Ocean's Twelve (2004)

Genres - Crime, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Caper, Ensemble Film, Crime Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 10, 2004 (USA)  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - Australia , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Perry Seibert

At the end of The Player, Robert Altman got Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts to spoof their status as the biggest box-office draws of the time. Fifteen years later, Steven Soderbergh uses the same two stars in order to skewer celebrity culture as a whole. The post-modern finale dovetails nicely with the frisky formalist games that director Steven Soderbergh likes to play, but Ocean's Twelve is easily his least substantial film to date. That does not mean it is not entertaining. The large cast obviously had a blast working together and making the film. While that often leads to finished films that alienate audiences who are not allowed to be in on all the fun that must have been happening when the cameras stopped, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and everyone else all care more about their careers than their status as celebrities. They surely enjoy the perks of fame; there is no need for this film to exist other than for this collection of actors to revel in hanging out with celebrity friends. However, they fully comprehend how fluid their fame is, and therefore they do appreciate the audience. The viewer is put in the position of being in on the joke rather than having the joke played on them. With lesser talent, Ocean's Twelve might have come off as a crass attempt to cash in, but the first-rate crew and cast turn the film into a good-humored exercise in style over substance.