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  • segacs5 February 2005
    There's this rule in Hollywood that may be unwritten but is nonetheless ironclad: stick to the formula. The hero can't die in a romantic comedy. The drama can't be too funny, and the comedy can't be too sad. Action flicks can't be too deep, and "serious" movies have to be somewhat boring.

    On the rare occasions when some movie comes along that breaks these rules, we usually get cinematic excellence. But with Confidence, don't be expecting any deviation from the format. Confidence is a fun, enjoyable, light caper movie. It doesn't pretend to be anything else. And for what it is, it's not half bad.

    Edward Burns plays a con man, Jake Vig. Together with his crew of seasoned, confident fellow con men, he scams people out of money. Lots of money. And of course, sooner or later he's bound to pick the wrong person to scam. In this case it's a seemingly innocuous accountant who just happens to work for a mob kingpin, cheesily called "the King" (but played brilliantly by Dustin Hoffman). In a tight spot, Jake agrees to do a con and split the proceeds with the King, to get him off his back. What follows is the usual series of crosses, double-crosses, and triple-crosses while everyone tries to figure out who to trust and who's about to screw who over.

    When I say that Confidence follows the rules, I mean it. Crime capers must have wise-talking characters. This does. Crime capers must be stylish. This is. Crime capers must have the token female, whose role is to be sexy but not too sexy. Rachel Weisz fills the part here, and does a decent job at it. (Other such token women included Julia Roberts in Ocean's Eleven, and Angela Bassett in The Score). Crime capers must make the audience scratch their heads trying to piece it all together, but must not make them think about any deeper moral issues of right and wrong. Again, Confidence lives up to that deal on both counts.

    Still, it was fun escapist entertainment. And, without giving away too much of the ending, let's just say that I'm always impressed with a movie that manages to surprise me. That alone makes it worth seeing.
  • Definitely one of the best con-artist movies ever. Throughout the movie, I kept thinking of the many possible twists possible, but I never really saw the final big twist - and thought it could all come together so nicely and believable. The movie is paced smoothly (there are no tedious scenes or moments you feel you've missed something), the acting is excellent (Hoffman's character seems overdone at first, but the creepy-weird character he plays is believable and, therefore, all the more serious and scary), the cons they play are very smart (and convincing), and the way it all comes together at the end is just beautiful (although the overall scheme is complex and plays many twists on the audience, it is not at all difficult to follow what 'really' happens). All in all, a very enjoyable movie, with genuine suspense, characters we get to like (and even care about - to the amount possible for grifters), excellent acting and a worthy end. 7/10 (good movie - not great, but above the average)
  • Dustin Hoffman isn't charming or caring or understanding in "Confidence." Here he's not just evil, he teeters on the brink of uncontrollable madness - but with a dollop of humor that makes his violent nature more interesting (but not appealing). He is a creep!

    "Confidence" is the latest in the unending string of films about men and women scam artists always scheming for that truly earthshaking big score. (There must always be an enticing, enigmatic woman for a film of this kind to keep viewers engrossed, e.g., "The Thomas Crown Affair".) And the crooks usually have soft spots in their hearts and a propensity to make silly - even deadly - errors. And at least one member of the group, usually the leader, has to look good in a well-tailored suit.

    That's the situation here as Edward Burns plays the honcho of a small band of swindlers who really seem to have bonded together. They trust each other - but no one else. But, of course, they must deal with new "co-workers" whose motivations and alliances are suspect but hardly clear. And we also have a pair of the LAPD's Not Finest adding a humorous dimension not often found in tough rogue cops on the take.

    And then there's Rachel Weisz - I've been a fan of her acting since "About a Boy" and "Enemy at the Gates." Certainly she's an emerging star and it's her acting ability plus her beauty that's taking her to leading roles. An English actress, she joins Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman - Down Under natives - in flawlessly speaking like a Yank (or a SOCAL denizen, not quite the same thing).

    Don't look for a true mystery here. This isn't David Mamet's "The Spanish Prisoner." But it is a four-star show by a fine ensemble cast.

  • Hmmm... I watched it and it sounded a lot like the Sting. And then I watched the documentary that came with the DVD and the screenwriter said that he watched "The Sting" and then wrote this movie.

    He basically copied "The Sting." Just that he took out the characters and the ambiance. He added a wasted voice-over.

