Critic Reviews



Based on 38 critic reviews provided by
The A.V. Club
A combination of criminal smoothness and overloaded neuroses, Cage pulls off the lead role better than any actor imaginable.
Credible? Not really. But Cage and Rockwell play off each other with devilish finesse. And Lohman (White Oleander) is on fire -- she's a comer.
Chicago Tribune
This movie is a model of technique, beautifully crafted, often brilliantly acted by Cage and the others, but it's a bit hollow at the center.
Dallas Observer
That's where the movie falters: It tries to give Garcia's book a heart and conscience it didn't need and never demanded.
Entertainment Weekly
Actually, there's one other way to approach Matchstick Men, and that's to forget all about neuroses and con artistry and admire the movie instead for the unsettlingly beautiful directorial study in geographical mood that it is.
Odd mixture of ultra-sleek visuals, psychological probing, "Paper Moon"-like father-daughter swindling, self-improvement efforts and abrupt tough-guy stuff keeps the picture percolating, even if it seems too artificial to genuinely convince on an emotional or dramatic level.
Scott's finesse can't entirely disguise the mechanical nature of Nicholas and Ted Griffin's script, which has one too many twists for its own good. Fun while it lasts, but it's a bit of a con job itself.
Village Voice
Single-dad sitcom is not Sir Ridley's forte but, anachronistically evoking the ring-a-ding-ding ambience of "Auto Focus" and "Catch Me If You Can," his mise-en-scène is as impeccable as Roy's pad.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The movie is moderately enjoyable, but it also makes you feel conned: It offers up a disturbing protagonist and then substitutes cuteness for character.
L.A. Weekly
Its characters are as flimsy and expendable as the title suggests, while only the most gullible of viewers (i.e., those who've never seen a David Mamet picture) will likely be duped by the painfully et cetera who's-conning-whom antics or the mounds of forced sentimentality under which they're ill-disguised.

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