Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Twelve goes above and beyond the call of the ordinary Hollywood movie. It’s so well made and undeniably entertaining it should leap from tall buildings and wear a big “S” on its chest. Given the industry insistence on flimsy movies or pandering ones, the skill on display in Ocean’s Twelve feels like an act of heroism, rescuing us from gooey contraptions like National Treasure.

Ocean’s Eleven was a remake of the grubby Rat Pack heist movie from 1960 and if the original was an ode to impenetrable cool, Soderbergh’s 2001 overhaul played like an essay on stardom. In the process, Soderbergh made expensive commercial moviemaking seem outrageously easy.

The new film achieves the same sleight of hand. The difference now is that this sequel takes its American ideas of fame and fabulousness global. The boys have to reimburse Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) the $160 million they stole from three of his Las Vegas casinos in the previous film. The witty script by George Nolfi manages to flesh out and juggle almost two dozen characters and deftly pulls off at least three endings. Yet with its silly heists, knowingly silly dialogue and silly self-obsessions, this might be one of the most brilliantly frivolous movies ever made.

Wesley Morris,
Boston Globe

George Nolfi will attend the screening