“Thrill-seeking is a passionate form of deep play, at one far end of the spectrum. Many people stop short of nerve-frazzling jolts and constant peril, but still seek the strange, the exotic, the intense,” Diane Ackerman writes in Deep Play. Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic) directs this lively, clever, and thoroughly entertaining caper flick based on a 1960 release starring Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) has just been released from prison after serving a four-year term for robbery. He is itching for a thrill to match nothing he’s ever done in the past. His goal is to steal over $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos. This is Ocean’s idea of deep play.
In order to pull off this nerve-frazzling heist, he needs a varied and talented crew. First on board is Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), a card shark who accompanies him to Las Vegas in order to convince Reuben Tishkoff (Elliot Gould in a delicious cameo role) to fund the project. This former hotel and casino tycoon was recently humiliated by the new wheeler and dealer in Las Vegas, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), a power-hungry perfectionist who is dating Ocean’s former wife (Julia Roberts).
Other members of the team for the heist are Frank Catton (Bernie Mac), a casino dealer; Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), a con man; Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner), an elderly hustler; Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), a demolitions expert; two drivers (Casey Affleck, Scott Caan); and Yen (Shaobo Quin), a Chinese acrobat whose body contortions play an important role in the robbery.
Ocean's Eleven elevates impersonation and the elaborate con to an art form as these energetic and imaginative thieves play the biggest game of their lives where the risks are high. Watch it and give your sense of play a workout! And if you get the DVD version, you can also listen in to the banter of stars Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, and Brad Pitt on the audio track commentary or play the interaction game "In or Out?"