Matchstick Men - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Matchstick Men Reviews

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½ September 8, 2017
Breezy but inspired, "Matchstick Men" is a refreshing change of pace for Ridley Scott. Strong performances from all its cast abound. Give this underrated gem a chance!
½ July 25, 2017
The best Nicolas Cage film?
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2017
I've never been a religious man, dating back to as far as I can remember. My grandma, especially, is very religious. My mom and aunt, who I was raised by, both believe in some form of a higher power. But they've never been overbearing about it. I was never forced to go to church or to pray or any of those other things associated with being raised by a religious family. I guess this is why it was easier for me, when I reached the age of reason (13) to come to the conclusion that believing in a higher power just didn't make sense to me. We know enough about this universe to know that there's no real design to any of it and I've been an atheist ever since then. That's, obviously, a simplification of my thoughts, but that's the basic gist of it. So, yes, I've been an atheist since I started my teens. Until I came to the realization a little while ago that I do, in fact, have a Lord and Savior. And His name is Nicolas Cage. I used to deny the existence of his greatness. But no more, Hallelujah, I have seen the light of His love and it is wondrous. I used to be a nonbeliever, but all that has changed and I've accepted His love and light into my heart and my life has never been the same. If you were expecting me to speak seriously about religion in a Nicolas Cage movie, then I don't know what is wrong with you. But, I digress, let's move on to this movie, shall we? This is one of those flicks that I've always seen on TV (or more recently on Netflix) and I've always wanted to see it from beginning to end (I've seen bits of it here and there). But it's just one of those movies that's on the back of your mind. It's not really where your mind first goes to when you go to pick a movie to watch. It's the movie you have if you've got no time left and you have to pick something quickly. I suppose that's not the most flattering thing to say about a film, but that's just the way I felt about this. I wanted to see it, but it's not like I absolutely needed to do it or else my life would've been incomplete without it. But, after all was said and done, I came away from this movie pleasantly surprised. Well that's not really what I mean, since it's not like I had low expectations for this flick. What I mean is simply the fact that I came away from this pleased with my choice. It's not a movie that, again, I needed to see, but I'm glad I did see it because, surprise surprise, I thought this was good. I know there's a new friend out there that 'disapproves' of my enjoyment of Nic Cage films (you know who you are) and if you're reading this review, then you should watch this movie. In all seriousness, though, while there's some obvious Cage-isms in this film, this is a more subdued version of the man. I've always felt that when Cage is into a script, then he can actually be a really good actor. Perhaps not one of the best, but still pretty damn good. You'd think the fact that Cage plays a character who has OCD and severe tourette's, which manifests itself in uncontrollable tics, would lead to a lot of Cage-isms. But, surprisingly, Cage's tics come across fairly natural and not Cage trying to make a mockery of the whole thing. And I do think that this is something that Cage has excelled that that no one really gives him credit for. And that is selling the physical aspects of whatever ailment his character may have at that particular moment. I am a fair man and I have to give Cage credit where it is earned. As far as the film and its narrative goes, it's all fairly standard and predictable. You can pretty much figure out what's going on almost immediately. I'll try not to spoil things, but it should be obvious for those of you who've watched more than 10 films in your lives, but I just find parts of the narrative to be a little convoluted. There's some many variables in the long con that Frank and Angela play on Roy. For example, Frank has to count on the fact that Roy will listen to his advice about seeing a psychiatrist. I suppose this one would have been easier when taking into consideration the fact that Roy has lost his usual supplier of his medicine, through illicit means, and he sees the psychiatrist as a chance to get more medicine to control his tourette's. That one is fine. But then you have to count on the fact that Roy will chicken out on calling his ex-wife and asking her about their 'daughter' and then ask the psychiatrist to call his ex for him and to set up a meeting with his daughter. Frank has no way of knowing that that Roy will do everything exactly as his plan went. So, yea, I found that to be a little far-fetched to be honest. I still thought the film was good, but I do think what I mentioned held it back a little, to me at least. I still found this to be an entertaining, if not particularly great, caper film. And it's not even a real caper film, since that's not really the endgame, really. At least for Roy. I like that it focuses on the relationship between Roy and Angela, it gives me Roy a stability in life that he never had. It's a little cliched, but I think Nic Cage and Alison Lohman have good chemistry and they make it work. Sam Rockwell is always amazing and I, honestly, wish he was in this movie a little more than he was. He always makes things better and I feel that if his character had been featured more, the film might have been better. But that's neither here nor there. Don't know what else I can say about this flick. I've gone over it all. The cast is great and, easily, the best part of the film. The narrative, while predictable, gets the job done, they do a good enough job at making you invested in these characters. There's something missing here, to be sure, but I thought this was a good movie and I'd certainly recommend it if you've been on a string of shitty movies and would just like to watch a good one for a change. Nothing you really need to see here, but this is still enjoyable.
July 12, 2017
Holy shit that ending! This is some of Nic Cage's best work. Alison Lohman and Sam Rockwell are also great and fun in their roles. Definitely worth a watch.
July 2, 2017
The great performances, direction, and script make up for a very glaring plothole.
May 21, 2017
With excellent performances and stylish directing, Matchstick Men is a character driven story that takes the audience through multiple twists and turns before pulling the rug out from under their feet.
May 18, 2017
1928 Was 75 Years Old In 2003.
½ May 4, 2017
An interesting but bittersweet film that will toy with your emotions. I've never seen better acting from Nicolas Cage. (First and only viewing - 9/12/2014)
March 11, 2017
One of the lesser-known Ridley Scott films, Matchstick Men (2003) could have been just another heist film, and in some senses, it is. Upon watching the film again, one can easily pick up exactly when the "long con" starts up and which events lead toward the inevitable conclusion. So, perhaps it doesn't have the ability to demand repeat watchings (past about two) on its heist aspects. However, I believe the characters are what give this movie most of its charm. After all, characters make a story, and this one has some good ones.

