Out of Sight - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Out of Sight Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 15, 2015
Elmore Leonard had been writing crime and western novels as far back as the 1950's and has had numerous adaptations of his work: Paul Newman in Hombre, Clint Eastwood in Joe Kidd and Charles Bronson in Mr. Majestyk are just some of the more familiar ones. However, around the mid 90's there was somewhat of a reinvestment in his work. After the release of Quentin Tarantino's hugely influential Pulp Fiction in 1994, crime became cool again and Elmore Leonard became the go-to guy for the material. John Travolta would follow-up Pulp with an adaptation of Leonard's Get Shorty and Tarantino himself adapted Rum Punch into Jackie Brown. There were other TV Movies like Gold Coast and Pronto, Paul Schrader's misjudged Touch and the short lived TV series Maximum Bob. Steven Soderbergh then rounded them off with this stylish film that, arguably, handed George Clooney the first role that suited him as a fully fledged leading man.

Jack Foley (George Clooney) is a career bank robber that's done his fair share of jail time. After a recent breakout, he heads for Detroit to pull off his final job by relieving tycoon Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks) of his uncut diamond stash. However, Foley has to contend with other ex-cons with the same idea while evading the law and his infatuation with US Marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez).

Opening with the most remarkably cool and composed bank robbery you're ever likely to see, it's clear from the offset that Soderbergh and Clooney are on very fine form. The mood is also helped by an excellent score by David Holmes that taps into a 70's caper vibe while Soderbergh employs a whole host of stylistic, directorial flourishes; he cleverly plays with the time frame throughout the narrative with complex use of flashbacks and freeze frames and puts a fresh spin on film noir.

Anyone familiar with Leonard's novels will be fully aware of his colourful characters and sharp, snappy dialogue. In bringing them to the screen, Soderbergh assembles a rich gallery of performers; despite Leonard envisioning Jack Nicholson or Sean Connery as Jack Foley when he sold the film rights of his novel, it's a role that fits Clooney like a glove. He brings the requisite charm and charisma and it remains one of his most perfectly suited roles to this day. He's accompanied by a stellar supporting cast too; Jennifer Lopez is not normally someone I'd rate very highly but she delivers some strong work as the doggedly determined Federal Marshall and shares great chemistry with Clooney. Ving Rhames brings his usual reliability as Foley's right hand man, Buddy Bragg while Steve Zahn adds welcome comic relief as stoner, Glenn Michaels. It's the dialogue and interplay between all of these characters that's one of the films major highlights and it provide numerous light, entertaining moments. However, these moments are balanced out with a well judged element of danger. For the most part, the personalities seem flawed and comical but Don Cheadle's chillingly psychotic Snoopy Miller, in particular, is a sobering reminder of what's at stake and what some of these career criminals are capable of.

Despite the story predominantly taking place amongst unsavoury criminals, you could say that this is as much as a romantic drama as it is a crime drama and Soderbergh handles them both (and the comedy elements) with a deftness. The non-linear approach demands a certain concentration as it zips back and forth while teasingly bringing everything together. When you talk about the post-modern cool of 90's crime movies then this is certainly worthy of inclusion.

Crime may be the angle of it's characters but the real crime was this being overlooked upon it's release. It didn't do well at the box-office and many have yet to still uncover this gem.
Having been well versed in the work of Elmore Leonard over the years, I have to say that Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Frank do an exemplary job here. Adaptations of Leonard's work have rarely been better.

Mark Walker
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2007
Of Steven Soderbergh's more well known films, I can't believe it took me so long to finally see this.

Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, this is the story of Jack Foley and Karen Sisco. They have a chance encounter (one of the more unique 'meet cutes' in cinema) that sees them trying to have a romantic relationship with one another. There's a big problem, though, and that is the fact that Jack's a career bank robber who has just broken out of jail, and Karen's a deputy federal marshal who just stumbled right up onto the escape attempt.

The two have an undeniable attraction to one another, and that's a big part of the fun and charm of things, especially since the two are so committed to their polar opposite lifestyles. Even as Karen is hot on Jack's trail as he goes out for more capers, they manage to try to make their conflict work. Leave it to someone like Leonard to come up with a genius premise like this, and people like screenwriter Scott Frank and Soderbergh to craft such a solid adaptation.

