Ocean’s Eleven review – Frank Sinatra caper remake is ridiculously enjoyable

Directed with brio by Steven Soderbergh, this brings off the combination of action and tongue-in-cheek comedy which eluded the original movie

It's almost alchemy. The dross of Frank Sinatra's home-movie vanity project has been transformed into a ridiculously enjoyable caper directed with brio by Steven Soderbergh, who brings off the combination of action and tongue-in-cheek comedy which eluded the chairman of the board and his put-upon director Lewis Milestone. Soderbergh puts together a star-studded crew headed by George Clooney, as Danny Ocean, the ex-con who wants to rob three Vegas casinos simultaneously while wooing back his ex-wife, Julia Roberts, who has been snared by the creepy casino owner, Andy Garcia.

Among the 11, there are only a few weak links. Don Cheadle has a silly and pointless British accent, presumably there to give the film an extra bit of Italian Job ancestor worship, and Matt Damon, as so often, is callow and uninteresting. Roberts, in keeping with the film's ineradicable macho ethic, has little to do other than hang around her hotel room, fretting.

On the plus side, the business of busting into bank vaults through enormous circular steel doors, substituting security videotapes and lowering oneself on steel wires past infra-red security beams is as watchable as ever. Soderbergh makes it look very easy.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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