“Ocean’s 11” (2001) Review

Ocean’s Eleven

– for some language and sexual content.
Director: Steve Soderbergh
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia
Running Time: 1 hour, 54 minutes
4K UHD Release Date: April 30, 2024

Plot Summary
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) likes taking chances. All he asks is that his handpicked squad of ten grifters and cons play the game like they have nothing to lose. If all goes right, the payoff will be a fat $150 million. (from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Film Review

Wow. This is quite the cast. This remake of 1960’s Ocean’s 11 surprised me in many ways, and also kind of disappointed me from a content standpoint. For what one might expect from such a cast and from almost any film these days (and considering the director who did such films as Erin Brockovich and Traffic), you would probably expect a vulgarity-soaked let-down. But, although I’m grateful it wasn’t worse, and that they did overall keep the swearing and vulgarities to a minimum, I can’t help but notice that, with just a little bit more fine-tuning, we could have had a winning PG film on our hands.

Of course, we can note that the film does break the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” And while it does glorify the act, I believe it is possible to watch the film for entertainment value and not feel the need to rob some kind of establishment on your way home from the theater. The film has a slick, cool, funky feel to it. It’s sly, witty, and most of the dialog follows suit. The 1960 original featured the “Rat Pack” Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and others, and Soderbergh has done a nice job of assembling a cast to complement them. It was nice getting to see such an ensemble and have it actually work, while other notable times it has completely flopped (anybody remember Mars Attacks? If you see that film anywhere… run and hide from this atrocity in filmmaking).

Let me just say, I want to love this movie. I really do. There’s so much to like about the characters and the plot. Let me say what I want to hate about the movie as well. The language. Yes, it’s arguably less than most movies in this genre, but were the 2 “f” words really all that necessary? Did the (roughly) eight uses of blasphemy add to the film? There were, of course, a number of other unnecessary colorful phrases, and a few sexual comments, but thankfully not many. The only instance of sexual content otherwise is a brief glimpse at a flier ad for a hooker who is suggestively holding her bare chest (no nudity is actually shown). Also, in a bar, we briefly see some dancers dancing sensually while on a stage encased in glass. Honestly, they really could have done without all of this stuff, but unfortunately didn’t.

The chemistry between the actors was magnetic and fun to watch. The movie took its time and may seem to drag a bit to some viewers, but it didn’t rush through character development or the planning of the heist. It was well-directed by Soderbergh, and executed in a very stylish fashion.

Overall, I really liked the film, but due to the above-mentioned complaints, I can’t completely recommend it.

– John DiBiase (reviewed: 12/9/01; re-edited 4/30/24)

Parental Guide: Content Summary
. Sex/Nudity: Two uses of innuendo. While Rusty is playing cards with a table of guys, we see some female dancers in immodest outfits dancing in a somewhat suggestive fashion. We see a advertisement for hookers that has a topless woman on the front with her hands over her bare chest, but there is no explicit nudity.
. Vulgarity/Language: 2 “f” words, 7 “s” words, 5 “g*dd*mn,” 1 “scr*w,” 3 “h*ll,” 4 “J-sus,” 1 “G-d,” 1 “For G-d’s sake.” Yen gives Rusty the finger after he makes a sarcastic comment to Yen.
. Alcohol/Drugs: Lots of people have drinks during the film considering it takes place in a casino.
. Blood/Gore: After being beaten up, we see that Danny has some cuts and bruises on his face.
. Violence: Some gunshots; in a flashback we see a man shot as he’s trying to rob a casino (not graphic); Danny is beat up by a large man

Leave a Reply

Just Love Movies