by Allie Vasserman
March 29, 2021
Ocean’s Eleven is a 2001 heist movie directed by Steven Soderburgh that inspired two sequels and one spinoff and deserves a revisit. It stars George Clooney as master thief Danny Ocean, Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan, Matt Damon as the skilled pickpocket Linus Caldwell, Julia Roberts as Danny Ocean’s ex-wife, Tess, along with Don Cheadle as Basher Tarr, Carl Reiner as Saul Bloom, and Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict. This movie is a remake of the 1960s Ocean’s Eleven and is the start of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.
The movie begins when Danny Ocean is released from prison and meets up with Rusty Ryan to plan a casino heist. They want to rob 150 million dollars from an impenetrable vault that is shared by three casinos, each of which is owned by Terry Benedict, the antagonist of the film. To rob this vault, Danny and Rusty put together a team of eleven men, which includes Basher Tarr, Saul Bloom, and Linus Caldwell. Because the vault is impenetrable, the team needs to pull multiple cons to get into it. They spend weeks planning this heist and several days executing it. Even though the team runs into several bumps and distractions during their heist, they find clever ways to work around them. One of those distractions is Danny’s ex-wife, Tess, Terry’s girlfriend who is working as a museum curator in one of his casinos. Rusty believes that Tess is a liability to the heist because Danny still has feelings for her, and this provides a small conflict between the two main characters in the movie.
I like how well the cast and characters work together in this movie. The main characters, especially George Clooney and Brad Pitt, have great chemistry with each other. Their characters seem to read each other’s mind, something especially enjoyable in a movie about con artists who are constantly deceiving somebody. And the movie contains some humorous scenes that show off the characters’ colorful personalities and make the film especially entertaining to watch. Each of the heist members’ introduction scenes perfectly represents their personalities. Everyone in Ocean’s Eleven gang has a specific skill necessary to the heist, and everyone works well together to succeed in their plan. While the act of stealing 150 million dollars is a crime, Andy Garcia’s Terry Benedict is so unlikeable that we can’t help rooting for Danny Ocean’s gang to succeed in their heist to rob him. I found Ocean’s Eleven very enjoyable, and I think it’s a great movie for the whole family to watch together.