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Movie Review

Ocean's Twelve also known as “Ocean’s 12,” “La nueva gran estafa,” “Dannyho partáci 2,” “Doze Homens E Outro Segredo,” “I symmoria ton dodeka,” “Le retour de Danny Ocean,” “Ocean’s Twelve: Dannyho dvanástka,” “Ocean’s twelve: Dogrywka,” “Oceani kaksteist,” “Oceanovih dvanaest,” “Двенадцать друзей Оушена”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language.

Reviewed by: Brett Willis

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Crime Action Adventure Romance Suspense Comedy Sequel
2 hr. 5 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 10, 2004 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros. PicturesCopyright, Warner Bros. PicturesCopyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

See our review of the previous film in this series: Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and the sequel “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007)

Thieves in the Bible: Theft, Robbery, The two thieves


Featuring: Brad Pitt (Rusty Ryan), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Isabel Lahiri), George Clooney (Danny Ocean), Julia Roberts (Tess Ocean), Andy Garcia (Terry Benedict), Casey Affleck (Virgil Malloy), Bernie Mac (Frank Catton), Don Cheadle (Basher Tarr), Matt Damon (Linus Caldwell), Carl Reiner (Saul Bloom), Bruce Willis (Bruce Willis—uncredited), more »
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Jerry Weintraub Productions, more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Twelve is the new eleven.”

Copyrighted, Warner Bros. Pictures

A sequel to a remake. Need I say more? If you’re looking for formula writing, escapism and self-parody, “Ocean’s Twelve” has plenty. If you’re looking for originality, don’t bother.

“Ocean’s Eleven” (the 2001 remake) was similar to films like “The Sting.” There were a lot of plot twists, nothing was as it seemed, and almost everyone in the cast was a “bad guy.” And by glamorizing a high-stakes heist, and by tricks of character development or lack thereof, the film virtually forced the viewer to root for the “bad guys.” That of course is an anti-Christian position to take, and for that reason alone the film was dangerous to the impressionable minority who can’t remember that it’s only a movie.

“Ocean’s Twelve” is similar in this regard, yet different. The violence is ratcheted back a notch; there’s no glitzy Las Vegas sensuality; and the thievery takes on a surreal atmosphere, since it’s literally presented as a game: a contest between master thieves, to see who’s the best. For most people, it will be a lighter, more enjoyable outing than the original. But for the minority who can’t distinguish between drama and real life, it could be even more damaging.

A couple of years after Daniel Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang robbed casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) of $160 million, Benedict has finally learned the identities of all involved. He gives them a couple of weeks to pay the money back, with interest, or be killed. Of course, they’ve already spent a lot of it, so they’re about $100 million short of the needed total. The only way to met Benedict’s demand is to pull another job. And since they’re too hot in the States, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) suggests they do something in Europe. However, he has a hidden agenda behind that suggestion. Before the gang ever did the casino job, Ryan was “involved with” Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She’s a cop, of all things, and he had to leave her in bed (literally) when he learned that she was about to unmask him as the perpetrator of a crime. Apparently, despite all the risks, Ryan wants to see her again. So he’s putting his buddies at risk with his personal involvement, similar to what Ocean did in the casino heist.

There’s implied sex, some mild kissing, and several women (including some prisoners) in somewhat-revealing outfits, but no outright sleaziness.

The violence is quite tame. Arrests, chases, threatenings and posturings. A car bomb is detonated while the car is unoccupied, as a warning. But nowhere in the film is anyone killed or seriously injured. And although the actors play their parts as straight drama, the atmosphere is comedic, which lightens everything a little.

The language is about the same as in the original. There are ten religious exclamations, one clearly-heard use of f*, and about a dozen miscellaneous offensive terms. In addition to this, there’s a played-for-laughs sequence where Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle) and another person are in a broadcast room, working with software that automatically BLEEPS out obscenities, and we (from outside the soundproof room) see and hear them use forms of f* about fourteen times, but always bleeped out (Tarr is complaining about and cursing the “censorship” software itself). In another sequence, Ocean’s gang is preparing to rob a man with Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), whom some of the gang refer to as a “freak,” and Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) objects to their insensitive terminology and even attempts to raise the issue that it might be morally wrong to steal from a handicapped person. But in the end, they all go ahead with the job anyway. It was unclear whether that sequence, including Linus’ objections, was meant to be played for laughs, or was meant to be the film’s most thought-provoking moment, or both.

