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Matchstick Men (2003)

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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:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Eric Garcia (book), Nicholas Griffin (screenplay) (as Nick Griffin) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,919 ( 2,034)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Roy Waller
Sam Rockwell ... Frank Mercer
Alison Lohman ... Angela
Bruce Altman ... Dr. Klein
Bruce McGill ... Chuck Frechette
Jenny O'Hara ... Mrs. Schaffer
Steve Eastin ... Mr. Schaffer
Beth Grant ... Laundry Lady
Sheila Kelley ... Kathy
Fran Kranz ... Slacker Boyfriend
Tim Kelleher ... Bishop
Nigel Gibbs ... Holt
Bill Saito Bill Saito ... Pharmacist #1
Tim Maculan ... Pharmacist #2
Stoney Westmoreland ... Man in Line
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los tramposos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,087,307, 14 September 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$36,906,460

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,659,212
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alison Lohman went to the audition dressed and acted like a 14-year-old girl. Ridley Scott only realized her real age when she told him. She was 23 at the time. See more »

Goofs

Roy always opens and closes the door 3 times before finally opening it (making it 4 times) to the person waiting, however when the pizza delivery guy is at the door he only opens it once. 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 Late Night with Conan O'Brien: The Skeleton Show (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Danke Schoen
Written by Bert Kaempfert, Milton Gabler (as Milt Gabler) and Kurt Schwabach
Performed by Wayne Newton
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & TV Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Start and end very good
30 September 2003 | by rbverhoefSee all my reviews

The little problem that 'Matchstick Men' has is that there is not a real highpoint in the movie if the ending wasn't there. I think the movie starts as a very good movie. Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage) and Frank Mercer (Sam Rockwell) are con artists and the movie opens with showing how they collect some money. It is not as great as how George Clooney does it in 'Out of Sight' but it's a lot of fun. After this the movie shows who Roy is, a guy with all kind of weird things. Spasms, panic attacks, compulsive behavior. He wants things clean, he wants things a certain way, or he becomes a little crazy. He has pills for these things but he loses them and this is how he meets Dr. Klein (Bruce Altman), a psychiatrist.

Because of him Roy learns he has a 14-year old daughter Angela (Alison Lohman, who was actually 24). He wants to care for her, spend time with her, and even reveals what he really is. In a great scene she shows her father and us how she would be if she had the same job as Roy. Roy and Frank have a big job planned where they would collect 80,000 dollars from a guy named Frechette (Bruce McGill). In a way they are taking money but Roy looks at it differently. He thinks, and he is actually right, that they just give it to him. Because it is all illegal they can't complain after they are cheated.

Hoe these three big stories fit in one you have to see for yourself. The middle part is a little slow, but the ending makes up for that. All characters are played very well and Nicolas Cage is great. Ridley Scott has made another fine movie.


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