    I think I can imagine the thought process behind this movie: Let's take "the Sting" and give it a noir edge to it. Then we'll update it to modern day LA (even though the screenwriter wanted a cliché-ridden NYC) and we'll include a whole lot of quick cuts and fancy colours because that's what the MTV generation likes these days.

    Watch "The Sting" instead. It's much better.
  • Sant Jordi4 April 2003
    Everyone must love a good con artist tale. We all see our selves as both victim and perpetrator. We love the thrill of the ride, of the something for nothing, of doing bad, but not really hurting anyone who does not deserve it. These are the archetypical elements of a good con movie, and Confidence delivers them with panache.

    There is nothing really new here. No mind bending twists beyond the twists that have to be constructed for a picture like this to succeed, and succeed it does. Why? It is the cast. Everyone delivers the performance of their career in the film, and I mean everyone. I have not seen Dustin Hoffman act in a long time, and here he does much more than phone in the part. He proves himself to be a real risk taker. Nothing less can be said of any of the cast members, some familiar, others not so. This may be the defining role of Edward Burns' career, and likewise for Rachel Weisz. I did not even recognize Andy Garcia, that is how transformed we has. Imagine Paul Giamatti in a role that you did not want to slap him for or ask why he was wasting his talents!

    This film is like a really rich dessert. Even though you know it is not good for you, you just cannot help yourself because it is so delicious.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm sure a lot of people enjoyed this movie and there's nothing wrong with that. But this-tik-tac-everybody's-in-on-it flick just didn't make much sense and partly due to that, it makes for a very disappointing pastime.

    They tried, boy did they try... The over styled acting was annoying (Paul Giamatti leading the bunch) and almost made it a b-movie. But that's where the dialog came in to finish the job. Not to mention the soundtrack which was a blunt rip off.

    This is one of those con-movies which in the end could have had God in on it to save the day. It is such an amazingly bad story that they had to use close to 20 plot twists to try to fool the audience that it would hold up. What a mess…

    Actually, the only thing that made the plot work was Andy Garcia being in on the scheme, like we didn't suspect that coming. The fact that they had to compare the cleverness of their scheme to complicated chess gaming to convince the viewer, made it painfully obvious that it really wasn't.

    Confidence could have been an OK-movie if it just didn't try so damn hard to be what oceans11 was. It's exactly like Dustin Hoffman said: 'sometimes style can get u killed' Apparently, it can kill a movie too…

  • This film is fabulous. Great writing, dialogue. Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying. You will clap, laugh, grin from ear to ear for the ride ride it takes you on. Quick, smart, funny, fresh with its searing wit. I applauded at the end in thanks for the ride.
  • Twists and turns, that's what makes a story, whether it's a book or a film. Since Hitchcock's superb thrillers, I like to think that I've seen most if not all movies of the genre, yet this one really surprised me that much I had to see it again right away. The plot is very original, but the sometimes staccato dialogs and use of high speed American slang language is sometimes difficult to understand for a non-American.

    Nevertheless I enjoyed watching Jake Vig(Edward Burns)very much, his coolness reminds me of James Stewart and the catch of the film reminded me a little bit of Swordfish-Travolta's latest and one of his best movies ever. Dustin Hoffman's character is very convincing as an independent gangster whose money-collector gets involved in a scam and looses $150.000,- to a group of four slick hustlers.

    It's this team, which members are so diverse yet fit together so perfectly that it makes me want to see another film starring the same con men, director Mr. James Foley, please give us a sequel............
  • I avoided this movie for while, i looked at the cover and put it back, looked again, put it back. Months passed and for some reason i just took a chance and bought it. I have to say i'm glad that i did.

    Basically its a slick thriller about money and power, with a good cast, solid plot and enough well crafted twists to make it a little special.

    It isn't a masterpiece, but it is certainly worth watching, and the story is linear enough to appeal to a wide audience.


