A twisting, turning, smartly written heist caper from the man who knows a think or two about heists, Steven Soderbergh. Set in 1950s Detroit on the cusp of a social and political shift, two muscles-for-hire take on a straightforward job that soon proves to be anything but. A domino effect of lies, backstabbing and alliance shifting begins to unravel as more and more powerful players begin to insert themselves into the mix.
The film is absolutely stocked to the brim with engaging performances from an all-star ensemble including Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, John Hamm, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser (good to see you back, buddy), and Julia Fox. While not everyone gets a solid amount of development, each star plays their role soundly within the realm of the days of 1950s gangsters. Underneath the tightly written story is a prominent political message taking aim at American capitalism and grip it has around nature and its people, a la The Nice Guys. Its politics are always there, neither hidden nor the central focus, never losing sight of its aim to entertain through the shenanigans of a couple of schmucks trying to make a little money. Almost too grandiose for its own good, the story can get a bit convoluted as conspiracy after conspiracy begins to unravel, yet it never ceases to entertain through its eccentric characters and whip-crack dialogue. Not every line or delivery is completely polished, but these rough edges are quickly moved past to get right back to the good stuff. Funny when it wants to be and bleak when it needs to be, the balance the script is able to nail is hard to ignore.
While this may not be noticeable to some, the film appears to have been shot with a wide, anamorphic lens. While this is fitting for many wider, open shots with a lot to see, the smaller moments with less characters and space have a slightly warped look that can be a bit jarring at times. It’s not a deal breaker thankfully, as the rest of the movie looks incredibly stylish. Even without bringing many new ideas to genre, the film remains a hell of a good time as one of the best streaming service exclusives available right now. Smart, poignant and genre heavy as all hell, be sure to check this one out if you have access to HBO Max.