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The Sting (1973)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 47 | Rotten: 4

Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film.



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 60,117

My Rating

Movie Info

Four years after setting box offices ablaze in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill re-teamed with similar success for The Sting. Redford plays Depression-era confidence trickster Johnny Hooker, whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is murdered by racketeer/gambler Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hoping to avenge Luther's death, Johnny begins planning a "sting" -- an elaborate scam -- to destroy Lonnegan. He enlists the


Drama, Classics, Comedy

David S Ward, David S. Ward

Sep 6, 2005

Universal Pictures

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Latest News on The Sting

April 18, 2013:
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Smith enters talks for the con artist comedy as Kristen Stewart exits the project.
August 7, 2012:
Marvin Hamlisch: 1944-2012
Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, whose music enlivened films as diverse as The String, The...


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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (4) | DVD (30)

Newman and Redford pass a few facial expressions between them and try to cool each other out. If there ever was much of a script, it can be said to have gone to waste.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (6)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Extremely handsome production values and a great supporting cast round out the virtues.

February 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Top-notch entertainment.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film ends up relying on different chapter headings to explain what's going on, but it's all very professional, with fine attention to period detail.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is so good-natured, so obviously aware of everything it's up to, even its own picturesque frauds, that I opt to go along with it.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has a nice, light-fingered style to it.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (2)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The sting itself is as audacious as it is elaborate, but the real pleasure comes from the chemistry between the two leads, the lovingly created 1930s settings and Marvin Hamlisch's inspired reworking of Scott Joplin's music.

February 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

A perfectly calibrated machine designed to be as entertaining as possible in as many ways as possible.

March 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A masterfully smooth grift that's built on golden-age savvy but never feels like a rose-tinted throwback.

February 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

a brilliant piece of moviemaking that is extremely watchable and completely enjoyable, even almost 40 years after it was made

August 14, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A great pick for repeat viewings.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Smart, stylish caper -- but not for kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Overrated, overlong and unconvincing formulaic comedy caper that relies heavily on star power.

March 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (15)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The Sting still holds up as a beautifully constructed piece of mainstream entertainment with two stars burning brightly and staying on the right side of smug.

February 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The camaraderie between the two principal actors is almost as appealing as it was in Butch Cassidy.

February 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Vastly overrated.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comments (5)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A sly heist-style caper the joyously relives the Roaring Twenties

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

this Depression-era comedy cashes in on the individual charm of Paul Newman and Robert Redford and the strong chemistry between them, also evident in Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid.

July 25, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Still fairly entertaining, though its tricky twists have been co-opted by many subsequent films, and there's no getting around the fact that [it's] way too long.

November 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's one of cinema's most beloved heist movies, and for good reason.

September 10, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Sting

Four years after setting box-office records with "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid",actors Paul Newman and Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill re-teamed with bigger commercial success with "The Sting" which became one of the top ten highest grossing films of 1973. Set in the depression era of 1930's Chicago,it stars Robert Redford who plays depression-era trickster Johnny Hooker,whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman(Robert Earl Jones,who is the brother of famed actor James Earl Jones)is murdered by racketeer/gambler Doyle Lonnegan(Robert Shaw). Hoping to avenge Luther's death,Johnny beings planning a sting--or an elaborate scam to destroy Lonnegan. He enlists the help and the aid of the greatest con artist of them all,Henry Gondorff(Paul Newman),who pulls himself out of a drunken stupor and rises to the occasion. Hooker and Gondorff team up to take down Lonnegan along with their assortment array of scam artists and con men to settle all accounts on behalf of Luther while staying one step ahead of the mob and the police. With an assorted cast that features Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Eileen Brennan, Ed Bakey,and Leonard Barr, "The Sting" became a huge boxoffice smash grossing 68.5 million dollars during its first run and went to become one of biggest hits in the history of Universal Pictures where it was the third highest grossing picture of 1973, behind "The Exorcist",and "American Graffiti". Nominated for an impressive 10 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director(George Roy Hill), Best Actor (Paul Newman), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Redford),and Best Original Score (Marvin Hamilsch). It was victorious in winning 7 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director(George Roy Hill),
Best Original Screenplay(David S. Ward),and Best Adapted Score (Marvin Hamlisch). The success of "The Sting" was the next to last of the teaming of actors Robert Redford, Paul Newman and director George Roy Hill. However,four years after the success of "The Sting",actor Paul Newman and director George Roy Hill team up again but this time around for one of the funniest sports comedies ever made "Slap Shot" which became even a bigger hit and one of the best comedies to ever grace the mid-1970's.
December 20, 2013
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