    If you enjoyed this you'll probably like 'SWORDFISH' and 'OCEANS 11' both have a similar feel.
  • meeza29 July 2004
    I am quite confident that 'Confidence' will be included in My Top 10 Films of 2003. However, there are others which do not abide by this constitution. Unfortunately, the film was a box office disappointment. Therefore, my job is to convert those who escaped 'Confidence' in the multiplexes and convince them to view it on DVD. 'Confidence' stars the personable Edward Burns as Jake Vig, a confident con artist who heads up a gang of trickery-consumed swindlers. Vig has a big job to do when he is ordered by a seasoned-veteran conman named Winston King to grift a business tycoon. Dustin Hoffman's performance as Winston was smokinnnnnnnnng! James Foley's patterned direction possessed intriguing qualities that contributes positively to the unanticipated plot. You will be consumed with numerous narrative twists. Screenplayer Doug Jung is one 'jung' player that is bound to pick up future projects (screenplay projects that is). The supporting acting of the film has to be considered as one of the elite of the year. Besides Hoffman's electrifying work, we had show stopper performances by Rachel Weisz, Paul Giamatti, Andy Garcia, Luis Guzman, Tony G, and Brian Van Holt. Burns' also does strike it up in his starring role as Jake Vig. It's his 'viggest' acting performance so far in his underrated career. Eddie's consummate coolness and charismatic presence are conjuncting components which make 'Vig' the big part of 'Confidence'. Contrary to popular belief, 'Confidence' is one you should be confined to. ***** Excellent
  • A mediocre script that is saved by the performances of its actors. Ed Burns does pretty good job as the lead in this film and Dustin Hoffman whose brief appearance here shows how a true legend works. Rachel Weisz makes this film a lot of fun with her performance as a sexy female con, and Andy Garcia continues to make himself into one of the great character actors of our generation. The big problem this movie has is its script, and the plot holes and continuity problems that come with it. You can tell that the story really was not though out well, and you can see the rewrites in some of the scenes in the film. Maybe if the script were more though out, we would have had a better movie than we have here right now.
  • dromasca19 September 2003
    'Confidence' is an empty exercise in style. Based on a crooks scheme story filmed with some skill, and acted pretty decently by a good cast, it soon falls in routine and looks like a useless effort. The film is too technical and never succeeds to make us care about the characters or to entangle us in the grip of the plot. Even the final twist in the story comes too late - they lost us already, and good chances are that the spectator went out of the theater, or took the DVD out of the player already. 6/10 on my personal scale. Can be avoided.
  • From the start it became obvious that this film owed a lot to the likes of Snatch and Lock, Stock et al. At least, it was pitched at the audience in a very similar way, though without the comedy element that made the aforementioned films fun to watch.

    Given its attempted rip-off of other movies, its no surprise that the story has a few twists along the way. Trouble is, they were kind of predictable. At least, they would have been if I had been paying more than casual attention to the film. The truth is, I found it difficult to get interested in this story. Too bland, too derivative, too much of everything. Trouble is, other films have already done it, and done it better. Imagine watching a remake of the Godfather, but with completely different actors. You'll have some idea of how Confidence made me feel.

    All in all a dull and uninspiring film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ....only very mild spoilers....

    "Confidence" is a decent little con flick with some nice twists in the latter-half.

    The main strength of the the film is the performances from Edward Burns, and in particular, Dustin Hoffman.

    Hoffman plays "The King", a sick, twisted "recovering" sociopath who takes a liking to Jake(Edward Burns) even though Burns stole a bunch of his money.

    Their interaction early in the film really is the highlight. The next best part is a nice final twist.

    The film has style, but nothing we haven't seen before. There's a huge dose of Steven Soderbourgh going on here with the shots and the music, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, albeit unoriginal.

    The film also lacks action, and doesn't really have any stand out moments of greatness.

    All that said, I found this to be worth my time. Not sure I would go out and buy it, but Hoffman and Burns are personal favorites, and if I did buy this one, they would be the reason why.

    Rachel Weisz is fine in a supporting role, but the film could have used a little more character development with her and her budding relationship with Burns. Giamatti's character suffers in much the same way.

    In summary: While we've seen this before, the lead characters jump off the screen and the rehashed style is still effective. I could give this a mild recommendation.

    You'll like this if you liked:Out of Sight(better), Albino Alligator(worse), or Money For Nothing(slightly worse).
  • These Mamet-style, "quadruple-cross" movies are fine per se, but since the viewer knows he can't take any of the events at face value, the film needs something to offer the audience beyond its convoluted plot.

    A bit of charm on the part of the characters perhaps? Instead they are played as suave but obnoxious grifters.

    Hoffman gives the impression he's trying too hard, but Andy Garcia is great.
  • Foley's 'Confidence' is very much a formulaic gangster con-thriller with the usual gang, the villain, the feminine touch, the weapons and money and the twists. But it still manages to remain engaging and entertaining. It's a small film but the resources have been adequately used and it is very well executed with style and substance. The cinematography and visuals are wild and the score is energetic.

    The story's pretty tight and moves at a steady pace. The characters are richly defined. The dialogues are sharp, witty and funny. Edward Burns's voice-over adds to the humour. Doug Jung does a splendid job indeed in the writing department.

