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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 Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

If you're in the mood for a dandy, double-crossing, duplicitous little crime caper, this is your ticket. Edward Burns stars as a cocky, well-dressed grifter named Jake Vig who's almost as clever as he thinks he is. "Playing the big con is like putting on a play where everyone knows their parts except for the mark," Jake explains.

Problem is: when Jake and his cohorts (Paul Giamatti, Brian Van Holt, Louis Lombardi) do a quick hustle for $150,000 when they arrive in Los Angeles, they accidentally arouse the ire of the King (Dustin Hoffman) a sleazy local mobster. For payback, Jake agrees to pull a $5 million embezzlement scam on a banker (Robert Forster), using an unsuspecting loan-officer as their mark. To this end, he recruits a sexy pickpocket (Rachel Weisz) but, to complicate matters, the undercover cops (Donal Logue, Luiz Guzman) on Jake's payroll are now being trailed by a suspicious federal agent (Andy Garcia). And everyone's working an angle!

While screenwriter Doug Jung, cinematographer Juan Ruiz Anchia and director James Foley ("Fear," "Glengarry Glen Ross") are heavily indebted to Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," they pull off enough twists and turns to keep the timeline narrative tantalizing. Edward Burns assumes a bland Ben Affleck-persona, which isn't all bad, while Rachel Weisz oozes oomph and grizzled Andy Garcia is almost unrecognizable. But the big surprise is Dustin Hoffman's creepy, idiosyncratic pervert. Grinning maniacally as he cracks gum with his green-tinged teeth, he defines repugnant. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Confidence" is a slick, stylized, snazzy 7. Why is it that a well-crafted con can be so satisfying?

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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