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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 26 February 2014
I think this is a prime example of just how great the artistry in mainstream commercial cinema can be. Entertaining as hell and superbly crafted. It's a modestly proportioned, highly stylish little comedic masterpiece.

Hardly surprising when you understand that it was knocked-out as a quickie by Ridley Scott's team between mega-blockbuster projects. Made for relatively little (and for the fun of it essentially) by a master-filmaker at the top of his game, it clearly demonstrates how deeply Scott is into movies and movie-making. His love of the medium shines through every facet of this gem.

The confident, high polish one expects is here in spades but the uncharacteristically modest scale of the project permits him to demonstrate a delicious lightness of touch which makes for a breeze of a ride. Characterisation and performances are consistently fresh (the three leads are equally memorable) in what is obviously conceived as original take on classic romantic comedies of the type that ended in the early sixties. Consequently there is a perfectly judged retro quality to this classy piece of contemporary Hollywood style. A joy.

The plot concerns the activities of a small cast of LA-based con-men and is ingeniously conceived. I completely disagree with the idea expressed elsewhere here that there are holes in the story that blow the plausibility of the central conceit. I'd say anyone watching for the first time will simply be swept along without a hitch (as I was).

Certainly the audacity is larger than life (this is an entertainment about tricksters) and gives one pause retrospectively. However, watch the DVD commentary and you will have the greatest difficulty picking holes. Any qualms will likely be quelled. The story is actually extremely tight; the strength of the script being what brought Scott on board in the first place. And finessed to perfection by his impeccable maker's attention to detail. Like every other aspect of the film, close examination reveals it to be rock solid.

Seriously, this one's a total treat.
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on 7 February 2005
I was'nt expecting a lot from this film initially - especially with Nicholas Cage in a leading role - he can be very hit or miss in his choice of films - but this one is a definate "MUST SEE" and own film - if you enjoy , excellent acting / casting / storyline / plot / twists ! You will find yourself glued to the characters and the story - the end was just perfect - or should i say the ends ! ENJOY !
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on 17 August 2015
All ingredients of a good movie are here and with great results.

Good story and script, actors at their best, Ridley scott directing and Robert Zemeckis as Exec. Producer deliver a very enjoyable film.
This Comedy-Drama deals with small con men and thus reminds of other productions such as Kudos' HUSTLE or even David Mamet's House of Games, if not as dark.

For those of you who find interest in commentary tracks, there's a very rewarding one available here.
It's a highly informative carefully edited single track of intertwined seperate recordings from Director Ridley Scott and the writers Nicholas & Ted Griffin.

Other extras include a theatrical trailer and a highly interesting 71 minutes Making Of documentary divided to 3 parts: Pre-Production,Production and Post Production.

Both the main feature and the Documentary have English subtitles.

There seem to be different DVD editions, as mine does not have the WB Archive Collection logo, and only Italian audio and subtitles along English, unlike the above Product Description.

Overall a very good movie presented in an excellent DVD box set with great added value.
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on 5 July 2014
The best con films I have seen off the top of my head are The Grifters, House of Games & Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The worst are Confidence & The Spanish Prisoner. As for Matchstick Men, I saw it at the cinema on it's initial release and loved it. 10 plus years later I bought the dvd, it was 98p! Although not quite as good as I remember, it's still a solid effort and thankfully I had forgotten the twist. The supporting cast are excellent, Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), Alison Lohman (Drag me to Hell), Bruce McGill (Animal House), Bruce Altman (The Sopranos). I have mixed feelings for Cage, he has the ability to be a great actor but usually opts to make action trash. He is good in this but I don't think it's his best work. Just wanted to add regarding his character having OCD and suffering from it myself, I found it hard to believe his character would smoke (this will not bother most viewers though).
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on 2 November 2011
Wasn't really expecting much from it but i love nicolas cage so i bought it because of him and the high ratings but it has a class storyline, the last half hour of the movie is full of suspence, i really didn't expect it to finish the way it did, i recommend this film to everyone!
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on 9 April 2005
A good decent film with a decent plot. Nice twist at the end as well. What more do you need.
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on 29 July 2011
With hints of Paper Moon and The Sting, Matchstick Men promises a lot, and it almost delivers. Cage, who I veer between loving and hating as an actor, is excellent, but there are huge holes in the plot which, without going into details and giving the story away, render the whole thing unbelievable, ruining what could have been a superb film.

I'd still recommend Matchstick Men, just don't expect a masterpiece.
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on 28 June 2011
Great film, but then I am a Cage & Rockwell fan. But this has got to be Cage at his best - no guns, no huge budget, just a heartfelt film that's much more uplifting than Leaving Las Vegas (although admittedly that wouldn't be hard!). Witty, funny and insightful. Recommended for a film-night in.
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on 16 June 2014
I believe this is Cage's best movie performance ever, and when you ask people to name Cage's best performance people often never mention Matchstick Men or even know about it.

I loved Alison Lohman performance too, she smashed it. And the twist at the end I never saw coming I was shocked!

I would love to see this on Blu-Ray next?

All in all it will make you laugh, cry.. every emotion possible.
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on 20 January 2012
I'm a big fan of Nicolas Cage's acting and this particular movie really displays his versatility as an actor. He plays Roy, the brain of a small con operation, who with his protege Frank perform really well thought scams. But the character is a developed one: he's smart, but he's also full of problems: he has obsessive compulsive disorder and he has so many rituals he has to perform in order to be ok.
The movie's plot thickens when a girl appears who tells him that she is his daughter, the girl one of his old girlfriends had given birth to.

The movie revolves around their changing relationship and their getting closer to each other and really turning into a father and daughter, and she becomes interested in his job, asking him to include her in his scams.

What follows is an unexpected ending, where things turn out to be other than expected.

I'm not going to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet, but I recommend it: a smartly written film, well directed, with enough action to keep you glued to the screen and enough depth to keep you thinking about it afterwards.
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