Compiled by: Jack Foley
THE heist/con movie gets another spin in the latest Nicolas Cage
offering, Matchstick Men, directed by Ridley Scott.
And the word from the States on this one is pretty cool, with
the majority of US critics describing it as a hit.
Leading the way is the Chicago Sun-Times, which declared
that 'the screenplay for Matchstick Men is an achievement of Oscar
calibre - so absorbing that whenever it cuts away from 'the plot,'
there is another, better plot to cut to'.
While the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that 'Matchstick
Men] is what you get when a bunch of talented pros get together
to make a movie without worrying about Oscar nominations, career
moves and 10-Best lists. They're just having fun, and chances
are, you will, too'.
The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, described it as
'a clever look at con artists and their games of deception', while
Village Voice found that 'artful distraction is the key
to a successful con, and Cage does more than that for Matchstick
Men, dazzling the viewer with a veritable ob-com sonata based
on a plethora of tics, hitches, stutters, twitches, and obscure
Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, went one further, stating
that 'actors Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman perform
heavy lifting in the emotional department, almost to the point
we forget the movie is about con artists - which turns out to
be the film's own con'.
The Washington Post invited viewers to 'let it swindle
you; it's part of the fun. In fact, it's all of the fun'.
While the San Jose Mercury News referred to it is 'a whimsical
winner in which everybody seems to be having a blast'.
A word of caution, however, was sounded by the New York Post,
which felt that 'despite the fine acting, you may end up feeling
as suckered as Roy's victims'.
And the Boston Globe felt that 'Rockwell is a hoot as
Frankie, but during the stretches when he's not on screen, the
air goes out of the film'.
But, in the main, the word was almost universally strong...
USA Today opined that Matchstick Men is 'a well-acted
and intriguing exploration of dishonesty in its varied forms,
leavened with a dry comic touch'.
While Entertainment Weekly advised that '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'.
While Newsday pointed out that it is an 'unusually intimate
outing for director Ridley Scott [which] glides along a slick,
shiny, Hollywood-style surface. But the actors keep it real throughout'.
And Rolling Stone felt that 'Cage and Rockwell play off
each other with devilish finesse'.
The final word, however, goes to the Chicago Tribune,
which summed it up perfectly by stating that 'if Matchstick Men
isn't the classic con The Sting was, it still empties our pockets
with the fast hands of a master'.
We would urge you to see it.