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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 Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

"Playing the big con is like putting on a play where everyone knows their parts except for the mark," Jake Vig (Edward Burns) explains to us in voice-over. CONFIDENCE's energetic style, with its raunchy, mile-a-minute dialog, may remind you of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, one of director James Foley's previous pictures.

With quadruple and quintuple twists upon twists, it is never clear who are the scammers and who are the scammees in CONFIDENCE. First-time screenwriter Doug Jung's overcooked plot may sometimes burn you out, but the absolutely superb cast, with more players than a baseball game, makes the movie. The film is so much fun that you won't mind how dizzy all of the twists make you.

When we first meet Jake, a hit man (Morris Chestnut) is about to execute him. The movie is told in flashback as Jake relates his disastrous, previous three weeks.

Jake's problems started when his team of grifters (Paul Giamatti, Brian Van Holt and Louis Lombardi), aided by their paid-off, undercover cops (Donal Logue and Luis Guzmn), accidentally pulled a con on one of King's men. Smacking gum so loudly and obnoxiously that you'll want to yell at him to cut it out, Dustin Hoffman chews up the scenery as well as the gum playing the infamous King, a guy whom you cross at your own peril.

In order to square his transgression, Jake agrees to play a dangerous con on King's rival, Morgan Price (Robert Forster). To complete his team, Jake recruits and trains a beautiful and sexy pickpocket named Lily (Rachel Weisz). Along the way, the team runs into a brick wall in the form of a federal agent, played with devilish charm by Andy Garcia.

Following the story is like chasing Pac Man through his maze, but you'll never feel cheated, save once. In the potentially big love scene between Burns and Weisz, the director yells "Cut!" before it barely gets started.

CONFIDENCE runs 1:38. It is rated R for "language, violence and sexuality/nudity" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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