The film is a tad more mainstream as far as Soderbergh's work is concerned, but that's not really a bad thing. It doesn't feel like an average mainstream romance/caper comedy, and that's maybe the strongest thing about it. It's got his trademark sense of style and super cool vibe, and the heavily funky soundtrack is quite slick as well.

All of this is highlighted by the performances by an ensemble cast of very well known performers. Jennifer Lopez is surprisingly strong as Karen, and Clooney is in typical top notch form as Jack. These two are really likable, smart, and fun to watch, Their chemistry, and the chemistry with the rest of the cast is remarkable. And speaking of the rest of the cast...Ving Rhames (in some slick spectacles), Don Cheadle (good funny/scary), Albert Brooks, Steve Zahn (very funny, here), Catherine Keener, Luis Guzman, Dennis Farina...and smaller appearances by Michael Keaton, Nancy Allen, Viola Davis, and Samuel L. Jackson.

All in all, the film is very well made, and quite entertaining, but it is admittedly rather overrated. It didn't come off as all that groundbreaking to me, though it may have been so when it came out. I really liked it, but I think in the end it's just shy of the top tier of Soderbergh's work.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2013
Pretty good caper flick performance-fueled by the chemistry of the cast, particularly Clooney and Lopez as law and disorder respectively. Leonard's story though, as usual, is the real star. And a decent romantic scene filmed entirely in the trunk of a Ford.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2013
Soderbergh's film 'Out of Sight' establishes George Clooney as the leading man of a generation. He carries his performance with a swagger and charm that carries the entire movie. Though an interesting premise with steady direction, the film only proves to be a slightly tedious build up to its climax, which doesn't have much of a payoff. Regardless, Clooney ensures it is an interesting ride.
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2012
'Out of Sight'. A playful, sexy, romantic, comic caper oozing charm and appeal through its well-rounded characters and a central relationship that works superbly.

Two scenes stood out.

I'll declare one the best accidental death I've seen on screen, while I rack my brain to think of something equally hilarious. White Boy Bob and his stumbling motif had played out twice previously, and I was wondering whether the actor was just clumsy, but to see it worked so well into the script, and have him shoot himself in the head while stumbling over that stair was absurd humour at its best.

The hotel bar and room scenes that were intercut and edited together was done exquisitely. As I mentioned before, sexy, playful, romantic, and that was just the dialogue between them at the bar. I loved that that's what had prominence, with the gradual taking off of clothes spliced amidst it.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2007
A smooth talking bank robber develops an infatuation with the beautiful US Marshall who is tracking him. Out Of Sight is the film in which we saw the first glimpse of what George Clooney was capable of and is clearly where the seeds of the Ocean's franchise were sown. It's a smart and sassy romantic heist movie based on a novel by Elmore Leonard with one foot planted firmly in the golden age of Hollywood. Although rather far-fetched, the chemistry between Lopez and Clooney works particularly well, he exhibiting his trademark charm and she making a particularly smart and strong as well as sexy leading lady. The dialogue is witty, the characters highly likeable and the plot interesting without being overly convoluted; everything a caper movie should be, basically. It is guilty of racial stereotyping (especially in the case of Don Cheadle's rather unpleasant gangster and his crew) but otherwise it hits the mark perfectly. Not only better than the similar Thomas Crown Affair, but also better than all of the Ocean's films in my opinion.
Super Reviewer
½ October 27, 2011
The first great caper film directed by Steven Soderbergh, with a style that he would further explore in his "Ocean's" films.
Super Reviewer
August 4, 2011
Adapted from Elmore Leonard's novel, Out of Sight is a sexy noirish love story disguised as a heist film. This has a great cast of characters, and in retrospect, almost feels like a prequel to Ocean's Eleven - but in style only. Soderbergh does some good character work here, even if the story plays out a bit tedious at times. George Clooney's magnatism is what makes this film work, while the story is only incidental. I haven't read the original novel so I can't make those kinds of comparisons, but it feels very much like Leonard. It tends to drag in places without much excitement or story prepulsion, but I suppose that's the intention. I can't say I loved it but I found it interesting enough.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2011
Out of Sight is a sexy, twisty, non-linear crime flick with a great cast. There are very heavy influences of Pulp Fiction here, and it's pretty entertaining at times, but I've seen better similar movies.
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2011
A pretty good movie. Clooney and Lopez had real chemistry together. The plot was fun. Sometimes it got boring and off track, and the minor characters were not acting material. But other than that a good movie, you should check it out.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2011
Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight" is an energetic and stylish ode to Elmore Leonard. I can't seem to think of another Leonard adaptation that feels so much like the author's work. All the elements of cinema are used to their fullest extent to create a cohesive and sexy final product. George Clooney (in his star making turn) and Jennifer Lopez (in a performance that she has never been able to top) have sizzling chemistry and make the romantic aspect of the film believable and very, very playful. The heist aspect is fun and intricate as well, proving to be as twisty and involving as any of Soderbergh's Danny Ocean films. Special attention should also be paid to the great Anne V. Coates editing, adding an entirely different level of cool to the picture.
Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2007
This film is much more about the romantic envolvement of the two main characters than it is about the bank robberies/heists. It does lack in excitement and it is pretty much what you would expect from pairing Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney up, although Clooney?s character does give an interesting slant on robbery techniques.
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2007
OUT OF SIGHT has Steven Soderbergh written all over it. From the editing, the shots, the music, the style to the overall coolness, the movie is undeniably his, even if it's not original material (the film's based on Elmore Leonard's novel).

