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  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 05/01/03

James Foley's new crime caper Confidence stars Ed Burns (Saving Private Ryan) as a skilled and stylish con man. In his latest heist, our antihero accidentally crosses "the King," a jittery and vengeful mob boss played by Dustin Hoffman. To get himself out of his dangerous predicament, he invites the King to be a part of his next endeavor, a proposal that proves perilously complicated. These two talented actors are joined by Rachel Weisz (About a Boy, The Mummy), Paul Giamatti, Andy Garcia, and Luis Guzman (The Count of Monte Cristo) in an intense, unpredictable, and perhaps amoral thriller.

Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) writes, "The narrative is intriguingly structured in Doug Jung's screenplay, but its self-satisfied tone and smug admiration for its brutal, criminal characters should not endear it to viewers. Not only are the crooks extremely greedy, but [they] show no hesitation to kill to get the big bucks. When such films are presented as simply a comic fantasy, a crime-does-pay conclusion can be taken with a grain of salt, but Confidence comes across as grounded in reality, and the film seems most impressed with its own vicious cleverness and cynical worldview."

"Confidence sits somewhere in the middle of the pack of heist/sting movies," says Michael Elliott (Movie Parables). "It isn't as clever or enjoyable as The Sting or even last year's Heist. But it could have been far worse than it is. While the totality of the film is a bit disappointing, there are individual segments which are quite entertaining. Even with Hoffman's scene-stealing characterization, this remains Ed Burns' movie. He [gives] nothing away while pulling us in for the ride."

Mainstream critics offer mostly ho-hum reviews here.