Jake Vig (Burns) is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss (Hoffman) and his enforcer.
Jake Vig leads a small Los Angeles based team of grifters, each member who has his specific role in each con: Jake is the main man, Miles the adversary, Big Al the scared innocent bystander, and Gordo the dead shooting victim. He also has in his pockets crooked LAPD detectives Lloyd Whitworth and Omar Manzano who basically play themselves as needed. Beyond getting the money, the basic goal of each con is to ensure the mark is so scared by what has happened - usually being an accomplice in a "murder" - that he won't come back looking for the money. Jake learns the hard way that their latest mark, Louis Dolby, who they fleeced for $150,000, was carrying money for a criminal named King, who takes a no prisoners approach in getting even, he who knows who stole his money. Instead of returning the $150,000 to King, money which he no longer has anyway, Jake convinces King to parlay that money and a bit more into a bigger con against a mark of King's choice, that person being banker Morgan ...Written by
Perfectly paced, excellent acting, beautiful con scheme
Definitely one of the best con-artist movies ever. Throughout the movie, I kept thinking of the many possible twists possible, but I never really saw the final big twist - and thought it could all come together so nicely and believable. The movie is paced smoothly (there are no tedious scenes or moments you feel you've missed something), the acting is excellent (Hoffman's character seems overdone at first, but the creepy-weird character he plays is believable and, therefore, all the more serious and scary), the cons they play are very smart (and convincing), and the way it all comes together at the end is just beautiful (although the overall scheme is complex and plays many twists on the audience, it is not at all difficult to follow what 'really' happens). All in all, a very enjoyable movie, with genuine suspense, characters we get to like (and even care about - to the amount possible for grifters), excellent acting and a worthy end. 7/10 (good movie - not great, but above the average)
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