User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 115
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  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 for the roles that they played. They gelled very well with Cage.
  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 hard time believing she was really 23 then! and the end is indeed original, loved it all.
  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 wish it would not end up like that because their relationship was very beautiful.
  4. marshman88
    Nov 23, 2005
    9
    It was really good. i'd definately watch it again. Grade: 9.1
  5. matta.
    Dec 6, 2005
    4
    Predictable tripe for the most part. I could see the ending "twist" coming a mile away. Also, honestly do you really think that Cage would have reacted that way at the end? That calmly towards a person that totally manipulated hiim and stole all his money? Even if he is happy and content at that point, he wouldn't be that nice about it. Anyway, Lohman and Rockwell are pretty good and Predictable tripe for the most part. I could see the ending "twist" coming a mile away. Also, honestly do you really think that Cage would have reacted that way at the end? That calmly towards a person that totally manipulated hiim and stole all his money? Even if he is happy and content at that point, he wouldn't be that nice about it. Anyway, Lohman and Rockwell are pretty good and that helps the film from being a total waste of time. Expand
  6. BenA.
    Dec 4, 2003
    7
    This was a good movie. Things just work out a little TOO perfectly, no?
  7. JerryH.
    Sep 12, 2003
    6
    Great performances by Cage and Lohman and wonderful cinematography let down by a lame script. You might enjoy it or hate it but either way you can't help but feel ripped off.
  8. COryR
    Sep 17, 2003
    2
    It started off great but the ending was awful. I can't believe that ............ What kind of ending is that. It made no sense.
  9. MaikuT.
    Sep 13, 2003
    5
    This movie started out really good. But the ending totally sucks. I feel SO 'con'ed by the ending ... Do yourself a favor and leave 20 minutes before the movie is over.
  10. BobH.
    Sep 27, 2003
    1
    Lame is the best way to describe this mess. It is so full of holes it would be better off as swiss cheese. Twitching one head does not a make a good movie. Sorry Charlie, but this was bad.
  11. Fantasy
    Sep 23, 2003
    3
    Started out with good intentions but half way through the movie it started to unravel like a cheap suit. The ending was absolutely ludicrous and could be spotted a mile away.
  12. TarmaR.III
    Oct 3, 2003
    0
    Betrayed is the only word you'll ever say to me.
  13. Mickey
    Oct 18, 2003
    0
    Too stupid to be believed? You can see the end coming about one third into the picture.
  14. G.M.D.K.
    May 5, 2005
    8
    With amazing performances and a retro style with the camera,this films is what you may ask for when you have a hunger for a movie.
  15. raVen
    Aug 9, 2004
    7
    (7.5) -Better con than "Confidence," with a superior twist. But I agree with Pat that the twist, when it comes, will make you hate the movie a little bit before finally relenting that it was nothing personal, just good filmmaking. (Think Usual Suspects) The problem is that it spends 90% of its running time making us FEEL that it's personal. That what happens to Cage MATTERS to us. It (7.5) -Better con than "Confidence," with a superior twist. But I agree with Pat that the twist, when it comes, will make you hate the movie a little bit before finally relenting that it was nothing personal, just good filmmaking. (Think Usual Suspects) The problem is that it spends 90% of its running time making us FEEL that it's personal. That what happens to Cage MATTERS to us. It does, in fact, do such a good job of making us care, that when the payoff comes, it feels like a deeper cut than it should for a happy ending. The tag line "you didn't take it, I gave it to you" thus sounds more than a little hollow, just as it would have to any of Cage's many victims. A paper thin - but substantive - difference between good and great. Quite worthwhile nevertheless. Expand
  16. WilliamM.
    Sep 9, 2003
    7
    I enjoyed the look, the feel, and the pacing of the film, but unfortunately, I was able to accurately predict the plot WAY too early in the film. Knowing where it would go, it was still entertaining, but not nearly as much as it could have been. Kudos to Sam Rockewell and Alison Lohman for a pair of excellent performances.
  17. JohnY.
    Sep 13, 2003
    8
    Here's a film you want to like more than you did. The performances are superb, the script is charming and observant at the same time, and Scott?s direction provides for a visually impressive canvas. Yet, it overstays its welcome, providing an ending that may be clever, but feels tacked on for shock value. Still, see this for Cage.
  18. AMovieCritic
    Sep 13, 2003
    8
    I really liked the movie. It was entertaining, surprising, etc. I really only saw this movie because there wasn't much else to see, and I was surprised. VERY GOOD.
