Making the Grades
In the original 1960s Ocean's Eleven, Frank Sinatra heads a group of former World War II squadron buddies on a New Year's Eve raid of five Las Vegas casinos. Forty years later, George Clooney retools Sinatra's role as Danny Ocean and once again heads for the bright lights of the Nevada hotspot. Fresh out of prison, he skips his parole order to stay in New Jersey, and hops across the country soliciting some skillful con artists to help him pilfer an easy 100 million plus. In this version, the aim is the highly secured underground vault of casino owner Harry Benedict (Andy Garcia), where the cash from his three profitable betting establishments is carefully tucked away.
With two weeks to perfect their plan, Ocean and his eleven accomplices swoop down on the unsuspecting desert town and begin rehearsing for their big event.
However, the plot becomes more complicated when Ocean's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts) shows up on the arm of the targeted gambling operator. Eager to win her back, Ocean plays a fine line between rekindling the romance and putting the entire heist (and his fellow felons) in jeopardy.
Like the first film that showcased actors Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford, this remake has netted a slew of big Hollywood names. Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle join the cast along with veteran actors Elliot Gould and Carl Reiner. While the star-studded cast may pull moviegoers into theaters, the basic movie premise remains the same -- common crooks trying to stack the odds in their favor.
Clooney and his famous-faced gang may have hastened the pace, cut out the singing, and upped the ante in this high-tech re-creation of Sinatra's film, but parents may be concerned with the heavy use of alcohol, two extreme sexual profanities, an obscene hand gesture and a pornographic picture. Less obvious, but equally troubling is the unrepentant attitude of the main character, and the light-fingered habits of his conspirators. Families wary of glorified thieves and liars may still want to steer clear of sailing on this ocean adventure.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Ocean’s Eleven.
In the original Ocean’s Eleven, women are mere accessories to be worn and cast off by the men. Is Tess really anything more than a beautiful trophy? How does Mr. Benedict indicate her value to him?
Security cameras are widely used in the casinos and hotels. How do you feel about the use of cameras in stores, schools, banks etc.? Are they helpful for security or do they invade personal privacy? What was the result of camera use in this story?