Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Caper, Ensemble Film  |   Release Date - Dec 7, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Michael Hastings

Cool, calm, collected, and low-key -- almost to a fault -- director Steven Soderbergh's starry remake of 1960's plodding Rat Pack vehicle may be little more than a muscle-stretching exercise for the newly minted Oscar-winner, but at least it's an audience-pleasing one. Ocean's Eleven is a hodgepodge of some of the director's pet influences: the deft multi-character juggling of Robert Altman, the just-the-facts policier technique of Jules Dassin or Francois Truffaut, and even some of the high-gloss pyrotechnics of David Fincher or John McTiernan. In many ways, it's Soderbergh's least distinctive film: the casual explosions, rag-tag rapport, and only-in-the-movies plot conveniences are just a notch away from the territory of the director's one-time nemesis Jerry Bruckheimer. Where he makes the material his own is in the casting -- this motley crew is more geek than chic, and they all play off each other incredibly well -- and in the zippy dissection of the complex heist. So while Ocean's Eleven isn't as funny or as involving as it could be -- in other words, it's not Out of Sight Part II -- watching Soderbergh spin his wheels is still more enjoyable than just about anything out there.