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Full Review

Dustin Hoffman creeps out
Rachel Weisz in "Confidence"
by Jürgen Fauth

Guide Rating -  


Squarely in the tradition of heist and con capers, from "The Sting" to "House of Games," James Foley's "Confidence" is an entertaining addition to the genre. Nothing more than a popcorn movie, "Confidence" is engaging fun.

Since it's almost impossible to tell you anything specific about the plot without giving away the game, let's just say that large sums of money, off-shore accounts, and all sorts of slick manipulation are involved. The writing isn't as sharp as the gold standard set by David Mamet (whose script Foley directed in "Glengarry Glen Ross"). Some of the dialogue and hard-boiled voice-over narration is cheerfully hackneyed, but the story zips right along.

Aided by Tarantino sleights-of-hand and arty primary-color cinematography, the stock characters (suave huckster, dangerous babe, outrageous king-pin, mysterious undercover agent, shifty partner and crooked cop) are all played to the hilt by Ed Burns, Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, Paul Giamatti, and Luis Guzman, respectively. It's clear that everybody's having a very good time. Rachel Weisz is beautifully sleazy and Hoffman has a terrific turn as hilariously creepy pervert.

As the title suggests, these crooks get by on their confidence, the gumption to make an unlikely story seem convincing to fool their mark. They cheat, lie, and manipulate -- in other words, they're not so different than actors. With this crew doing the conning, I'm happy to be suckered.


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