Despite the recent release of Dunkirk, I'm not talking about Nolan here, because that second part wouldn't be true. I'm talking about Ridley Scott, who has made some of the most influential (and enormous) films of all time. But when he's workin' on an ENORMOUS, EPIC, MASSIVE palette—Yes, I'm looking at you, Kingdom of Heaven or/and Robin Hood or/and Exodus: Gods and Kings—I can sometimes lose track of his genius.
Then I see something like Matchstick Men, which was squeezed between Black Hawk Down and Kingdom of Heaven (and is currently on NETFLIX INSTANT), and I am reminded of the things that make him great—things that can make his films work in spite of their size and scope. (You know who else is known for his legendary and MASSIVE work but is often better in a smaller scale? Hans Zimmer, whose score for this film is shockingly small. And superb.)
Sure, I've long been a sucker for a good, tightly-written, twisty heist film. But in addition to being all of those things, it's also a wonderfully-paced and acted (especially from Rockwell) and designed (not sure I've seen grey used more effectively) and executed (gosh, I love caper stories) film. Scott's to blame on many of those fronts, I think, and I'm going to do my best to keep that in mind next time I'm watching one of his increasingly-derivative Alien films. Or one of his historical (though not particularly faithful) epics. Because the man really is a master, if you can see past the (occasionally overwhelming) hue and crying fury.
When an obsessive-compulsive con man meets the daughter he never knew he had, he inadvertently jeopardizes his tightly organized and controlled life.