The third installment of Steven Soderbergh's slick, star-studded heist series just might be the best, as Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and company pull off another elaborate caper, this time in the name of revenge. Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), one of Ocean's original eleven, lies nearly comatose after a myocardial infarction brought on by shock. His dreams of regaining his former glory on the Vegas strip have been dashed by the dastardly Willie Bank (Al Pacino), with whom Reuben foolishly went into business to build the biggest and flashiest casino the the world has ever seen. Bank took Reuben for all he was worth, and now, the famously loyal thirteen won't rest until Bank has been brought down. They execute this noble cause through complex, daring, and brilliant machinations that make the most of everyone's talents, including Yen's (Shaobo Qin) acrobatics, Linus's (Matt Damon) acting abilities, and Basher's (Don Cheadle) heavy machinery. Virgil and Turk Malloy (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan) get a few hilarious moments as they brew up a revolution in a Mexican plastics plant, while Rusty (Brad Pitt) and Danny coolly preside over the action like omniscient, infallible deities, always about three steps ahead of the game. The villain's downfall is utterly satisfying due to the pure capitalist evil channelled by Pacino, while Ellen Barkin vamps it up as Bank's "cougar" of an assistant. The camaraderie of the thirteen lends heart to these cool criminals, best captured by the sappy letters Basher sends Reuben, which ultimately bring him back to life. Vegas is effectively captured through seamless editing and beautiful photography, with the trappings of uber-wealth making the fantasy even more fantastical.
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