Posted: 05/05/2003




by Hank Yuloff

Another heist film without a whole lot of surprises.

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Maybe I have seen too many “crime thrillers with a twist” in the last few years: 25th Hour, 15 Minutes, Heist, The Score, Insomnia…. Maybe it was the name: Confidence. I was looking for the angle right from the beginning. They told you to look for the angle right from the beginning. And in the style of the best crime movies, director James Foley pulls it off enough to make you have to discuss with your partner exactly what happened!

What happened was a con. Edward Burns (15 Minutes, Life or Something Like It) is Jake Vig, a grifter extraordinairre by his own telling at the beginning of the movie. He and his partners take a poor schmuck for $150k and then find out it belonged to The King, a baaaaad man who won’t take being ripped off lightly. Sounds like The Sting, doesn’t it? In order to pay off The King, he sets up another con of someone even bigger, using The King’s money. Wow, where’s Paul Newman in this one?

Dustin Hoffman is The King and Robert Forster is Morgan Price, a legitimate banker who The King hates. Hoffman figures he’ll use Burns to get at Forster but he is wary of the fact that Burns will try and burn him, too. Will it happen? Sorry, not going to give it away. It would take away the fun. Hoffman isn’t as scary as we expect him to be - we hear about his anger more than he shows it - but nonetheless, I am consistently pleased to follow his lead. Burns is a cool character. The movie is done in a faux flashback mode which keeps you interested and fills in a lot of the holes.

The remainder of the cast is worth the trip on this one. Andy Garcia (The Man From Elysian Fields, When A Man Loves A Woman) plays a Federal Agent who has been hunting Vig for a long time. Luiz Guzman, who isn’t much of a looker, but is a terrific character actor, plays a cop on Vig’s payroll. He was excellent in a comedic roll in the recent Anger Management and did the same in a dramatic role in Traffic and The Limey. Rachel Weisz (Enemy at the Gates, The Mummy) was perfect as the femme fatale pick pocket that Vig picks up after she picks him clean.

If you enjoy the crime thriller genre, then Confidence is a good one to see. I could see waiting until you rent it so you can go back and see some of the scenes and realize exactly “who dunnit.”

Hank Yuloff is our guy in Los Angeles who has a hard time deciding who dunnit and who didn’t it.

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