Do you have one of those movies that you can watch over and over again and enjoy it your hundredth time just as much as your first time? Ocean’s Eleven is one of those movies for me. My best friend and I would watch this movie all the time. We could even quote the whole movie. I have seen this so many times that if I fall asleep while watching it, I can tell you the exact moment I fell asleep. I can’t say that about too many movies.
What really makes this movie click is George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Their chemistry is superb. Seriously, every time they are on screen together, you are in for a treat. Their conversations flow like old friends together again, which is what their characters are. These fun exchanges extend to more than just the two leads. The entire team bounces back and forth off each other throughout the entire movie.
As the title suggests, the cast is fairly large. Ensembles can be difficult to balance each character’s screen time. Danny gets the most focus, which makes sense since his name is in the title, but the film does a great job of balancing everyone. I felt that each character got at least one scene with every other character, leading to some of the great exchanges like I mentioned above.
I’ve said before that the main reason I enjoy heist movies is for the setup. About seventy-five percent of the movie is spent on the titular eleven working together to prepare for the heist. Again it all comes down to these characters interacting with each other. No matter who is in the scene, they will do or say something that will make you smile. There are as many visual gags as there are verbal. As always, seeing the heist pulled off is the biggest payout. There were times when the camera would zoom or focus on an item that didn’t make sense in the moment but would be focused on again in the end and it would become clear why that item was important. Small things like that bring the film together for me.
I’ve been talking a lot about the eleven that I haven’t even brought up the rest of the cast. Andy Garcia is intimidating as Terry Benedict, the victim of Danny Ocean’s plan. He is mentioned several times before he is actually seen on screen. The film gives you an idea of the kind of person he is before he even shows up. Then you see his cunning and ruthlessness for yourself. Julia Roberts as Tess was good, too. The only characters she talked to was Terry, Rusty, and Danny so she didn’t have as many scenes as the rest.
Ocean’s Eleven is so enjoyable simply because of the cast. The heist may not be the most exciting of movie heists, but the planning and interactions between all the characters is so enjoyable. If the chemistry wasn’t there, this movie would fall flat. Thankfully the chemistry is top notch, making it rise above so many similar films
Cast & Crew
Steven Soderbergh – Director
Ted Griffin – Screenplay
David Holmes – Composer
George Clooney – Danny Ocean
Brad Pitt – Rusty Ryan
Andy Garcia – Terry Benedict
Julia Roberts – Tess Ocean
Bernie Mac – Frank Catton
Elliott Gould – Reuben Tishkoff
Casey Affleck – Virgil Malloy
Scott Caan – Turk Malloy
Eddie Jemison – Livingston Dell
Shaobo Qin – Yen
Carl Reiner – Saul Bloom
Matt Damon – Linus Caldwell
Don Cheadle – Basher Tarr
Michale DeLano – Casino Manager (“Walsh”)