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Ocean's 8 - Movie Review

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Ocean's 8 - Movie Review

3 starsBecause crime is a family affair.

I’m not going to say that we needed an Ocean’s 11 spin-off. All I am going to say is that, as an avid fan of Steven Soderbergh’s style-centric comedic heist films starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, I am just thrilled to see the franchise continue. This time, though, it’s the girls who get to do all the grifting and thieving and charming and, coolly enough, the switcheroo works.

At its thieving heart, Ocean’s 8 is a fun summer flick.  With nods to the original trilogy (through set-ups, song choices, and cameos from the original crew), the film feels very similar in spirit to what came before.  The con is back on!

I just wish that director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) had a bit more swagger in his step as this impressive cast, who simply don’t disappoint, demand an equally stylish film as the men got. The film, once the chips get placed, kind of just goes on autopilot; a deft hand behind the camera might have been able to energize some of the rather lacking aspects as Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), pleading her case just like her brother did in Ocean’s 11, cons herself out of prison and implements a revenge caper that loses a bit of gas in the third act.

"Fingers crossed that this isn’t the beginning and the end of the Ocean’s 8 crew. After all, girls just wanna have fun."

Released with stories of her own to tell about her brother, Danny, she gets placed back on the street, after five years behind bars, in the same evening gown she was arrested in. Thing is, she’s been planning something big and it starts with a rather humorous showcasing of her own skills as she chats and charms her way into new duds. Debbie makes her own particular set of skills known to us rather quickly.  But Danny hangs over this picture with a framing device that doesn't payoff...yet.

But for what she has planned, involving the Met Gala and a big diamond necklace, she will need a little help from her friends. And, much like the other films in the series, we get elaborate introductions as the all-female crew is brought aboard. Because Ocean’s 8 lacks the style of Soderbergh and the sounds of David Holmes (both sorely missed), the film only truly shines when the rest of the cast is introduced; it’s all in the planning stages here. This is truly where the film shines.

With Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter in tow, the fun is established. And, yes, they are cool to watch come together. Unfortunately, it’s when their plan – which catches the eye of an insurance fraud investigator (James Cordan) – goes into action that we lose some much-needed steam. Their target is Anne Hathaway (who steals the show) as actress Daphne Kluger AND Richard Armitage as an art dealer named Claude Becker, but the surprises – much like the endless cameos – are so numerous that it quickly tips the scales into distraction. Bummer.

Without the buzz of Soderbergh’s crackling camera, the New York City vibe quickly runs out of gas. All that sparkles isn’t gold; it is true indeed. Don’t get me wrong as there is fun to be had here. This cast is fantastic, deserving of better things. I seriously hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of them because I do feel strongly that there is a better story to be told with these ladies in their roles.

Fingers crossed that this isn’t the beginning and the end of the Ocean’s 8 crew. After all, girls just wanna have fun.

Ocean's 8 - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, drug use, and some suggestive content.
110 mins
: Gary Ross
: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch
Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway
: Crime | Drama | Action
Every con has its pros.
Memorable Movie Quote: "16.5 million dollars in each of your bank accounts five weeks from now."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 8, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Five years, eight months, 12 days...and counting. That’s how long Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock)—just released from prison—has been concocting the greatest heist of her storied career. She knows what it’s going to take—a team of the best in their field, starting with her former partner-in-crime Lou (Cate Blanchett). Together, they recruit a crew of specialists: jeweler Amita (Kaling); street con Constance (Awkwafina); expert fence Tammy (Paulson); hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna); and fashion designer Rose Weil (Bonham Carter). The target is $150 million in diamonds—diamonds that will adorn the neck of world-famous actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), who will be center stage at the event of the year, the Met Gala. Their plan appears rock solid, but it will need to be flawless if the team is to get in and get away—all in plain sight..


Blu-ray Details:

No details available.

Ocean's 8 - Movie Review