    Performances by all the actors is great. Edward Burns is brilliant as the superstitious con artist Jake. His fellow team-members Brian Van Holt and Paul Giamatti are equally good. Rachel Weisz oozes sensuality (but thankfully doesn't go overboard with it) and acts very well. Andy Garcia is adequate and Dustin Hoffman is a natural (this guy will make one laugh out loud).

    'Confidence' is a slick stylish thriller that doesn't pretend to be anything else, when compared to other weaker movies like 'The Heist', 'Ocean's 11' or 'The Score'. It follows the formula of the genre but it's a smart film and has its twists that are enough to grip your attention.
  • Seeing as this is a movie about con artists you have to know that things may not always be as they seem to be. It's safe to assume that somewhere along the way somebody's getting the rug pulled out from underneath him. Somebody's getting conned. Unfortunately in this instance the audience is getting somewhat conned as well. It's a movie of tricks, a movie which wants to impress you with how smart it is. But it's not nearly as smart as those involved in making it would like to believe. It's all too predictable and thus in the end not nearly as dramatic as would be hoped. As any good con artist movie would this one has all kinds of twists and turns to try and throw you off. But you can see where this is headed a mile away. The movie tries to fool you but it telegraphs its ultimate destination very early on. The big surprises are ultimately not surprising at all. And thus the movie fails.

    If the story ultimately lets you down you would hope that the movie at least works as a good bit of fun. But we are denied even that pleasure. It's rather dull, moments of true excitement are very few and far between. The whole movie suffers from a lack of personality which is best personified by the lead character of Jake Vig, played by Edward Burns. This is the character at the heart of the movie, it's his story, he even serves as the film's narrator. And the character just doesn't work. Burns obviously was going for cool, calm and collected in his portrayal of Jake. In that he succeeds but in doing so he has created a character that's rather boring. There's no spark to this guy, no reason why the audience should identify with or care about him. There's nothing memorable about him. On the other end of the spectrum there's Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of the crime lord known only as The King. This character is, to put it mildly, an eccentric fellow. A little too eccentric to take seriously. We're supposed to find him menacing but that's quite a stretch. It's another key character which just doesn't work. Which leaves very little left to potentially salvage the movie. Some of the supporting performances, notably those of Paul Giamatti and Rachel Weisz, work better but they are not nearly enough to prop this movie up. The key characters don't connect, there's very little in the way of fun or entertainment, and after jerking you around all the way through the story lands with a resounding thud. Pretty much a total misfire.
  • Everyone probably thought they had seen the last of the caper movies when Sinatra et al. made the original Oceans 11 forty years ago. Not so, as this film inter alia is abundant proof of its re-emergence. The Brit Gangster revival cycle initiated by "Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels" seems to have cross germinated with the "Oceans Eleven" remake and spawned a genetically modified caper for the 21st. century of which this film is but one of many.

    Normally my John Bull heart would swell with pride as Pinewood influences Hollywood but not so in this case. Guy Ritchie's shtick does not travel and this film just does not quite work on a number of levels.

    I have described this film as a caper but I think the director has tried to make something more than a simple caper movie. However there are problems with this approach. First of all it seems he cannot decide what tone it should take. Is it ironic or parodic or a comic book adventure, a pastiche or a spoof? No one can tell. The director probably feels that the film dances nimbly between all these categories artfully evading any pigeon hole. However as a humble viewer I just felt it was a mishmash that lacked the courage of its convictions to set out its stall in any particular category. It did not convince as an example of irony or a comic book adventure or an exercise in cool.

    I think someone defined a caper movie as one in which the people making the film had more fun making it than the audience had watching it In that case the film falls straight in the middle of the caper bracket. the film is too slick and too knowing. These are common afflictions in contemporary films which you would probably overlook if the film was good enough in other respects. Although this film has redeeming features they do not compensate for these shortcomings.

    It has some great character actors in the cast who give good performances Giametti, Guzman, Garcia in fact everyone except the two main actors portraying the central couple Edward Burns and Rachel Weisz. The character played by Burns is supposed to be the hub around which the whole film revolves but I am afraid in this case the axle is broken. Burns cannot carry the film and is constantly outshone by the actors that surround him. I get the impression that he is supposed to be the old-fashioned straight (in the old sense) lead whose looks offset all the ugly character actors. However he radiates zero menace or malevolence or evil or anything that might make him believable in the role. "Things to do in Denver when you're dead" survived without a good looking bland central character so why does this film need one. Maybe the guy is "box office" as I believe they say, but I have never heard of him so how exactly did he add to the film.

