Matchstick Men

Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
Watch On
  1. 100
    Lohman in particular is effective; I learn to my astonishment that she's 24, but here she plays a 15-year-old with all the tentative love and sudden vulnerability that the role requires, when your dad is a whacko confidence man.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    88
    It’s a 21st-century version of "The Sting" for these so far rather unkind and ungentle times.
  3. 88
    The dialogue -- especially that between Roy and Frank -- crackles with wit and intelligence (a rarity in films these days).
  4. 80
    A combination of criminal smoothness and overloaded neuroses, Cage pulls off the lead role better than any actor imaginable.
  5. Let it swindle you; it's part of the fun. In fact, it's all of the fun.
  6. You can easily lose five minutes making sense of it - and another 10 poking holes in it - but what of it? The preceding 100 minutes pass so pleasurably, the few false moves barely register - maybe the biggest con of all, but consider me happily snowed.
  7. 75
    Credible? Not really. But Cage and Rockwell play off each other with devilish finesse. And Lohman (White Oleander) is on fire -- she's a comer.
  8. This movie is a model of technique, beautifully crafted, often brilliantly acted by Cage and the others, but it's a bit hollow at the center.
  9. Overall, Matchstick Men, which is based on the novel by Eric Garcia, is more memorable for Lohman's naturalistic acting and Scott's mannerist direction than it is for its O. Henry surprise.
  10. A well-made entry in the fashionable caper-movie genre, which has gathered steam lately with "Ocean's Eleven" and others.
  11. Reviewed by: Paul West
    75
    The picture juggles three story threads. It's an excellent character study, a surprisingly effective father-daughter drama and a caper movie littered with surprises.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Well-acted and intriguing exploration of dishonesty in its varied forms, leavened with a dry comic touch.
  13. The direction is still slick, but Matchstick Men gets most of its thrills from the unknowable in human interaction. This could be the biggest "scam" Scott himself has pulled off.
  14. A clever look at con artists and their games of deception.
  15. That's where the movie falters: It tries to give Garcia's book a heart and conscience it didn't need and never demanded.
  16. The portraiture is so carefully done that I regret in some ways the tricky plot--which is also carefully done, but seems at times to belong to a different movie.
  17. Reviewed by: Brad Slager
    70
    This is the work of professionals acknowledging a good story and knowing better than to get in the way.
  18. Actually, there's one other way to approach Matchstick Men, and that's to forget all about neuroses and con artistry and admire the movie instead for the unsettlingly beautiful directorial study in geographical mood that it is.
  19. 63
    The best moments in Matchstick Men belong to Cage and Lohman, who, in "Paper Moon" fashion, prove that the family that cons together, laughs together.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 38
  2. Negative: 5 out of 38
  1. Jake
    Feb 5, 2007
    9
    Cage is great in this film. He plays the part extremly well. It is a very humorous movie with a great story. Rockwell and Lohman were great Cage is great in this film. He plays the part extremly well. It is a very humorous movie with a great story. Rockwell and Lohman were great for the roles that they played. They gelled very well with Cage. Full Review »
  2. HenryS
    Aug 15, 2009
    9
    This is quite an amazing movie, mainly because Alison Lohman's performance was enough to knock anyone off their seats, I still have a This is quite an amazing movie, mainly because Alison Lohman's performance was enough to knock anyone off their seats, I still have a hard time believing she was really 23 then! and the end is indeed original, loved it all. Full Review »
  3. DaraHMude
    Mar 20, 2006
    8
    its a great movie i think. i like the scene where cage and angela hangout together... the ending makes the movie even more unforgettable. i its a great movie i think. i like the scene where cage and angela hangout together... the ending makes the movie even more unforgettable. i wish it would not end up like that because their relationship was very beautiful. Full Review »