All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other Movie/Video Review

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Confidence

Starring: Edward Burns, Andy Garcia
Director: James Foley
Rated: R
RunTime: 98 Minutes
Release Date: April 2003
Genres: Drama, Suspense

Review by Harvey Karten
3 stars out of 4

In a key scene of James Foley's new movie, "Confidence," the King (Dustin Hoffman), a gang lord, relates a tale of how he was targeted by his opponents in the past because he was the only one wearing a white suit. "Sometimes style will get you killed," is his advice to Jake Vig (Edward Burns), a grifter with a lot of style who has a debt to pay to the King because in a recent con game he stole $150,000 of gang money without knowing its source. "Confidence," in turn, is a film with terrific style, and sometimes that's exactly what we in the audience need. We don't require reality, we don't need to examine a plot to see whether it moves ahead only because of a set of lucky coincidences as does this one. And it helps that Foley is in the director's seat the man who delivered a faithful reproduction of David Mamet's Pulitzer-prize winning "Glengarry Glen Ross about an office full of desperate real-estate salesmen-cum-con artists.

The desperation in "Confidence" is Vig's, who needs to pay the crime boss back with money he no longer has. Being the charmer that enabled him to rise to the A-list of grifters, he has the temerity to ask his angry creditor to advance him even more money, $200,000, in return promising to give him a sizable cut of a $5 million bank heist which he assures the man he can get together without a dollop of bloodshed while working with his trusted buddies Gordo (Paul Giamatti), Miles (Brian Van Holt), and two new recruits, ace pickpocket and night-club girl Lily (Rachel Weisz) and a man forced on him by the King, Lupus (Franky G.) The aim of the group is to secure the financing by a bank run by their main mark, a fellow with connections to organized crime, Morgan Price (Robert Forster) by tapping the credibility of Price's V-P for Corporate Finance, Whitworth (Donal Logue).

In any successful movie about grifters, the audience must sympathize enough with the con artists to want them to get away with their scams and sick compulsions a good example of the latter being our rooting for a high-stakes, self-destructive gambler played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Richard Kwietniowski's "Owning Mahowny." Thirty-five year-old Edward Burns, who has already charmed us silly in his own script, "The Brother McMullen" (about a trio of sibs with separate problems in their relationships with women) and "She's the One" (about a guy smarting from catching his fiancee cheating and who marries on impulse), is just the man to win our approval of his scam, particularly since he's teamed with the always amusing Paul Giamatti as Gordo and handsome Brian Van Holt as Miles. By contrast we're itching to see justice done to the contemptuous King, whose way of dealing with subordinates is either literally to smash his head against theirs or to pat them arrogantly on the neck and face. Nor do we wish success on the thuggish, decidedly uncharming Lupus (played by Franky G. who has gone commercial after his role in last year's sharp indie about like on the way-upper-West Side of Manhattan, "Manito").

Juan Ruiz-Anchia's camera takes us inside girlie clubs and outside to L.A. and Vancouver in scenes presumably from Belize and Ontario as well as Los Angeles while Stuart Levy's editing takes us suddenly forward and backward with ease. Best of all Doug Jung's screenplay is not only filled with twists including a final one that will knock your socks off but is sharp and attention- getting (albeit without David Mamet's unique, signature style). The entire team work together with split-second timing to convince us of one of the key axioms you should have learned way before this on your mother's knee, "Trust no one."

Copyright 2003 Harvey Karten

More reviews:    Main  2  3   4   Next >>
Featured DVD/Video
Star Wars Episode II
buy dvd

buy video

read the reviews

In Affiliation with
Buy movie posters!

Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs | | | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright 1998-2002
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us