What possessed Soderbergh to remake a flabby '50s heist movie best remembered as a vanity project for the Rat Pack? Fair question - except this isn't really a remake. Yes, it's set in Vegas, concerns a robbery and has a starry cast, but that's it, resemblance-wise. Ted Griffin's script persuaded Soderbergh there was a chance for audiences, himself and the cast to have some fun. You know you're in safe hands from the start: twinkly-eyed Danny Ocean (Clooney) reassuring a prison board of his determination to stay clean outside. Cut: the ex-con's conman talents are immediately on display as he assembles a crew of partners old and new - a strategist (Pitt), a pickpocket (Damon), a Cockney explosives man (Cheadle), a veteran fraudster (Reiner), a financier (Gould) - for the most daring robbery yet attempted of a Nevada casino. It'll be fun (but risky) taking shady Vegas tycoon Terry Benedict (Garcia) for $150m, especially as he has a thing going with Danny's ex-wife, Tess (Roberts). Performed, choreographed, shot and directed with deceptive ease, this wholly enjoyable entertainment sees Soderbergh setting himself a new challenge - the hi-tech robbery procedural - and relishing the clichés even as he freshens them with a dab of polish, wit, pace and a light touch of irony.
Cast and crew