    And so on to the vexed subject of Rachel Weisz's performance. It amazes me that Americans tolerate my fellow nationals doing lame non-specific non-regional faltering American accents. She came across as a Helena Bonham Carter for the 2000s. If this had been done by Merchant Ivory then she might have fitted right in but it wasn't and she didn't.

    I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone but a couple of the set ups for con tricks were just poor. I will mention one episode which is not intrinsic to the plot where a rich customer in a jewellery shop gets reeled in. It is a popular misconception in films that rich people are stupid dupes who are easily parted from their money. This is lazy plotting. Rich people are usually not rich by accident unless they are lottery winners of course. They are rich because they know how to get money and then how to hold on to it. Is it really that easy to part them from their money? A lot of con artists doing time might suggest otherwise.

    My final issue with the film is the first ten minutes which are as wooden as any episode of "Murder she wrote". Is this a stylistic device or are the first ten minutes of the film just really badly made. The jury is out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Confidence is one of those hit and miss movies. When it works it is brilliant however there are too many inherent flaws to make it worth recommending. Principally the biggest draw is Dustin Hoffmans performance. His character, the mobster "King", a sleaze bag with a volcanic personality, reminded me a lot of the character he played in the understated 1970's classic crime/drama Straight Time (which if you have not seen you really should check out. The scenes of Hoffman simultaneously threatening and coming on to Ed Burns are tense and darkly humorous.

    At other times the movie tries to be quirky and with its jaunty musical score gives the film a frustratingly uneven tone. Edward Burns is fine as the leader of the scam artist crew but i didn't buy into the other crew members one of whom should really stick to comedy. The addition of Rachael Weisz to the crew failed to impress me. When you consider strong female roles that make an impression in for example The Grifters and House of Games, Weisz really comes up short. The snaring of their mark for the sting to pay off King does not ring true. The promise of a honey trap is floated but the banker does not even have to sleep with Weisz in order to be suckered in and this is not believable. Andy Garcia pops up in an extended cameo to harass the two goonish cops who are helping and skimming Ed Burns but again this facet is played mostly for laughs.

    The ending was entirely predictable when it should have left you guessing and again not enough Hoffman.
  • Confidence like most con movies is story driven. Of course there are the twists that make you think ahead as well as think behind. But what really separates this movie from the other con movies is the snapping editing. The scenes flow into each other and are full of sound and motion. The movie is only 97 minutes and it keeps the audience engaged through-out. The story is nothing special but is believable due to some solid acting from the leads. The supporting cast is good for the most part. Dustin Hoffman is particularly entertaining (not great) in this movie.

    I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes con films and modern fast paced crime flicks.
  • At first it may seem like it's done many times before, and is just following the footsteps of other popular films like Oceans eleven, but you will find that the more you watch it, the more you're drawn in, and before you know it you are in an exciting world with imaginitive characters and a plot line like a roller coaster, it twists and turns, and you never know whats going to happen next.

    Go and see Confidence, whether you like it or not, it will always stay in your mind, because it is definitley something new....
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers herein.

    Scam films have always been metaperformances: stories about characters who present a different story to other characters. It is a twist on the detective genre where you struggle with the writer for the future of the story. Here, there is no struggle - it is foreordained that the con artist will win. The fun is supposed to be the big surprise at the end.

    We all expect the most unattractive guy to get screwed by the most suave, and that's what happens here with this mechanical plot. Yes, you know that the original scam was a setup to get to the King. Yes, we know the tagalong thug is the killer. Yes, we know that everyone will get fleeced, and the guy and girl will end in a fade-out kiss. It is too predictable. Check out `Nine Queens' for something along these lines that follows almost exactly the same template but is much more fun.

    Or, you could break the template and have a real surprise ending, with a really sexy girl (rather than the tepid Weisz) and a truly suave guy as in `The Good Thief' which is vastly superior to this tired old business. An example of how tired: he meets the girl when she picks his pocket, then they have an exchange of wallets when they next meet.

    I mention `Good Thief' because of how it used the camera. It takes more than just jogging the thing around to make for an enquiring eye. `Thief' knows what it is doing and `Con' doesn't. So it has a fake cinematic stylishness.

