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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 30, 2024


Jan 3, 2002 – The original Rat Pack is gone, but the thrill is still there, and director Steven Soderbergh has a wonderful time exploiting it in his 2001 remake of "Ocean's Eleven."
This version of the 1960 hipster clique classic holds up on a fine story, crisp dialog and what one critic has called an "expertly made piece of pure, unpretentious popcorn."
The first film — starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean, backed up by his buddies Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford — is remembered less for the quality of the film than as a star-studded vehicle for the peerless hipsters.
The majority of online critics, who rarely agree on anything praiseworthy, embrace the 2001 film as a finely crafted yarn. Even Rotten Tomatoes has accumulated 79 fresh, as opposed to 13 rotten, reviews.
Maybe it was time for director Steven Soderbergh, who has assembled a cast with its own charisma, to do something lighter than "Erin Brockovich" or "Traffic." He had said he wanted to make a movie that "has no desire except to give pleasure from beginning to end."
George Clooney is Danny Ocean, a thief who has just gotten out of the slammer and loses no time planning his next heist — one to top all others. Ocean plans to steal more than $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who just happens to be dating Ocean's ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts).
Ocean orchestrates his sophisticated, elaborate heist with the help of 11 hand-picked specialists including an ace card sharp (Brad Pitt), a master pickpocket (Matt Damon) and a demolition genius (Don Cheadle) as the main men. The other seven include Elliott Gould as a flamboyant business rival of Benedict's and Carl Reiner as what one critic calls "an ulcerous retiree brought back into the game."
Ocean has three rules for his eclectic gang: Don't hurt anybody, don't steal from anyone who doesn't deserve it, and play the game like you've got nothing to lose. Words to live by. Want a fourth admonition? Anyone in the market for some unadulterated fun should hurry out to Market Square East where the movie started Thursday.
"Ocean's Eleven" is rated PG for language and sexual content and is two hours long. It opened Thursday at Market Square East.

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