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Bathed in self-conscious cool, "Confidence" is a heist caper in which the heist is unimportant. As you might expect from "Glengarry Glen Ross" director James Foley, this pulpy concoction is more interested in giving good actors a lot of hip, salty dialogue as they scheme their way to the royal scam. It's a poor man's "Ocean's Eleven", just as enjoyable in its own way, beginning when con artist Jake (Edward Burns) discovers he's accidentally stolen from an eccentric crime boss (Dustin Hoffman, oozing threat in a fine character turn). Promising to make amends by pulling the biggest con of his career, Jake adds a feisty pickpocket (Rachel Weisz) to his crew, which includes scene-stealer Paul Giammatti and Andy Garcia as a disheveled FBI agent (or is he?). With a cast like this you can't go wrong, but "Confidence" cons itself into thinking it's original, while Burns's abundant voice-overs state the obvious and plot twists unfold with minimal surprise. It hardly matters; "Confidence" may be derivative, but it's still recommendable. "--Jeff Shannon"
- Cast commentary
- Director commentary
- Writer commentary
- Sundance Channel Presents "Anatomy of a Scene"
- Music videos
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Edward Burns made for the perfect con man. He really made you question if any of his actions were genuine, because they all seemed equally genuine - a perfect con man.
At first I was skeptical of Dustin Hoffman being a mob boss with a sinister reputation, but he turned out to be an enormously entertaining eccentric that made for a refreshing change of pace. I must repent for ever doubting that Hoffman could pull off any roll.
Ironically, the master mind is a guy named Jake Vig (Ed Burns). Ironic because Mr. Vig (his last name meaning 'the take' or 'the amount charged by the bookie for services rendered') is a `charming, virile fellow' (slang definition for `jake`) who wishes to accomplish his 'gigs' with minimal actual violence. Unfortunately, a heist goes sideways when he and his crew find they have jacked a morally bankrupt criminal called 'King' , who is not partial to letting things slide. In fact, with an act of very harsh measure, King makes it acutely clear what he requires to resolve the matter. Of course Jake refuses and the negotiations begin. This is where the twists and turns commence and the whole thing gets interesting.
The caliber of talent in `Confidence' is amazing. The crew, Brian Van Holt (Cougar Town), Paul Giamatti (Oscar nom.), Rachel Weisz (Oscar winner) and Ed Burns (a celebrated actor/director himself) come off as a tightly knit, intelligent bunch that are as close and trusting as family should be. Two cops on the take (Donal Logue and Luis Guzman) are hilarious hired help who hope to come out ahead. Of course, King (Dustin Hoffman, Oscar winner) has bodyguards galore. Tiny Lister (as Harlan) intimidates politely, yet inimitably, as usual. A young, handsome Latino, Frankie G, displays his chameleon-like acting chops as Lupus, Harlan's understudy. There is a moderate amount of subtle symbolism, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I've been told I have to be hit up long-side the head with it (symbolism) to see it. For example, the name Lupus seems apropos for this particular bodyguard's character, in terms of the word's medical implications. It would be a fun subject for discussion.
The movie, 'Confidence', ends up being a Heist/Revenge movie with some great twists and a surprise ending. I'm not a great fan of Heist films, but I enjoyed my 97 minutes just fine. It was well paced, well acted, and well ... I liked it.
There are so many twists in this film that as they reveal themselves you smile to yourself and say I didn't see that coming.
But at the end it makes sense and holds up well with the story.
Edward Burns is great as the conman Dustin Hoffman is unbelievably creepy but Smart as the Strip club owner/ Mob Boss, Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia round out the cast.
The Sting is a good one, you never know who the players are.
All in all I give it 4 stars out of five.