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By Don R. Lewis | January 19, 2003

There’s nothing like a good heist film. Except maybe a film about some sucker getting hustled. James Foley’s “Confidence” is a little bit of both and as such, is pretty entertaining. However where this film stumbles is in its inexplicable need to copycat other films and actors.
Edward Burns stars as Jake Vig, a more than capable grifter who accidentally hustled $150,000 off of mob boss “The King” (Hoffman). In order to pay him back, Jake offers to run a grift on a person of the Kings choosing. The King accepts the offer and backstabbing, lying, conniving and plot twists ensue. Yet throughout, “Confidence” reeks of other films and other actors. Burns is doing his best Ben Affleck impersonation and a slew of the dialogue smacks of Tarantino’s Screenwriting 101 class. “Oh, look…they’re having a real slice-of-life conversation while plotting a crime.” There’s even a shot taken from the trunk ala Tarantino.
Why? With a stellar cast and a great storyline, veteran director Foley doesn’t need to be a mimic. Also, Andy Garcia is totally wasted as a burned out FBI man on the hunt for Jake and Luis Guzman is toned down to un-Guzman like proportions.
Even with all its distractions “Confidence” has so many plot lines, twists and surprises, it’s still a pretty good film. Dustin Hoffman is quietly classic as the perverted and hyperactive King and Rachel Weisz is sexy and smart as always. Plus, even if a good heist/grift movie struggles in places, a good payoff will still make it work and that is definitely the case here.

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