Matchstick Men -
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Crime

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Written by: Eric Garcia (book), Nicholas Griffin (screenplay)

Length: 116 minutes

Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements, violence, some sexual content and language.

Nicholas Cage and Alison Lohman

A phobic con artist and his protege are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the con artist's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

The preview for this film was very intriguing. All chopped-up and soundtrack-ed and pretty much just cool looking. The film went for less soundtrack magic and more acting magic. In a way it was a bit of a let down seeing the scenes that were funny and snazzy in the preview be quieter and full-length in the movie. But what the movie lost in delivery it made up for in plot. I was pleased to see that preview didn’t do the movie’s plot justice, suggesting that it was the story of a con-artist and his relationship with his daughter, but the movie turned out to be better, yet still touching.

Nicholas Cage, once again going for acting over action (as in Adaptation), was hilarious. He completely wins over the audience, to the point where people are laughing in anticipation of his ticks and grunts. Sam Rockwell plays his partner/protégé in a way that recalls his quirky and over the top portrayal of game show host Chuck Barris in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Also impressive is the 24-year-old Alison Lohman playing Cage’s 14-year-old daughter.

I think Ridley Scott has another winner in Matchstick Men. Perhaps even a film worth seeing twice.


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