Smooth and effervescent, MATCHSTICK MEN is the late Ridley Scott masterpiece nobody likes to talk about. Nicolas Cage's crackpot energy is pitch-perfect this time; measured and nuanced. He plays a "professional conman" who finds redemption in the elimination of money and loneliness. Wrongfully pigeonholed as a mere stylist, what Ridley does in the penultimate carpet shop scene can disprove even his harshest critics.
Aims for the kind of quirky caper that Soderbergh achieved effortlessly with Ocean's 11 & Out of Sight; a mix of twists & turns treated with a hip, post-modern irony that lets the audience in on the joke, against scenes of occasionally gritty violence to raise the emotional stakes. Unfortunately Scott's direction is typically heavy-handed, creating a bastard amalgam of Soderbergh & something like Requiem for a Dream.
A fabulous character study. Cage and Lohman's relationship is unassumingly charming, funny and sweet without being remotely maudlin. The oldies soundtrack is also perfect. "Ever been dragged to the sidewalk and beaten 'till you... PISSED. BLOOOOOD!"
In many ways this movie reminded me of the wonderful Punch Drunk Love. It's a sometimes predictable story that's really elevated by the excellent casting decision of Nicholas Cage, fantastic camera work and a very well written script. The twist is very unexpected, but I'm not sure it quite works. It's such a jarring twist that I haven't really had time to think if all the pieces fit together...
3.5 stars. A slick diversion, in which everything functions at it should with grace and efficiency like a classic crime caper from the 1950s cut to the smooth and pacey rhythms of 'Ocean’s Eleven' or 'Catch Me If You Can'. The film is spry, sure-footed and self-assured, though generally I like my films to be a little more awkward and pigeon-toed. Nic captures well the gestural nature of OCD [I have it] and adds chaos
The Nicolas is unCaged and it is magnificent. This film is a complete surprise. It is wildly hilarious (Nic Cage has a funny case of OCD) and more complex than it looks like. I wasn't expecting anything out of this film and it surely did pay off in the end. I will definitely give it a re watch. One of Ridley Scott's best.