames is superb as Jack's good friend whose weakness is his regular need to confess his wrongdoings to his sister. Don Cheadle is faultless as a vicious ex-boxer and ruthless murderer and Steve Zahn is funny and convincing as a slurring stoner who's not very bright and also totally unreliable.

"Out Of Sight" is a witty and offbeat film and the style of Steven Soderbergh's direction reflects this perfectly. The story about two opposites who attract each other is presented with great originality and the finished product is so engaging and enjoyable that it becomes one of those movies for which repeat viewings become irresistible.
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Caveat emptor!
mdean-226 January 1999
After reading (and falling for) all the hype, I rushed out to my video store and plunked down nearly $30 for this lifeless, dud of a picture. What's the big deal? Clooney and Lopez are unsympathetic, and Ving Rhames is simply wasted on this movie. I looked desperately for something to like, and found no redeeming value for this movie. It's boring, it's dull, it's unfunny, it's a waste of time and good money. There is one good thing--I got my money back.
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Confusing and Artsy
Bob-4516 June 2000
George Clooney plays a smug, smooth-talking (now THAT'S a stretch!) bank robber turned convict. Jennifer Lopez plays a luscious strong-willed "daddy's girl" federal marshall. Was I expecting HAMLET here? No, what I was expecting was a sensuous, electric, pulsating movie. Well, I didn't get it. I felt there was little chemistry between the two stars, and that is killer in this kind of movie. The most laughable scenes have Clooney standing up to genuinely dangerous looking black and white cons (isn't Clooney afraid he is going to break a nail?) This movie could have been a hoot if it didn't contain Elmore Leonard usual mean spiritedness. The best performances come from the peripheral players, Ving Rhames (like THAT is a surprise!), Don Cheedle, Catherine Keener, Dennis Farina, Nancy Allen (looking surprisingly fetching) and, especially Albert Brooks. Michael Keaton is also a hoot in an unbilled cameo as Lopez's thick, adulterous boyfriend; however THAT relationship undermines the credibility of Lopez's character. The movie is confusing. It starts with a botched bank robbery, which ends with Clooney incarcerated in the Glades Prison in Florida. Clooney escapes, with the help of Rhames, but Lopez just so happens to be on the scene. Lopez apprehends Clooney but is overpowered by Rhames coming up behind her (like Lopez wouldn't have been sweeping the area with that shotgun, duh?) Lopez and Clooney wind up locked in a trunk together, and they talk, as Clooney gets familiar with her thigh (like real romantic, guys.) Rhames and Clooney talk about a botched robbery (not the same robbery as the beginning, mind you), then are left behind by Lopez as she talks another thick partner into running off with the getaway car. We then see Clooney and Rhames arriving at the hideout. Clooney soaks in a hot tub, as Lopez sneaks up, stands over Clooney with her gun drawn. She then bends down, and Clooney kisses her, essentially pulling her into the tub. Suddenly Lopez wakes up in the hospital. What the hell is going on? Ah, dream sequence, duh... The film flashes back and forth in time with very little sense of transition (thankfully there are no more dream sequences). The director gives us quite a few flashes of "razzle-dazzle" photography and editing, none of which really adds to the excitement. I found myself squirming before this was over. If you liked GET SHORTY, you'll probably like OUT OF SIGHT. Include me out of any more Elmore Leonard.
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An Awful, Awful Display
daveisit23 December 2000
What can you say about a film like this? I know exactly what you can say. There are two lead roles with very famous and apparently good looking people playing these parts, but they are not actors. They were awful.

People do not seem to understand how bad this movie was because they could not stop staring at these mega stars. Lopez and Clooney may be cool in real life, but in this movie they were laughable. Please get real and recognize this movie for the trash it is.
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That Don't Impress Me Much
yvette-317 January 1999
Being a fan of Clooney and Lopez I was very disappointed in this movie. The 2 of them played their parts great but I just don't think they were meant to work together. I think it would have been better to see Clooney work with Pfeiffer for this movie rather than Lopez. They just didn't seem to click together, but that's just my opinion.
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Worst Clooney movie ever.
shakay14 June 1999
This must be the worst Clooney movie ever made. The Plot is very implausible, acting is bad and the script is even worse. What a waste of time ! What makes me wonder though how can this movie get average of 7 stars out of 10 ? It's not even worth 3 stars in my book. Don't bother renting.... Shak.
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Really boring movie
Floresco15 July 1999
When everybody is excited about a movie and I'm not I'm beginning to think there's something wrong. But this movie is plain boring. Yes, pretty people on a big screen, but no story, no humour, no nothing. I give it 5 out of 10.
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Hashed plot, redundant characters
sdonner15 June 1999
Out of Sight: been there, done that. Little action until the end, yes, Jennifer Lopez is hot, but come on, super stars don't -always- make for good movies.
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Out of Wack Sounds More Like It!!!
Coxer995 March 1999
A poorly written film, yet it's winning awards left and right. It astounds me! How did this film win the Writers Guild Awards? Apparently, there was a shortage in good taste this year, because this is not only poorly written, but everyone involved with it looks bored. Soderbergh annoys with his freeze shots when we come to the conclusion of a scene. Boy, does it annoy! Was it programmed to do that? If so, it worked wonders. Personally, I would have given the award to the Rugrats movie before this waste.
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A waste of money
Olove10 November 1998
At the moment rated for 7.9 ??? , oh my god!!! Did the whole film crew vote???? The story is so simple, the acting sucks, images are lousy. George what the hell were you doing? A total waste of money, a rip off.
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Could this movie be worst?
princessleia424 July 2005
This is one of the worst movies of all times. The acting was horrific, the dialogue was appalling and the characters stereotypical and boring. Jennifer Lopez is one of the worst actresses I have seen in my whole entire life and she should stick to dancing since its the only thing she's good at.

Anyone who honestly believes that this is a great movie needs their head examined. This is just another example of Hollywood taking a great idea for a story and turning it into boring, worthless drivel that people are *supposed* to like just because it has Jennifer Lopez in it.

If you had a choice out of watching this movie and flushing your five dollars down the toilet, in my advice flush the money. At least then, you wouldn't have wasted two hours of your life which you could have spent doing something constructive or interesting.
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Action Drama that should be kept well out of sight of serious film lovers.
benji-73 November 1998
Disappointing formula drama. Expected more...got much much less.
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SillyPuddy22 October 2003
Let me start off by saying this movie is nothing more than a vehicle for JLo and Clooney. It is not worth watching if you have a brain. I don't know what some people see in this movie to call it underrated but I would say it is quite overrated. JLo looks good and is completely unbelievable as a prison official. The escape scene is clumsy and ludicrous. The romance is forced and the story goes nowhere. I expected so much more but got nothing but a movie that lacked credibility, charm, suspense, intrigue, and humor. Everyone tries to act so tough and it just gets old after several scenes.
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