James Foley (Director)
Edward Burns (Jake Vig)
Dustin Hoffman (Mr. King)
Rachel Weisz (Lily)
Andy Garcia (Gunther Butan)
Paul Giamatti (Gordo)
Brian Van Holt (Miles)
Donal Logue (Whitworth)
Luis Guzman (Manzano)
Franky G (Lupus)
There have been an
abundant amount of movies lately centered around conmen
and the so-called 'perfect con'. David Mamet
perfected this genre once again with his enormously
entertaining film "Heist",
and now director James Foley tries to take it a step up
with "Confidence", a con film that fails on many
levels, but still manages to entertain.
Edward Burns stars as Jake Vig, the leader of a con group
who specialize in staging fake murders. His crew
include: the recently added Lily (Rachel Weisz),
Gordo (Paul Giamatti), Miles (Brian Van Holt), and two
actual Los Angeles cops (Luis Guzman and Donal Logue).
He is being pursued by Federal Agent Gunther Butan (Andy
Garcia), and owes some serious cash to underworld kingpin
guy Mr. King (Dustin Hoffman). So, that is the
lowdown. Things get serious when Burns steals from
Hoffman and offers to return the funds only if Mr. King
fronts another job Burns has in mind. It does not
get THAT complicated.
The reason this film falls short is that we really never
grow to care about any of the characters. Almost
none of them are even slightly likable. Edward Burns
tries to be, but is too smug and too mean spirited to come
close. The only character we find ourselves liking
remotely is Mr. King, and he is the bad guy, supposedly.
Paul Giamatti is usually likable in everything he does,
but he just seems dead here, as do the usually humorous
and thriving Luis Guzman and Donal Logue. I will go
out and say, however, that Rachel Weisz was looking as
lovely as ever and Andy Garcia was much more noticeable
than he was in "Ocean's
As I stated before, Dustin Hoffman steals the show.
His performance is so outlandish and so high strung, he
just looks like he is having a bucket load of fun with the
character. And, I like how, after making such a
serious and heartbreaking film as "Moonlight
Mile", he is able to follow up with a
nice little caper movie (nice, not good). And, how
can we forget his stint hosting The Grammy Awards --
there's an add-on for his resume.
"Confidence" is not the worst caper film I have
ever seen, but it certainly falls short of being the best.
It might be a little better than "The
Score", but is nowhere close to
Maybe if James Foley could write dialogue like David Mamet,
this film would have been flawless, but there is only one
David Mamet and there is only one reason to see this film
-- Dustin Hoffman.
2 out of 4 pops )
about this film with other Popkorn Junkies
Mike ( 3 out of 4 pops )
Confidence is a very
entertaining film about con-artists and double crossing and is a
much more in-your-face style of film when compared to something like the
marvelous and more low key "The Grifters". While Dustin
Hoffman is marvelous to watch playing a seedy gangster in a much too
limited of a role, it is Ed Burns who plays the main character in the
movie. I liked all the twists and turns of the story, many of
which I had no clue that they were coming. I would have preferred
that the story been told linear from start to finish rather than jumping
back and forth between present and past. I found this to subtract
from the story rather than adding to it. And the movie may just be
a little too slick for it's own good, such as the unnecessary use of
several fast motion scenes. But these are mostly small complaints
and overall I really liked the film. Burns proves that he can be
very effective in a well written movie and Hoffman just proves again why
he is one the most charismatic actor ever to be on film. Plus, all
the other actors put in really good performances in this movie and who
can take their eye off of Rachel Weitz when she is on the screen.
I also liked seeing Andy Garcia playing a role and looking like he has
never done before. Go have fun watching this one.
Matt ( 3 out of 4 pops )
"Confidence" is a slick, entertaining heist thriller which
kept my interest throughout. The cast is superb, led by Edward
Burns. Sure, he's no Brando and plays extensions of himself
instead of characters, but he's still a fine actor and has much
charisma. Unfortunately, I was expecting a Dustin Hoffman film, so
for all you out there who are Dustin fans like me--please beware,
because he's only on screen for about 25 minutes. So if you're in
the mood for a "Dustin Hoffman film," you're better off
Though he has only two big scenes, and appears momentarily throughout
the rest of the film, he steals those few scenes he's in, playing a
ruthless crime lord with A.D.H.D. Even when Dustin has limited
time on screen, he never sleeps through a role. You gotta love the
guy! Adding to the superb cast are Paul Giamatti, Luis Guzman,
Andy Garcia and Donal Logue. Now...what didn't I like about the
film? Towards the end, the movie hurls enough plot twists at you
to make your head explode! That's when you find out who really
works for whom, who's really dead and who's really alive, who's
double-crossing whom, who's pretending to double-cross this person
to do a favor for another person and get a cut of the riches--well, you
get the point. OK, probably not, but all in all I liked this film.
Just don't rack your brains trying to figure out the ending.
James ( 4 out of 4 pops )
Ah, touché. Just the other day I loathed about "Identity" because of it's plot twists and how they cheated me, well, "Confidence" had them too, but I'm not gonna loath about them. Why is that, you ask? Because director James Foley did it the right way! He starts with the
protagonist letting us in on things (something we never got in "Identity"), so we have a reason to trust him, and then by the end, we realize that things may not have been as they seemed to be. This movie is well acted, well shot, extremely well lit (don't confuse several dark scenes for being poorly lit), and told almost perfectly. Edward Burn's line in the opening shot, when asked if his life is flashing before him, is "No, just the past 3 weeks." Which the guy with the gun says, "That's a perfect time to start", and so it begins. I was overjoyed. I love the subtle roles of Dustin Hoffman and Andy Garcia, two big name actors in small, but memorable roles, which are enough to see this movie even IF it sucked. Which it doesn't. Expect a re-release in November for the ADD (I mean ADHD) Academy members.