  19. Crowlee
    Sep 10, 2003
    7
    Solid movie from beginning to end. Light hearted and funny with a touching emotional core, MM takes a different look at the con artist film with entertaining results. Cage and Lohman are excellent with Cage clearly displaying how much of a quality and quirky actor he can be. For the first time in years, Ridley Scott puts away the cool camera tricks and directs for the story and Solid movie from beginning to end. Light hearted and funny with a touching emotional core, MM takes a different look at the con artist film with entertaining results. Cage and Lohman are excellent with Cage clearly displaying how much of a quality and quirky actor he can be. For the first time in years, Ridley Scott puts away the cool camera tricks and directs for the story and characters. Editing was a bit off with some scenes roaming for way too long and others being abruptly cut. The biggest problem is everyone in the theater knows what the twist is going to be but the people in front of and behind the camera make the film enjoyable enough that you go along for the ride. Expand
  20. ChadS.
    Sep 24, 2003
    9
    Even if you're savvy to "The Spanish Prisoner" echo, there's still a lot to admire here. Alison Lohman, at 24, plays 14 without any accidental lolita underpinnings. Angela seems more informed by Marsha Brady than Britney Spears. The "intricate" plot is for the naifs, but the performances by Lohman and Nicolas Cage(welcome back, Sean Penn was right, fella) are undeniably strong, Even if you're savvy to "The Spanish Prisoner" echo, there's still a lot to admire here. Alison Lohman, at 24, plays 14 without any accidental lolita underpinnings. Angela seems more informed by Marsha Brady than Britney Spears. The "intricate" plot is for the naifs, but the performances by Lohman and Nicolas Cage(welcome back, Sean Penn was right, fella) are undeniably strong, so you can't pan the film based only on your ability to figure stuff out. "Matchstick Men" would still be a successful film without the ongoing confidence game. Expand
  21. [Anonymous]
    Sep 14, 2003
    10
    I felt betrayed at the end of the movie. But that's what you're suppose to feel. Nicholas Cage is very funny and this is an unbelievably interesting movie.
  22. JerryT.
    Sep 14, 2003
    9
    This is a very good movie. It has a VERY suprising ending. Only a handful of movies are movies that you can not predict. I could not predict a thing about this movie. GO WATCH IT YOU FOOLS! oh and its a 9 out of 10 because the movie had an ending i didn't predict.
  23. NickV.
    Sep 29, 2003
    9
    How do u not like this movie, you must have it confused with another one.
  24. BitBurn
    Sep 24, 2003
    8
    I really enjoyed that movie. Cage and Rockwell are just amazing. Great original story with plenty of guts.
  25. Starfox
    Oct 6, 2003
    8
    Lots of fun! Great look and fantastic soundtrack. The con is on!
  26. SeanS.
    Nov 23, 2003
    10
    Truly a masterpiece!
  27. BarryR.
    Oct 3, 2003
    8
    "Matchstick Men" starring Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman and directed by Ridley Scott is an intricate tight drama with plot twists and turns that would make David Mamet proud. Cage does a more than adequate job and shares accolades with 24 year old Alison Lohman who appears as a 14 year old in the picture. Although well acted and well written, the movie gets a little tied up in the end and "Matchstick Men" starring Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman and directed by Ridley Scott is an intricate tight drama with plot twists and turns that would make David Mamet proud. Cage does a more than adequate job and shares accolades with 24 year old Alison Lohman who appears as a 14 year old in the picture. Although well acted and well written, the movie gets a little tied up in the end and the knots don't always fit the loop. This is a movie that, in retrospect, will appear better than it was when you were watching it. Neverthess, one is never bored or tired and that is because of the well written script and script turns that make you really ponder what is taking place. Over 2 hours in length, one is never tired of watching the film as the intricacies of the plot make you literally follow every action and hang upon every word. Perhaps, with a better ending and less unanswered questions, the movie would earn 3 stars but, because of the latter, it gets an 8.0 Expand
  28. Triniman
    Oct 16, 2003
    7
    Nicolas Cage is pretty funny and a neurotic conman, but it's not an Oscar-worthy performance. At the end of the film, you may think that the story was too unbelievable to be a great film. Still, without giving the story away, this is a an entertaining film and worth watching. It's about as satisfying as Ocean's Eleven, which apparently had the same screen writers.
  29. XiongC.
    Oct 18, 2003
    6
    Entertaining at the start, went downhill fast, and eventually left me feeling ripped off.
  30. Paul
    Feb 7, 2004
    10
    THE MOVIE ROCKS.....nicolas cage is great...reminds me of a not-quite-as -good oceans eleven....get this movie when it comes out on dvd.
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. The movie is moderately enjoyable, but it also makes you feel conned: It offers up a disturbing protagonist and then substitutes cuteness for character.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Odd mixture of ultra-sleek visuals, psychological probing, "Paper Moon"-like father-daughter swindling, self-improvement efforts and abrupt tough-guy stuff keeps the picture percolating, even if it seems too artificial to genuinely convince on an emotional or dramatic level.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    Scott's finesse can't entirely disguise the mechanical nature of Nicholas and Ted Griffin's script, which has one too many twists for its own good. Fun while it lasts, but it's a bit of a con job itself.