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Film Flashback

Netflix Flashback: The star-studded heist masterpiece, 'Ocean's Eleven'

While the name of the game for Netflix is delivering brand new original titles, creating series that last forever and enticing the best directors to make pictures with them, there is still a lot to be said for the classic titles the streaming platform provides. That’s why, with Netflix Flashback, we’re taking a look back at some of the best legendary films Netflix has to offer. This week, we’re looking back at Ocean’s Eleven, a star-studded heist masterpiece.

The first film of the Ocean franchise with an ensemble cast comprising the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Bernie Mac, Julia Roberts and more, the film is one of Soderbergh’s best. It’s the kind of film that is dripping with Hollywood’s golden age. Not only adapted from a movie from said era, but the all-star cast also made sure this film was always guaranteed to hit big at the box office. But, underneath the glitzy names on the poster was a compelling storyline.

Following his release, Danny Ocean dreams of planning the biggest heist in history and ropes in ten other members, including Rusty Ryan, Reuben Tishkoff etc. They plan to rob the three impregnable Las Vegas casinos, namely the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand casinos and make a profit of $150 million. All three casinos are owned by Terry Benedict, who is the arch-rival of Tishkoff. However, the heist is not easy to carry out, and the eleven members need to be extremely cautious amidst the hostile climate.

An incredibly fun watch from the beginning to the end, the heist sequence is possibly one of the best as conjured by Soderbergh, comprising 11 dashing criminals. The filmmaker once explained, “I wanted to see if I could combine two types of films, one that had this elegant, elaborate, technical side but also this casual off-hand quality to the performances – a film that wasn’t aggressive.

“That was the trick, to see if we could find that balance to have it deliver on the big movie side, but make sure that it wasn’t mean, that it didn’t have male characters that were insulting each other. That it wasn’t profane or violent. To my mind that was going to be tricky.”

Incredible cinematography and wonderfully riveting sequences add the oomph factor to the film. The cast had incredible fun behind the scenes as well, where they played pranks on each other as well as dealt hands, where Clooney, lacking the coolness of his character, lost the most number of times, 25 blackjacks in a row to be precise. As Danny, Clooney is smooth and smug, adept and shows off an unimaginable swagger that compliments his witty quips throughout the film.

It’s pure blockbuster stuff and ranks among one of the best heist films ever made as well as being a guaranteed joy to watch for all the family (save the odd sexy scene or dirty word). Watch Ocean’s Eleven now and remind yourself why you loved it in the first place.

Watch Ocean’s Eleven on Netflix now.