It seems like every new heist movie is pitched as the “Ocean’s Eleven of ____. ”The series of fun, star-studded caper films has a great premise that can be used over and over again; Rogue One is the Ocean’s Eleven of the Star Wars franchise, Inception is Ocean’s Eleven in the subconscious and Logan Lucky is Ocean’s 7-11. What do you do when you have to pull off a seemingly impossible robbery? Put together a crew of experts with different unique skills that can get the job done.
What’s ironic is that the original 1960 Ocean’s Eleven It was only after it was not a massive success, and performed worse with critics and at the box office than other films starring the Rat Pack. Steven Soderbergh remade the film in 2001 that it launched a recurring franchise, and there’s still potential for future installments. Matt Damon recently stated that he’d be open to returning to the series if Soderbergh decided to make a fourth installment, and the 2018 spinoff Ocean’s Eight could theoretically crossover with the original cast or spawn its own sequel.
The five films within the series tell largely similar stories, but it’s interesting to look at how they’ve progressed and the massive gaps in quality. Here are all five films in the Ocean’s franchise ranked from worst to best.
5. Ocean’s Eight (2018)
Ocean’s Eight is the only film within the series that feels like a safe, studio crafted vehicle. While the Rat Pack had a unique energy and Soderbergh made experimental choices, the 2018 spinoff doesn’t have a defining quality and could easily be mistaken for just another Ocean’s ripoff. Unfortunately, Ocean’s Eight keeps trying to remind the viewers of the connection through a bloated backstory that includes the off-screen death of George Clooney‘s Danny Ocean. Director Francis Lawrence seemed confused as to why these films are popular: they’re simple and straight forward.
What’s sad is that Ocean’s Eight assembles an amazing cast that isn’t given the chance to succeed. Sandra Bullock is terrific as Danny’s sister Debbie; while she retains her brother’s whip smart personality, Debbie is more sympathetic to each of the team members and empowers them throughout the mission. Characters like the suburban mother Tammy (Sarah Paulson) and the jewel crafter Amita (Mindy Kaling) are compelling, but the team is barely given the time to get to know each other. Ocean’s Eight also made one of the most baffling blunders possible: it underutilized Cate Blanchett..
4. Ocean’s Eleven (1960)
The original Ocean’s Eleven is kind of a disaster, but it’s fascinating to watch as an example of Old Hollywood movie star indulgence. Frank Sinatra It’s an odd mishmash of tones; the film ranges between attempts to build sympathetic supporting characters and wacky slapstick humor. It also takes almost an hour for the actual heist to be introduced.
Both Sinatra and Dean Martin are shockingly unengaged, although some supporting actors like Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford The production is certainly polished, but outside the ending heist, the camerawork and editing feels very static. A lot of the humor hasn’t aged well, as there are frequent sexist and racist remarks. Ocean’s Eleven is really only worth watching as one of the most famous cases of a remake far surpassing its original.
3. Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Long before what Rian Johnson did with The Last Jedi or what Lana Wachowski did with The Matrix ResurrectionsSoderbergh created the original subversive movie sequel. Ocean’s Twelve Ironically, a movie that focuses on not being able to capture is essentially a sequel about how hard it is to make a sequel; the original team has all gone their separate ways, and when they’re reunited they have trouble topping their previous heist. the same magic is watchable because it’s just an excuse to watch these movie stars bounce off each other.
It’s not as if Ocean’s Twelve is a lazy retread; Soderbergh includes experimental sequences that nobody else would dare to make, such as a scene in which Julia Roberts’ character Tess Ocean pretends to be Julia Roberts. Vincent CasselThere are rare studio films that are as packed with ideas.’s jewel thief is a worthy antagonist to Danny, and he and Clooney finally exchange quips in the film’s great ending sequence.
2. Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Ocean’s Thirteen is a sequel that plays things much broader than Ocean’s Twelvebut it made a few important decisions to actually develop the characters. There’s a compelling reason for the team to come back together; Elliot Gould‘s character Reuben Tishkoff suffers a health crisis after he’s taken advantage of by the cruel casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino). In order to foil Bank, Danny recruits the original film’s villain, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia).
Garcia’s inclusion within the team creates a lot of comic tension which pays off hilariously in the film’s ending when Danny finds a creative way to get revenge on his old nemesis. Pacino is also having a blast, and gives one of the most exaggerated villainous performances of his career (which is no easy task). However, Ocean’s Thirteen is also the most heartfelt film in the series; it actually reflects on why these characters belong together.
1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
You can’t top the original. There are few films that are rewatchable as Ocean’s Elevenand two decades later it’s still the gold standard of both the series and the heist genre itself. The exposition that other heist movies seem to speed through is electrifying in Ocean’s Elevenseeing Danny recruit his best friend Rusty (seeing Danny recruit his best friend RustyBrad Pitt) to help put together their team of experts is just as much fun as the heist itself. It’s entertaining to watch these misfits and oddballs clash and coordinate as they come up with gradually ridiculous schemes.
However, Ocean’s Eleven He is attempting to winback his ex-wife Tess from casino owner Terry Benedict, and amidst the comedic sparring sessions, there are moments of The team itself has a great, unspoken affection for each other. An ending scene in which they silently stand in front of their target casino reflects on the unexpressed sentiment of the entire series: “we can’t believe we pulled it off. ”
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