Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. As tricky and satisfying as any of David Mamet's airless cinematic shell games. Mamet's films are all plot and no atmosphere; this one has a squalid, urban-greed-meets-the-gutter mood that lends its filigreed cleverness an unusually resonant kick.
  2. 100
    Deliciously funny and fiendishly clever con-man comedy that begins on a note of ingenuity that it then sustains with the tension of a high-wire act.
  3. The kind of movie that seduces you into becoming putty in its manipulative card-sharking hands and making you enjoy being taken in by its shameless contrivance.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A seductively structured and superbly acted suspenser that breathtakingly piles swindle upon scam without giving away the game until the very end.
  5. When you think you've figured out Bielinsky's great game, that's when you're in the most trouble: He's the con, and you're just the mark.
  6. Two suggestions as you watch it: Never take anything for granted, and keep your hand on your wallet as you leave the theater.
  7. Clever, compelling, funny and unpredictable, and it has a lollapa-looza of an ending.
  8. Bielinsky's movie builds like a poker game in which the players, having invested everything, cannot afford to fold.
  9. Reviewed by: Jonathan Perry
    Elaborately layered movie about schemes and more schemes that pile up faster than chips on a blackjack table. The other half is realizing, about halfway through the film, that you won't figure it out until it's over.
  10. Has more twists than the Pacific Coast Highway and more layers than a stack of silver-dollar pancakes. If you can wrap your mind around one unlikely condition, the picture provides unalloyed pleasure for connoisseurs of cinematic con artists.
  11. It may not keep you guessing to the end, but there are enough surprises and wry revelations, right down to the last play, to make this a most satisfying cinematic confidence game.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Sep 5, 2012
    Very heavy dialog which would indicate the slow development of this con movie. Half of the movie is setting up the characters and plot surrounding the 9 queens. Watching this movie VIA subtitles didn't keep me from missing anything- thats how slow it moved. But the final 30 or so minutes leaving the viewer guessing which way the ending will unfold. Glad I didn't give up on it. Full Review »
  2. Feb 9, 2012
    A truly humorous, vibrant, delightful movie. It is engaging and never predictable -or very little. At times it is disturbing, and occasionally moving, so the different elements created the best combination for a great film. The performances are outstanding! Particularly, Gaston Pauls' performance, he certainly is an excellent actor -and I heard he is directing too.The first time I watched this film was here in Australia. Personally, I believe South American movies are better than Mexicans, but I guess Mexican movies are more promoted since, that is the dominant Hispanic culture in the States, where the blockbusters movies come from. Unfortunately, Americans do not really know much about South America and its diversity and assume that all Latin American culture is the same and it is not. Argentina is a country where most of the people comes from European background; thus, their sense of aesthetics is atypical in comparison to most of other Latin American countries. Argentina is a country where Arts and theatre have definitely the highest standards of Latin America. The very famous Colon Theatre is in Buenos Aires. So, give Argentinian and other South American movies a go! I am sure you won't regret it. ...BTW, in case you wonder why I am so passionate about this movie, I have no Argentinian fact, I am an Aussie, but I am merely stating the truth! Full Review »
  3. ButteredPopcorn
    May 12, 2007
    For the most part I agree with other reviews here, but I would add that it seemed to go on a bit too long, to the point that the plot started to take a few turns for the sake of complexity in it's own right. And the ending left me cold. Yes, I suppose it could happen, but it revealed layers to certain characters that had not been developed at all. Surprise for it's own sake. I wish the idea of the underdog as overlooked genius had been developed more completely. Full Review »