Itself something of a counterfeit, 'Criminal' loses coherence at each new plot twist, eventually becoming silly and contrived.
Maybe I'm dense, but the finale of Criminal left me not exactly sure what was won and what was lost or why I should care.
| Original Score: 5/10
With dashes of black humour and pointed glimpses of the American class system, Criminal is a taut con-versus-con game whose deft artistry isn't fully revealed until the last few minutes.
| Original Score: 3/5
A kind of who-done-what? puzzle. You'll probably enjoy it much more if you haven't seen the 2002 Argentine film, Nine Queens.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
You can't go too far wrong on the performance front with John C. Reilly, Diego Luna or Maggie Gyllenhaal, but this one never really goes above average.
Like déjà vu all over again.
| Original Score: 6/10
Not smooth or seductive enough to coerce you into taking it at face value.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
even when the emotional aspect of the story starts to work, it is ultimately undermined by a final twist
| Original Score: 2/4
A competent Americanization of the Argentinian film Nine Queens, with John C. Reilly seemingly enjoying his atypical leading role.
| Original Score: 3/4
Criminal can be praised and damned for its fidelity to the Argentinean masterpiece Nine Queens.
If subtitles are not your thing and you're in the mood to witness an elegant con job in the classic Mamet mold, then Criminal is the card to play.
The Argentinean film Nine Queens re-dealt in a by-the-numbers American version set in Los Angeles.
... unfolds like a David Mamet film ...
Jacobs has brought the barrio into noir, and that's no small achievement. If nothing else, it opens the door to a whole new galaxy of grift.
This remake of 'Nine Queens' is just as absorbing for those who did not see the original.
| Original Score: B+
Discerning audiences won't be scammed with this one.
This double-whammy re-make will keep you guessing until the end.
Cast against type, Reilly unequivocally demonstrates the range, versatility, and ability that made him such a hot prospect over the last decade.
...newbies looking for an easy-breezy Ocean's Eleven-and-a-Half should get a kick out of this frugally low-key, innocuous cover song of a caper.
It is near impossible to make a great movie about con artists, because of the very nature of the genre itself.
| Original Score: B