|Matchstick Men (2003)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman
Director: Ridley Scott
Adapted from a novel by Eric Garcia, "Matchstick Men" has the feel of an old-school Rat Pack film combined with the originality of a modern day indie flick. While it boasts one of the more prominent Hollywood directors (Ridley Scott) still in existence, the story is truly carried by the incredibly enchanting talents of its three stars: veteran Nicolas Cage, new blood superstar Sam Rockwell, and up-and-coming talent Alison Lohman.
Cage stars as Roy Waller, a charming con artist who consistently battles with his obsessive-compulsive ticks while his partner in crime Frank (Rockwell) helps keep the business afloat. During Roy's midlife neurotic crisis, Frank directs him to a psychiatrist who encourages Roy to meet his unknown daughter Angela, a 14-year-old distraction that proves to be both therapeutic and problematic to his "career."
While the connection between Roy and his daughter can be heartwarming and funny, he's faced with some important decisions when Frank stumbles upon a chance to make some fast cash. While planning the con of their lives, Roy continues to spend time with Angela, even introducing her to his world of fraud and inevitably using her on the big day, avalanching into a shocking mess that rivals the peculiar ending to Cage's prior film "Adaptation."
Cage's performance is extraordinary throughout and firmly establishes his work in the line of eccentric characters, while Rockwell delivers that same omnipresent King of Cool persona he brings to every picture. A cool and dusty 1940s look is presented throughout, integrating subtle grays with vibrant reds to enhance the varying traits between the two partners and their clashing views on morality and style. Just like Cage's character in the film, the ending to "Matchstick Men" has some ticks, and some may disagree with Ridley Scott's direction, but the overall film has a certain look and feel that anybody could appreciate.