In one of his best "crazy person" roles, Nicholas Cage does an incredible job portraying Roy, a con-artist with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His performance is often difficult to watch and is cringe-worthy in the opening act. If this is what it's truly like living with OCD, I never want to joke about having it . . . ever. I'm almost amazed he even managed to con as many people as he did considering how serious his condition appears. The little tics and freak-outs Cage brings to this character make his disorder real to the audience.

Sam Rockwell ends up portraying the same kind of character he always does in these types of films, but Alison Lohman ends up being the Yin to Cage's Yang with her role as Angela, Roy's 14-year old daughter. She pulls out all the stops and tropes of the teenage girl, which makes for a convincing performance, especially since it's a performance within a performance. Because her presence changes Roy for the better, it's obvious something was missing in his life, and she managed to bring him stability by providing it. On top of all these characters, the spot-on Hans Zimmer score and choice of musical pieces to accompany it make Matchstick Men a fun watch.

A standard heist film with a non-standard main character, I give Matchstick Men 3.0 stars out of 5.
February 21, 2017
Grade - B
One of Ridley Scott's better films of late, 'Matchstick Men' is a great showcase for Nicolas Cage's wacky performance, and is supported by a good script.
½ January 19, 2017
This is an impressive movie with fantastic performances all around, especially from Nic the Cage. How Cage pulled this off, especially with one particular quote, I might never know. Somehow, Sir Ridley Scott managed to make the backstabbing twist in the end of this movie absolutely work. Definitely recommended.
½ November 15, 2016
not bad, one of Nicolas Cage's best performances
Super Reviewer
½ October 4, 2016
Ridley Scott's con movie outing is charming, but overplayed, which serves to give away the ending long before the end. Kinda ruined it for me. And the main con in the piece never questions the actions of his subordinates, which he calmly tells us, is his main job. And so, meh.
September 25, 2016
Witty script, makes you wonder who's conning who? Brilliantly played by Cage, Rockwell & Lohman.
September 3, 2016
Predictable from the beginning
½ August 17, 2016
I gave this one a re-watch off the To-Watch Pile recently and I have to say that I enjoy Nic Cage when he's doing his quirky shtick, plus the twists of the film are interesting and charming.

Well worth a look for the strong performances from all of the leads. Give it a rental.
July 24, 2016
The unraveling is a bit of a stretch, but "Matchstick Men" is an entertaining and touching bit of satire.
July 15, 2016
For all the supposed psychology behind the plot, there's not much logic here. Yet I have to admit that the last 30 minutes of the film had me tickled.
June 20, 2016
A con film with interesting characters and unpredictable twists.
½ June 7, 2016
The con here is Ridley Scott trying to trick us into thinking he can make a nonboring moving. By the end of this flick, your hand is picking up the phone to call the movie police for the crime of trying to pass off this piece of crap as a con movies. For a con movie to be a success, it must con the audience. This movie only succeeds in boring its audience.
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