Matchstick Men (2003)

Matchstick Men (2003)
  • Time: 116 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Crime | Drama
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman


Nicolas Cage plays Roy, who prefers to be referred to not as a con man but a “con artist,” specializing in the “short con,” the quick and simple cheat that does not require an elaborate set-up. But his conflicts about his success have left him feeling even more uneasy than he is willing to admit. Various circumstances lead him to a psychiatrist (Bruce Altman). He begins to explore unresolved issues from his past, including his longing for the child he never met. When his wife left him, she was pregnant. The doctor helps Roy find his daughter, Angela (Alison Lohman). When he finds that she has inherited his skills, he is very proud but also a little horrified. He wants something better for her than what he has had. He wants to be better for her than he has been. Maybe the thing to do is one last “long con” and then he and Angela can live happily ever after. But, as Roy tells Angela, the challenge for a con artist is being ready for things that you did not plan.

One comment

  • This film, more than any other I’ve ever seen, shows how important an ending is to a story. A movie can recover from a bad start or even a bad middle, but if the ending doesn’t work, then the whole movie doesn’t work. I cannot think of any other movie that I have seen in recent years that makes less sense than this movie’s. The characters in the last 10 minutes of the movie are not the same characters that were in the first hour and 50 minutes. This film provided a resolution that didn’t work at all because the continuity of the story took a total dive.

    Aside from the ending, this film was excellent. I would like to see more personal human stories by Ridley Scott. He’s really good at it and its time he started making more movies like this and less movies like Hannibal. Nicolas Cage did deserve an Oscar nomination and so did Alison Lohman.

    I would give the beginning and middle of the movie a rating of 10 out of 10 and the ending a rating of -5 out of 10. If you do the math, I guess the overall score would be +5 out of 10. I wish I could give it more, but I can’t honestly recommend this movie because I feel like it betrayed me.

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