Ben Oliver

Banner image for Matchstick Men

Matchstick Men

If you’re gonna get wet, might as well go swimming.
04 April 2015

Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell star in this Ridley Scott con-artist comedy drama. The pair are preparing for a big job when Cage’s long lost daughter (Alison Lohman) comes into his life.

Cage’s character suffers from debilitating OCD, which means it’s the perfect role for him, and sure enough he gives it some gusto. The man is a force of nature that can’t be tamed; just what this seen-it-all-before con movie needed. Rockwell and Lohman manage to hold their own with him, which makes Matchstick Men a successful Cage endeavour.

It’s far from a perfect film. For one it’s predictable but that’s forgiveable - almost every movie about con artists ends the same way. However, an issue of more concern is Ridley Scott phoning in his part as director. This is just another entry into the graph charting his decline as a great director. I’m talking about the man that brought us Alien and Blade Runner, turning in a film that frankly could have been made by anyone.

That’s of little importance, Matchstick Men is nonetheless entertaining. Cage is a capable actor and he works with Lohman to make their new found father/daughter relationship fun, larger than life, but believable.

Roger Ebert suggested this should have been Oscar nominated, I wouldn’t go that far but you could to worse than to spend a couple of hours with Matchstick Men.