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© Ralph Nelson

International cop Catherine Zeta-Jones grills Robbie Coltrane, right, in Ocean's Twelve.


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A motley crew sits behind bars in a scene from Ocean's Twelve. Savvy cast members include, from left, George Clooney, Elliott Gould, Brad Pitt and Don Cheadle.


MOVIES Info:
Our Rating: B

Click here to see readers' ratings »
Title: Ocean's Twelve

Rated: PG-13

Rated Reason: for language

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Producer: Jerry Weintraub, Bruce Berman, John Hardy

Cast: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia

Writer: George Nolfi, Ted Griffin

Time: 2:05

Genre: Action

Showtimes for:

AMC Flatiron Crossing 14
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Century Aurora 16
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Cherry Creek
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Colony Square
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Continental
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Denver Pavilions
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Highlands Ranch
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Meadows
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UA Denver West Village 12
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UA Village 4
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How would you rate Ocean's Twelve?

READER'S COMMENTS

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'Ocean's Twelve' one better

Modern Rat Pack of thieves sharpens its skills in sequel

By Robert Denerstein, Rocky Mountain News
December 10, 2004

If I were interested in making lists, I might say Ocean's Twelve embodies several things I hate about movies.

To begin with, the movie's a sequel that's trying to cash in on the success of the first installment, from 2001.

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Second, Ocean's Twelve suffers from an overabundance of plot, usually an invitation to confusion.

Third, the movie contains distracting touches that smack of a show-business in-joke.

But you know what? Ocean's Twelve makes up for all such potential failings with a generously entertaining spirit and a large cast that brings Rat Pack familiarity and a winking sense of savvy to roles they've played before.

Watching the movie is a bit like being allowed to attend a meeting of the celebrities' union, hanging out with a group of actors united by fame and ability to command attention from a camera.

Beyond that, director Steven Soderbergh - who also directed the earlier movie - has been freed from the burden of having his work compared with the 1960 original, which starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and that whole hip crew.

Thus liberated, Soderbergh demonstrates an unerring feel for Hollywood style, and it serves him well. Who'd have thought it would turn out this way for a guy who began his career with sex, lies and videotape and who, on occasion, has made movies that threaten to sink under the weight of their art-house heaviness?

Working in loosey-goosey fashion, Soderbergh bases the story on a simple contrivance.

The thieves from the first movie must steal $160 million to pay back what they stole in the earlier edition. If not, Tony Benedict (Andy Garcia) will have them all killed. Like that's really going to happen.

Along the way, the script introduces a new figure, an international cop (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who's trying to arrest every member of Danny Ocean's gang, a crew of toughs who can seem more like a lounge act than a bunch of felons.

Chemistry seems as plentiful as the movie's many twists. The actors obviously are having a great time, which partly explains why so much of their banter clicks.

George Clooney inhabits the role of Danny Ocean with a special kind of ease. Brad Pitt proves as slick as a silk suit as the womanizing thief in the bunch.

And as the world's most earnest thief, Matt Damon scores big time, especially when he's acting clueless.

Both Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner return and are hilarious, particularly Gould, who's wearing glasses that seem as large as picture windows. Gould's presence, as the sleazy Reuben Tishkoff, feels entirely appropriate because, at times, Ocean's Twelve has the shambling, relaxed feel of the kind of movies in which Gould excelled in the '60s and '70s.

Julia Roberts returns in a smaller role that's the subject of a joke you may find annoying, but by the time it arrives, you'll either have been too charmed and amused to care or you'll be thinking nostalgically about the first installment.

Of course, it's all a bit much. Like a dinner with too many courses, Ocean's Twelve becomes a bit crowded in the plot department. The final heist pits Ocean's crew against a master thief (Vincent Cassel). It's a grand steal-off as they attempt to swipe a Faberge egg.

Ocean's Twelve may not be as tightly wound as the first outing, but for me it was more fun, and like a good real estate agent, Soderbergh knows the importance of location. He broadens the movie's vistas, taking us to Amsterdam, Rome and beautiful Lake Como, all the while bringing a nearly flip, offhanded quality to the proceedings.

Say what you want about Soderbergh, but he definitely understands the value of not taking certain things - like big star vehicles - too seriously. It's fitting for a movie like Ocean's Twelve, which imagines a world where nothing much matters but playing the angles, and the worst of all possible sins is letting anyone see you sweat.

Robert Denerstein is the film critic. or 303-892-5424

 
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