Sexy, fun flick is infinitely enjoyable and boasts a very strong cast, where George Clooney, Steve Zahn and, I never thought I'd say this, but Jennifer Lopez too, are the stand-outs.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2009
Opposites attract.
Super Reviewer
April 17, 2009
"Opposites attract."

A career bank robber breaks out of jail and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a US Marshall he has kidnapped.

No one has captured the brilliance of author Elmore Leonard onscreen as Steven Soderbergh did with Out of Sight. Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Frank understand Leonard's dark-comedic tone perfectly and use it to concoct a film that is in turn hilarious, thrilling and romantic--and not at all sappy-romantic, but cool-sexy-hot romantic. The cast is phenomenal. Soderbergh elicits a truly great performance out of Clooney and Jennifer Lopez really never has been better. The supporting cast really shines, with Ving Rhames, Catherine Keener, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks (who is nearly unrecognisable for most of the film) and Luis Guzman all doing stellar work. Overall, a great comedic action-drama for adults. Tops in this genre. If possible, get it on DVD, where it looks fabulous.
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2007
A stylistic, super smart, consistently entertaining thriller concerning the world's coolest bank robber (a terrific George Clooney) and how he gets himself involved in a romantic relationship with the federal agent (Jennifer Lopez) after him. The cast all-around is just outstanding, Clooney and Lopez have great chemistry on-screen together, and Don Cheadle gives an awesome supporting performance that is both intimidating and comical at the same time. The end is a lot of fun too, director Soderbergh really likes to mix it up and you can tell he's having fun with this movie. You should too.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2009
I'm not sure what to make of this movie. It was playing on TV after midnight and I fell asleep during the middle of it. I'm not sure whether to blame it on the movie or on my tiredness. I did see the last 45 minutes and was unclear exactly what the ending of the movie alluded to. I will have to try to watch it again without and see if I can stay awake this time.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2007
Basically, it's pre-Ocean's 11 with better romance. Only not that much better, because I think the chemistry between Clooney and JLo is overrated. Better than Clooney and Julia Roberts, but still, overrated. Sigh, I wish Soderbergh would just STOP with these heist films. He's such a good filmmaker and I just don't care about this genre.
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2006
I absolutely love this film. It's purely and utterly enjoyable. A cool, stylish, and frequently enertaining film. Smart, wickedly funny and rich in character crime caper. A thriller that packs romance, humor, excitment and thrills into one real deal. A slickly written, well-crafted and terifficly performed film. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez are teriffic together, showing such compelling and dynamic chemistry. Clooney is slick, impressive and sensational. Lopez is at her very best. Ving Rhames is teriffic.
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