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  • Criminal [VHS]
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Criminal [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: John C Reilly, Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TV6AM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,983 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Very funny, very slick, very smart film.
L. Jerome
The plot twists and turns are slightly predictable, though I have to admit that I didn't forsee the ending.
T. Priebe
I mean, he is a jerk who has tried to screw over everyone else in the movie at one point or another.
William Krischke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 13, 2005
Format: DVD
As one of the many foreign film devotees who rank writer Fabián Bielinsky's 2000 film NUEVE REINAS from Argentina as one of the best caper films ever, I was completely satisfied with the 'American made version' CRIMINAL. Bielinsky co-wrote this screenplay with director Gregory Jacobs and the result is a terse, witty, fascinating, intelligent film that deserves 5 stars in every category.

Transposing the story (which takes place in one day) to Los Angeles opens up even more avenues of social comment than the original. The use of the various areas of LA that span from the wealth of Beverly Hills to the grandeur of the downtown Biltmore Hotel to the scruffy East LA neighborhoods and other underbellies of Sun City truly match the flow of the story.

Smarmy Richard Gaddis (John C. Reilly) is a small time crook who has experienced every aspect of con games. He dresses like a businessman, drives a Mercedes, and believes that if you're going to con the wealth out of money (which he does without conscience), you must look professional. He observes Rodrigo (Diego Luna) in a cafe doing some very minor con games and when Rodrigo is apparently 'caught', Richard acts the part of a vice officer and saves Rodrigo from being arrested. Here begins their partnership: Richard needs a sideman to assist in an important grifter scheme involving selling a valuable money bill (instead of the stamps with nine queens of the original); Rodrigo (who Richard re-names Brian to Anglicize him so he won't appear a Cholo) needs big money to pay off his father's gambling debt. Through a series of introductory can games they learn to 'trust' each other and the big game begins.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2005
Format: DVD
There's a really unusual feel to this film, with gritty cinematography that seems to reside somewhere between motion picture and documentary styles. Early on, it doesn't even feel like a movie, as it had me wondering why this film didn't have any musical score to speak of. Given time, though, Criminal really took off - and I must say the rather hip musical score that does indeed emerge really helps carry the mood and feel. I've never heard of Nueva Reinas (Nine Queens), the 2000 Argentinean original upon which the film is based, but Criminal does have something of a foreign feel to it and scores major points with its complicated con man deluxe storyline.

What begins as a day in the life of professional con man Richard Gaddis (played ably by John C. Reilly) turns into "the big sting" with lots of surprises along the way. You can't really relax, as new elements consistently pop up to interrupt the flow and keep you on your toes. Gaddis spots a kid hustling waitresses at a local casino and takes it upon himself to make the kid, Rodrigo (Diego Luna), his new partner. Gaddis "Angloes up" his name to Bryan, and the two basically walk all over town pulling two-bit cons orchestrated by the older mentor. Then, Gaddis walks into a potentially killer score when a former associate pops up with an extremely rare Treasury bill (which is intricately made but completely counterfeit) and asks Gaddis to make the sell to a filthy rich collector who, as it turns out, has to leave the country by the next morning (which means there won't be much time for intricate analysis of the note). A lot of roadblocks emerge on the road to this easy score, not the least of which is Gaddis' estranged sister Valerie (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who becomes an intricate part of the deal.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bart King on October 21, 2006
Format: DVD
I was entirely impressed with the 2002 Argentinian movie "Nueve Reinas" ("Nine Queens") on which CRIMINAL was based. In fact, the foreign film was so expertly written and paced, I was mostly curious to see what sort of a rip-off hatchet job the American version would look like. (What's up with that brain-dead title?)

More fool me. The cast (primarily John C. Reilly, Maggie Gyllenhall, and Diego Luna) work their parts well, and the plot is still pretty drum-tight. And while downtown LA may lack the texture of Buenos Aires, it yields its own interesting visuals. If you like a tidy little caper film with some nice twists, give this CRIMINAL a spin. Once you get to the end, you'll be tempted to back up and watch how pieces of the puzzle fit together.

SIDELIGHT: Listening to the soundtrack and watching the film's rhythms, I was reminded of Steven Soderbergh's underrated film, OUT OF SIGHT. More genius me. Subsequent research shows that Soderbergh assistant director Gregory Jacobs was at CRIMINAL's helm, Soderbergh himself co-wrote the screenplay under a pseudonym, and George Clooney (star of OUT OF SIGHT) is an executive producer. Yayness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John E. Winters III on February 28, 2005
Format: DVD
I haven't had the chance to see the movie yet but in response to the other review, it was not originally made my Hollywood. 'Criminal' is a remake of the Argentinian film 'Nine Queens'. If you want to see one of the best suspense/comedies of all time, i recommend 'Nine Queens'. It's in the vein of Usual Suspects, The Sting, and other films of that type. But better.
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