A heist caper, like a soufflé, has a simple list of ingredients, but a difficult-to-execute recipe. Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean—sister of Danny from the Steven Soderbergh-directed Ocean’s series—who takes the opportunity of parole from prison to plan a huge jewel heist at the annual Met Gala. Her team of collaborators includes ladies with all the needed skills—Rihanna as the hacker, Mindy Kaling as the diamond expert, Awkwafina as the expert pickpocket, Sarah Paulson as the fence, etc.—giving this scheme a new flavor. But there’s a general thinness to the personalities for our crew, with the notable exceptions of Helena Bonham Carter as a high-strung fashion designer and Anne Hathaway as a fun spin on a narcissistic actress. And while the pieces of Debbie’s master plan click together into place functionally, director Gary Ross can’t manage the effortless, crowd-pleasing slickness characteristic of Soderbergh’s films that could make any of the cons that fool on-screen characters actually feel all that surprising to a viewer. It’s a pleasant diversion, but it’s less a soufflé than a nice plate of scrambled eggs.
Director: Gary Ross
Producer: Steven Soderbergh, Susan Ekins, Michael Tadross, Diana Alvarez, Jesse Ehrman and Bruce Berman
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Richard Armitage, James Corden and Dakota Fanning