Paul Newman and Robert Redford shine together in this brilliant and extremely amusing caper film that boasts, among many things, an unpredictable plot and a stunning production design. A very delightful movie that is both entertaining and smart.
November 28, 2012

Super Reviewer

The Sting is a well crafted caper film with a great cast of talented actors under the direction of George Roy Hill and the result is an exciting and entertaining picture. The plot is effective, thrilling, dramatic right up to the final shot. The film strength is really in the performances of the cast, and the strong script by David S. Ward. This is a very entertaining film that is a must see for fans of classic cinema. This is one of the best heist films that was made in the 1970's. Paul Newman is great here and starring opposite Robert Shaw is one of the high points of the film. This is simply put a well executed film that is engaging from start to finish. If you heist flicks, then you should check this film out. With a great cast delivering some memorable performances, George Roy Hill has made a stunning masterwork of cinema, and this is among the greatest films ever made. If you're a fan of great cinema, then this is the perfect film for you. The buildup to the climax is wonderful. There's plenty of substance to the story which adds so much to the standard Heist film formula. This is a well paced and very entertaining film that remains one of the best examples of excellent 1970's filmmaking. The Sting is one of director's George Roy Hill's best films and it remains a classic of the genre due to the fact that it's simple, yet has a very well written script and is supported by a great cast.
September 14, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A few years after the great Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman and Robert Redford reteamed with director George Roy Hill for this- an intricately crafted and wonderfully structured con artist/heist picture filled with tons of twists and turns, and entertainment value out the wazoo.

Set in 1936 around Chicago, Illinois, this is the story of a couple of con artsits who team up together (alogn with some others) in order to get revenge on a crime boss who killed a mutual acquaintance of theirs. The story is compelling all on its own, but making it a period piece set during the Great Depression just somehow makes it even more interesting.

The film is dense and complex, and you do have to pay attention, but it's well worth it, and this is both an extremely rewarding and entertaining caper. If you can follow any of the Ocean's movies, then you should be able to follow this one just fine. Hell, this is pretty much the granddaddy of those and many other similar films.

I'll be honest, I really dig this kind of thing. I'm not like a die hard fan of these types of movies, but I do really enjoy them when I happen to see them. Maybe it's because they are so invovled and are filled with tons of twists and turns. True, sometimes this sort of thing can get needlessly overcomplicated and convoluted, but thankfully that's all avboided here due to some top notch writing and directing.

Newman and Redford once again show they have excellent chemistry, and you can tell they had a lot of fun here. They give some great performances, but they're not alone. As the chief antagonist, Robert Shaw is quite commanding and intimadating, and he does a great job. Just an icy stare from this guy is menacing. Supporting players such as Charles Durning and Eileen Brennan also put in some nice work.

The sets, costumes, art direction, music (an homage to Scott Joplin's ragtime style), and cinematography are all excellent. This film was nominated for (and won) several Oscars, and, yeah, I think it was deserving of them. This film isn't just a well played genre film, it's an extremely lavish, well done and stylish genre film. It's light on real die hard substance, but hell, does that really have to matterthat much?

This is just a real zinger, and definitely a blast to watch. It's clever, mostly inoffensive (not overly crude, that is), and the effort they put into recreating the time period really shows. If you want to see an amazing con artist movie, then you should immediately check this one out, it's pretty much the gold standard.
August 28, 2011
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Henry Gondorff/Mr. Shaw: Sorry fellas, I'm late because I had to take a crap.
    – Submitted by Norman W (17 months ago)
    1. Henry Gondorff/Mr. Shaw: I'd been her sooner but I had to take a crap.
    – Submitted by Norman W (17 months ago)
    1. Johnny Hooker/Kelly: You got the wrong guy, pal. I been home with the flu all day. You can stake out my toilet if you want.
    – Submitted by Victor M (23 months ago)
    1. Luther Coleman: You're a con man, and you blew it like a pimp. I didn't teach ya to be no pimp.
    2. Johnny Hooker/Kelly: What's eatin' you? I've blown money before.
    – Submitted by Victor M (23 months ago)
    1. Luther Coleman: I'm out, Johnny.
    – Submitted by Victor M (23 months ago)
    1. Doyle Lonnegan: Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Kelly; how does he do it?
    2. Johnny Hooker/Kelly: He cheats.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Clou (The Sting) (DE)
  • L'Arnaque (FR)
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