Movie Reviews: Confidence




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     Lion’s Gate (98 min.)
     A con man latest scam puts him in debt with the mob.
     Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Morris Chestnut, Andy Garcia, Rachel Weisz, Tom "Tiny" Lester Jr.
Bottom Line:


"Confidence" is one of those great looking noir films with shady characters, mean streets, neon signs and rich colors. It’s a film where the audience doesn’t know who to trust, because its premise is about a con within a con.

Director James Foley navigates an all-star cast including Dustin Hoffman, Edward Burns, Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia and Morris Chestnut through a series of flashbacks, flash forwards, slight of hand and clever plot twists involving a confidence team that mistakenly steals $150,000 from the bagman of a local crime boss, The King (Hoffman).

Led by smooth talking Jake (Burns), the confidence team agrees to return The King’s money if he supplies them with an additional $200,000 as seed money in a $5 million scam of a local banker. The King figures his formidable reputation, plus the addition of placing one of his men on Jake’s team will keep him from being scammed again.

Although the film has ups and down, twist and turns, it’s character driven as the film opens with Chestnut’s enforcer character holding a gun to Jake’s head while Jake explains how he was able to pull off the con. A bearded Hoffman, puncuated with rapid-fire gum chewing and pop-bottle lens glasses, is the most interesting character of all. The King suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder which he controls with pills that slows him down.

An alert audience probably won’t be surprised by the film’s ending, because there’s a big clue at the beginning of the film. However, most will appreciate how neatly the pieces fit together.



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