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Ocean’s 11 Review: An Older & Better Money Heist.

A heist movie for the ages with a stellar cast and a phenomenal plot; Ocean’s 11 is a masterpiece as the script, the soundtrack, and the actors deliver on all fronts.

This 2001 Warner Brothers production was the fifth highest-grossing film of 2001 and has stood the test of time, pulling off one of the greatest on-screen heists. It is a remake of the 1960s Rat Pack movie of the same name.

1. Quick Review

In a world where Money Heist is lauded for its plot and characters, Ocean’s 11 is a reminder of what a classic heist should be like, putting itself at par with any modern entry.

With an ensemble of actors who will never work under the same banner again, Ocean’s 11 is an excellent story, told with a calm, controlled demeanour by the cast. While it is not a masterclass in acting, it is one of the most entertaining and clever movies you’ll see in a long time.

2. Info & Watch Links

Ocean’s 11

Air Date: July 12, 2001 Status: Airing Studio: Warner Brothers
Watch Ocean’s 11 on:

3. Is It Worth Watching?

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts and Don Cheadle among others, Ocean’s 11 is an explosive blockbuster.

Ocean’s 11 is a classic and the first in the trilogy of fantastic movies. Watch this in 2020, and you’ll not be disappointed as the intricate plot beats Money Heist.

Ocean's Eleven (2001) Official Trailer
Ocean’s 11 Official Trailer

I. Plot 

Recently released from prison a charismatic Daniel Ocean (George Clooney) teams up with his buddy Rusty (Brad Pitt) to put together a team of experts in a plot to rob more than $150 million from three Las Vegas Casinos, The Bellagio The Mirage and the MGM Grand in one night.

It’s not all business for Danny as the casinos are owned by a rival Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who is also dating Danny’s ex-wife.

The gang comprises of 11 equal partners, all of them an expert in a specific field as Casey Affleck and Matt Damon lead the star-studded cast as a demolitions expert and a pickpocket along with Elliot Gold and Frank Cotton playing con men.

Ocean's 11 Review A Better Money Heist
Ocean’s 11 | Source: HBO

They form an elaborate plan to get in, get the money, and get out, and like any plan, they are forced to improvise when things don’t work out their way. It is a massive achievement to weave such an intricate plot without any plot holes, but writer Ted Griffin manages to accomplish this feat.

We are successfully kept in the dark right till the end about whether they have been able to pull it off. 

II. Cast & Performances

To say that the cast dishes out great performances across the board would be an understatement. The Ocean’s trilogy features the most fabulous collection of actors assembled on screen. It was the breakout role for many such as Don Cheadle and Casey Affleck.

The camaraderie and brotherhood are evident between Danny (Clooney) and Rusty (Pitt), who have been in the game for a long time and know their opponents’ moves as well as each other’s.

Julia Roberts is reduced to a tokenistic trophy wife caught between her boyfriend and her ex-husband, whose loyalties are tested when she discovers Danny’s plot to rob Benedict’s casinos.

She isn’t given enough screen time, and the past and depth of her relationship with George Clooney are barely explored. This movie was succeeded by two other’s Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, in which Roberts features more prominently, especially in the second part.

Ocean's 11 Review A Better Money Heist
Ocean’s 11 | Source: HBO

Amid such high rollers, it is Eddie Jemison whose portrayal of the sweaty, nervous computer wiz and Bernic Mac as Frank Cotton, the funny blackjack dealer who stands out. Qin Shaobo plays Yen the acrobat who doesn’t speak a word of English, but some of the heist’s best moments are when he’s on-screen.

Casey Affleck and Scott Caan play the Malloy brothers and show us that the constant nickering and rivalry between siblings never goes away. Don Cheadle of Iron Man and Avengers fame, plays Basher, an engineer critical to the operation.

III. Visuals & Music

The fast-paced screenplay keeps the viewers engaged as the group casts their net around the vault of the Bellagio. With split screens and tracking shots, we see various parts of the plan coming together at the same time.

The score also sets the tone and keeps us on edge, especially during the heist. The pumping soundtrack makes you want to tap your feet as you watch this effortlessly cool movie come together.

4. Grade


Story: A

Cinematography/Animation: A-

Direction: A

Music: A

Direction: A-

5. Final Thoughts 

The star cast was enough to drive the fans mad when the movie was announced, and the story does not disappoint. It is one of the best heist movies of all time and a reminder of the times when films focused more on plot and storyline and less on CGI and explosions.    

The movie runs smoothly, but the plot leaves no room for character development and emotional depth. The cast plays the limited roles assigned to them to perfection, but this is not a display of exceptional acting.

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Akshat Rai

Trying to figure out the next steps while procrastinating, devoring books, and binging shows. Crazy about sports be it Football, Tennis or the UFC.

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