User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 164
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  1. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    Alison Lohman is genius here, and Cage deserves an Oscar nod as well, but Ridley Scott is the one who deserves all the praise. If anyone, anywhere, asked you about cinematic brilliance, tell them to look no further than Matchstick Men.
  2. Jul 31, 2014
    8
    This one is very well done. Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell make for a great pair of leads. Both are very likable and convincing as con men. Cage, in particular, as a man struggling with OCD is very good and really portrays the struggles of an OCD man very, very well. Alison Lohman is also very convincing in this one and does a good job in her role. Ridley Scott's direction is also veryThis one is very well done. Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell make for a great pair of leads. Both are very likable and convincing as con men. Cage, in particular, as a man struggling with OCD is very good and really portrays the struggles of an OCD man very, very well. Alison Lohman is also very convincing in this one and does a good job in her role. Ridley Scott's direction is also very strong as usual and shows good focus. The script is also solid. This one is called a comedy drama, but it was never really that funny, so it missed the mark there, but the drama was well done. The characters were all very well developed and you really feel like you know them all by the end of the film. In addition, the ending is particularly strong and very unexpected, which makes it all the more effective. Overall, this one is not some world beating film, but it is a well made one and a very entertaining film that keeps you hooked until the very end. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. marshman88
    Nov 23, 2005
    9
    It was really good. i'd definately watch it again. Grade: 9.1
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. PatC.
    Apr 20, 2004
    7
    A subdued light crime drama with little power but without major flaws. Contains clever situations, polish, generally good acting, and a dash of intelligence. Familiar in its Sting-like con of a con man, but the simultaneous conning of the audience was done in such a way as to cast doubt on the credibility of elements that rang true: Lohman's performance as a destabilized teen-ager A subdued light crime drama with little power but without major flaws. Contains clever situations, polish, generally good acting, and a dash of intelligence. Familiar in its Sting-like con of a con man, but the simultaneous conning of the audience was done in such a way as to cast doubt on the credibility of elements that rang true: Lohman's performance as a destabilized teen-ager was too authentic to be passed off as role-playing. Commendable in its respect for parenthood and its beautiful understated interspersion of non-formula gathering-romantic-attraction spots between Cage's character and a supermarket check-out lady. Safe, solid and disposable entertainment. Expand
  11. JonathanH.
    Apr 3, 2004
    7
    Well acted by all involved, the ending wasn't too good, i actually predicted it but the acting makes in quite enjoyable.
  12. BennettM.
    Mar 21, 2004
    9
    Another Cage classic, this movie is a funny and smart flick with more twists than a twizzler.
  13. FernandoG.
    Mar 14, 2004
    10
    Alison Lohman is the best part of the movie.
  14. GregH.
    Mar 6, 2004
    6
    "Fight Club," "Sixth Sense," "Vanilla Sky," John Cusak's "Identity," "A Beautiful Mind," etc. I am really getting tired of being tricked, or in the case of "Matchstick Men," conned into watching one movie only to find out in the end that I've been watching some completely different movie. Ridley Scott pulls it off as well as any of them and I enjoyed the ride, but give me a good "Fight Club," "Sixth Sense," "Vanilla Sky," John Cusak's "Identity," "A Beautiful Mind," etc. I am really getting tired of being tricked, or in the case of "Matchstick Men," conned into watching one movie only to find out in the end that I've been watching some completely different movie. Ridley Scott pulls it off as well as any of them and I enjoyed the ride, but give me a good old fashioned straight ahead narrative any day. Expand
  15. JoshL.
    Mar 1, 2004
    8
    This movie was immensely entertaining and had some high quality acting jobs by Cage, Lohman, and Rockwell. Its the best movie David Mamet didn't make.
  16. 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.
  17. BenA.
    Dec 4, 2003
    7
    This was a good movie. Things just work out a little TOO perfectly, no?
  18. SeanS.
    Nov 23, 2003
    10
    Truly a masterpiece!
  19. XiongC.
    Oct 18, 2003
    6
    Entertaining at the start, went downhill fast, and eventually left me feeling ripped off.
  20. Mickey
    Oct 18, 2003
    0
    Too stupid to be believed? You can see the end coming about one third into the picture.
  21. 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.
  22. Starfox
    Oct 6, 2003
    8
    Lots of fun! Great look and fantastic soundtrack. The con is on!
  23. 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
  24. TarmaR.III
    Oct 3, 2003
    0
    Betrayed is the only word you'll ever say to me.
  25. NickV.
    Sep 29, 2003
    9
    How do u not like this movie, you must have it confused with another one.
  26. 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.
  27. 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
  28. BitBurn
    Sep 24, 2003
    8
    I really enjoyed that movie. Cage and Rockwell are just amazing. Great original story with plenty of guts.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. [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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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
  38. 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.
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.