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Ocean's 8

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The Ocean family is not known for its upstanding citizenship. Danny Ocean has proved this with 3 previous. His sister Debbie is merely continuing the family tradition of high-stakes larceny, with an eye towards some of the most valuable jewels in the world at the Met Gala in OCEAN’S 8 (2018).

Before we think this is some sort of “girl-power”, gender-swapping caper where we just put chicks where all of the guys should be, allow me to disabuse you of that notion right now. The idea that women can’t be successful criminals is dated and a little sexist. There is a level of planning in this movie that’s incredible and a little intimidating, considering I can’t plan my lunch day-to-day.

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is released from prison after serving time for fraud. We find out why later on but the import bit is that she’s had time to think long and hard about her next, and hopefully last big score. She enlists her longtime partner Lou (Cate Blanchett), who in turn taps a jeweler (Mindy Kaling), a pickpocket (Awkwafina), a hacker (Rihanna), a fence (Sarah Paulson), and a willing accomplice in disgraced fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter) and the unwilling pigeon, a self-absorbed model (Anne Hathaway). The prize is a set of jewels buried deep within the Cartier vaults values at millions of dollars, enough to set everyone up for very comfortable existences. The just have to do it at the Met Gala, in front of cameras, armed security, and some of the most sophisticated security system in the world.

Look, ensemble casts are hard. Lots of moving parts with backstories and motivations, and Ocean’s 8 manages to give just enough information about everyone involved without leaving anyone just dangling, and it’s all dependant on the role they’re playing in the heist. So we’re clear, there are no small roles in a big heist. The first half of the film is the setup – who’s doing what and the intricate details and placement needed to make this work. The second half is It’s a clever bit of escapist fantasy because it’s so fun and complicated – and it’s nice that all is not revealed until it’s happening or has already happened. We just get to watch and revel in what happens next.

Neat little cameos by James Cordon as a savvy insurance investigator very familiar with the Ocean Family and Elliot Gould reprises his role as Reuben Tishkoff, providing more than a tangible link to the previous Ocean’s films. It’s the Met, so expect celebrities in dazzling gowns, Anna Wintour, and lots of flashbulbs. It’s really quite a spectacle.

This is a fun, breezy film with top-notch actresses who manage to not stab each other in the back over a man or clothes or the Big Dance. It’s nice to see women acting like competent adults, cool under pressure, and excellent at their assigned jobs. no one dissolves into tears because they aren’t pretty enough – okay, maybe model Daphne (Hathaway) but that’s totally her thing. Women, acting like humans, attempting to pull off a heist without guns or explosions or a hostage situation.

It’s novel and a delightful change of pace – especially if you watched HEREDITARY (2018) previously in the week.

Ocean’s 8 is rated PG-13 for minimal swears, criminal activity, 9-Ball (Rihanna) smoking a huge doobie, enjoying adult beverages, stealing, and Anne Hathaway getting down to some modest, if pretty lingerie.



Ocean's 8 is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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