Director: Ridley Scott
Writers (WGA): Eric Garcia (book), Nicholas Griffin (screenplay)
Release Date: 12 September 2003 (USA)
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Crime / Thriller
Tagline: lie, cheat, steal, rinse, repeat
Plot Outline: A phobic con artist and his protege are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the con artist"s teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.
Awards: 1 nomination
Nicolas Cage ... Roy Waller
Sam Rockwell ... Frank Mercer
Alison Lohman ... Angela
Bruce Altman ... Dr. Klein
Bruce McGill ... Chuck Frechette
Runtime: 116 min
Color: Color (Technicolor) / Color
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 :1
Sound Mix: DTS / Dolby Digital / SDDS
Filming Locations: Anaheim Convention Center - 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, California, USA
Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Con artist movies have been swarming the theaters lately, but Matchstick Men is far more intelligent and more surprising, not to mention well-acted, written and directed, than Supercast films Heist and The Score. Nicolas Cage, after several years in movies (Gone In 60 Seconds, The Rock, Face/Off...) makes a welcome return to what he does best - disturbed, sensitive individuals (a comeback that got off to a good start on the schizophrenic Adaptation) - and delivers an Oscar nomination-worthy performance as con artist Roy Waller. Roy discovers a long-lost daughter, played brilliantly by Alison Lohman - also Oscar material. The relationship between the two is well crafted, and the story wonderfully written. Sam Rockwell also makes a fine contribution as Roy"s partner.
Elements of the plot may owe much to many other films - The Sting, perhaps Jacky Brown, and there"s a bit of Leon (AKA The Professional) in Roy"s relationship with his daughter, trying to balance a life of crime with a newfound family, and Lohman"s performance is no less charming than that of Natalie Portman on that memorable classic. Worthy of praise is Ridley"s directing, which proves he can make a small human theater piece as well as grandiose historical epics and sci-fi odysseys. The editing is wonderful, well visualizing Roy"s condition and giving the movie an apt atmosphere. Overall, Matchstick Men is one of the freshest films of the year, and a very enjoyable watch.