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Matchstick Men

Year: 2003
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Ridley Scott
Producer: Ridley Scott/Ted Griffin
Writer: Nick Griffin/Ted Griffin/Eric Garcia
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce McGill

The best comedy about an anxiety-riddled agoraphobic trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter ever.

No, it's not such a bizarre movie for Nicolas Cage, and every now and then in amongst films like Con Air and Knowing he gives us little gems like this. It's more unusual territory for Ridley Scott however, but he brings an interesting texture to the screen in this black comedy.

Roy (Cage) and partner Frank (Rockwell) are cons who keep things small, putting together elaborate scams that stay under the radar and aren't likely to get them in any real trouble.

But a big score comes along that looks like it'll set them right up if they can pull it off. The only fly in the ointment is Roy's teenage daughter Angela, who's come onto the scene and is far too mature and interested in what Roy does for her own good.

With Roy trying not to come apart at the seams for the sake of the scam, he gradually wins Angela's heart and finds a new reason to live, but bigger surprises are in store for him (and us).

I won't say I saw the big twist coming, but you get a sense of the rhythm of films - if the climax seems to appear but the movie goes on just that one or two beats too long after it, you know there's a bigger scoop coming which will blindside the hero and give you an even bigger payoff. I've seen it happen too many times.

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