    The final insult: instead of working on clever, multidimensional self-reference like `Thief,' it repeatedly is blunt with voice-overs telling you: `the con is a performance.' Self-reference for dummies like Lupis. That makes it a Play about a Play about a Play, and none of them done well. Oh, and it has Hoffman‘s excess which I suppose is better than Pacino‘s.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
  • In short: I have to say it was on of the most boring films I've ever seen. The plot tried to look amazing and flawless, but it was just over-combined. Rachel Weisz is damn beautiful and also skilled in acting, but most of the film is killed by absolutely expressionless Burns. Hoffman's role seemed purposeless to me. I like Andy Garcia and he didn't disappoint. The creators just failed to give it some spirit, something that would keep your eyes open through boring dialogs. The best thing in the movie the song Clocks in ending credits.

    Well, if I hadn't looked forward for this flick so much, maybe I would give it a higher rating. Slow, boring, surprise-less Ocean Two. No way.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jake Vig, a charming presence even in the worst of times, makes a perfectly beguiling grifter; as Jake Vig he displays both the smarts to spot big money and the ruthlessness to go after it. Early on in Confidence, he sets his sights on a big target -- The King, a pint-sized crime boss with an eye for strippers and a bad case of ADD. In other hands, the King might have just been a collection of quirks, but Hoffman has the effortless ability to make him both fascinating and complete. Together, he and Burns form a strong pair of tentpoles under which Confidence can develop its complicated scheme.

    Naturally, it's not as simple as Vig picking the King out of a crowd. He and his crew unknowingly fleece an important underling, stealing a substantial chunk of the King's money. Before they realize their error, one of their number has a bullet in his head and the rest are ready to cut and run, leaving Vig to do some fast thinking. So he approaches the King directly, offering to pay back the funds by pulling an even bigger scam on the crime lord's hated rival. Unfortunately, the plan requires an additional player, and Vig settles on a pickpocket femme fatale named Lily who may not have the group's best interests at heart. He also neglects to mention the federal marshal on his trail, who could land the entire lot of them in prison.

    Like he did in Glengarry Glen Ross, Foley demonstrates considerable skill working with an ensemble, aptly balancing the characters with the needs of the story. As a technical exercise Confidence is well-tuned, and the 98 minute running time feels just about right. The script brims with terrific dialogue, which the cast takes great relish in delivering, and the uniformly excellent performances never become forced or mannered .Dustin Hoffman gives a fresh and original performance that should have landed him at the very least an Oscar nomination. Like the length of the film is just about perfect. It's incredibly fast paced. This one movie that has re-watch-ability written all over it and an excellent flick that should not be missed.

  • This is really just another con game movie like "The Sting" or "House of Games" and the only thing that really stands out is the fun performance of Dustin Hoffman. Story is about a con man named Jake Vig (Edward Burns) who along with his crew bilks money out of people by faking murders but one day during a scam they learned they conned 100,000 dollars out of a bagman who works for The King (Hoffman). Vig comes to learn that they are in deep trouble if they don't give the money back because of the reputation of The King. Vig confronts The King at his strip club and tells him he will get his money back in due time but also wants him to finance him for another scam. The King agrees and sends along one of his henchman and a woman named Lily (Rachel Weisz) to watch them. Vig needs some dirty cops to help them and knows of two and they also agree but they don't know that an agent named Gunther Butan (Andy Garcia) has been tailing Vig for a long time and tells the two cops to help him. There is the usual double twists in the story and you never really know who to trust and of course Vig and Lily get romantic. For me their are two things that I did like about the film. The first is the sharp dialogue that is written for the characters. Its colorful and the characters are given some biting phrases that reminds one of David Mamet (At least a little bit!). The other thing is the performance of Hoffman. Its a treat to watch him as a mob boss and its a well written role as we see all the personality flaws that he exhibits. He talks of attention deficit disorder and of having to take pills to keep him in line. But their are things in this film that cannot go unnoticed. Burns just seems to be to young and to smart to be doing cons for a living. There are guys in his crew that are twice his age and they all seem to be capable of being in charge of their own gang. Why follow this young guy around? A role like this needs an actor who looks like a guy that has been around the block and been in tough scrapes before. A veteran like Bogart, Deniro, Hackman, Douglas and guys like that. Not some young buck who looks like he should be in college. Very familiar story that is pretty well made and thats because of the talent of director James Foley who I think is a very underrated artist. No where near as good as "House of Games" but its a decent effort by all. I do recommend this film but I hope viewers don't expect anything original.
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