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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Matchstick Men cons audience

With the sudden explosion in popularity of crime glorifying films, the movie industry has been hard pressed to please the presently diversified audience. Following in the footsteps of Oceans 11 and Italian Job, Matchstick Men walks the balance between serious and comedic and continues the trend of “good villains.”

Roy (Nicolas Cage) and Frank (Sam Rockwell) are a couple of pros at the small-time con. Roy is your typical obsessive-compulsive agoraphobe and chain smoker; Frank is his aspiring young criminal, intelligent and confident. Roy and Frank make their living by taking advantage of other people, their current scam, selling water filters bought by unsuspecting people who pay excessive prices in order to win bogus prizes.

“The ways they scammed people out of their money was so entertaining,” Peter Ocheltree, ’07, said. “They were perfect for each other, and their acting was complimented in the hilarious situations.”

Roy constantly teeters on the brink of insanity, and when his detrimental quirks begin to threaten his criminal productivity ? and in order to get more illegal pills – he is forced by Frank to seek the help of a psychoanalyst (Bruce Altman).

“Nicolas Cage is the best crazy man I’ve ever seen,” Karen Tolladay, ’05, said. “It was hilarious watching him interact with other characters and dealing with his idiosyncrasies at the same time.”

Through his therapy, Roy is forced to face his past, namely his teenage daughter. When the suspected existence of this daughter is confirmed, his life changes forever. Roy’s adorable 14-year-old daughter Angela (Alison Lohman) is eager to meet her father, and what troubles Roy even more is that she is also eager to learn his trade.

It is through this relationship that Matchstick Men shines. Cage’s performance is stellar, and he is complimented by Lohman’s irresistible charm. Like a child walking for the first time, Angela prods her father into teaching her his way of life. At a time when Roy’s state of mind is slowly improving yet barely dwelling in the realm of sanity, he must make a choice: to subject his daughter to a life of crime, or leave the existence he’s known for so long.

Matchstick Men entered theaters Sept. 12 and runs two hours long. Rated PG-13 for language and violence, Matchstick Men is playing at Edwards Cinema in the Riverpark shopping center.

“I’d recommend this movie to everyone,” Maury Turner, ’04, said. “It has elements of drama, crime and comedy that anyone can appreciate. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time.”

Matchstick Men keeps the audience guessing; with a well-developed plot and colorful characters, it brilliantly portrays a life of crime in a humorous way that is sure to appeal to any party. This movie could possibly be the best of the year, and receives a solid A. A dazzling plot, near-perfect acting and superior directing are sure to lead this remarkable film to success. For more information visit

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