There are several cameos by movie stars, including at least one who plays himself. Also, I’d wondered why Julia Roberts is made up to look so dowdy, in contrast to her appearance in the original. Well, there’s a reason, but I won’t give it away.

Several of the original “eleven,” including the getaway car drivers and the acrobat, have very little to do in this film. They’re more or less just along for the ride, because their characters are expected to be included. A nice paycheck for the actors, but a drag on the film.

The scenery of exotic European locales is impressive. The acting is uniformly good, even though the plot is ridiculous and full or holes. But the film is just plain missing something. A number of people with me in the Opening Night audience got up making comments like “That was BAD.” I’m not a particular fan of caper films, and, even if I were, I think I’d be disappointed in this one.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—I was REALLY excited to see this movie when it came out. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t as fresh and fast as “Ocean’s Eleven.” I’m glad Soderbergh made it different, but it’s just not as good as the first. There is hardly anything offensive in this. A few scenes of women wearing long-necked clothes but, oh well.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Caleb, age 20
Positive—After all the negative reviews, I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the film was. I’m not sure why everyone wants it to be the same as “Ocean’s Eleven,” since we too often complain when directors rehash the same story. It was funny and fun, and I suppose we look down upon it a bit because it wasn’t quite as captivating as the prequel, but the fact is we shouldn’t do that since it’s better than most movies that Hollywood throws at us! And I was even surprised by the twist at the end.
My Ratings: [Good/3½]
—Stephen, age 24
Positive—This is a great movie! After “Ocean’s 11” I just had to go see “Ocean’s 12.” “Ocean’s 12” is even better than “Ocean’s 11.”… The actors were awesome! If you only see one movie this year make it this one. You will be on the edge of your seat.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Nikki Johnson, age 33
Negative—Like Ocean’s Eleven, this new movie does an excellent job of making theft look good. At no point in this movie did anyone have and qualms about what they were doing, well take that back, one character balks (a little) at stealing from a person with a mental disorder. The movie looks slick, it’s in a pretty package but ultimately it’s a story about thieves and complete lack of morality. I realize it is meant to be a “fun” movie and not to be taken seriously, however, I have to say as a Christian, one should stay away from films that glamourize sin.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4]
—Lynai Torabpour, age 40
Negative—This film glorifies stealing. Some previews of the movie made it seem like they were going to pay for their actions, but that was a deception. The movie was very choppy and sometimes hard to follow. My wife actually slept thru most of the movie!
My Ratings: [Average/2]
—Barry, age 41
Negative—This was not even close to the first. The plot was confusing and there seemed to be no real climax, no real purpose. Forget it came out and see something else.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/2]
—Katie R., age 18
Negative—I was very disappointed with Ocean’s Twelve. It was not nearly as good as Ocean’s Eleven. They had the stars, however the script lacked a lot. I would not reccomend Oceans Twelve to anyone. I was very very disappointed it it.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Andrew Nellson, age 18
Comments from young people
Neutral—I think this movie was pretty good. Considering that nothing was really stolen, I’d still say that the music was very cool and that laser scene was awesome.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Shaun D., age 13
Negative—This was overall a pretty good movie. The only problem was the morality issue. The central plot is about stealing. This is not good. Also, there was some language and lying involved. I would not recommend it.
My Ratings: [Average/2]
—Clayton Frazier, age 13
Neutral—Oceans 12 was pretty good; there’s nothing offensive in this movie its a good movie but its the kind of movie that you might as well rent the movie instead of seeing it theater. See “Bourne Identity” and “Bourne Supremacy” if you want a good action movie.
My Ratings: [Good/3½]
—Maria, age 13
Positive—Although there is a fare amount of language, I have to say it was an awesome movie. I have not seen “Eleven” yet, but we will watch it soon. It is hilarious. I have to admit I was more prepared for a violent movie than this. I hardly laughed at all the first time (I have seen it twice) because my dad had not told me it was comedy. It was a really funny movie. There were no scenes of implied sex. There were quite a few swear words, but in one scene they are bleeped out by their phone ringing (it is implied that it is humorous). The most used word is the Lord’s Name in vain. This should only be for teenagers and above. NOT a kids movie.
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—John Branham, age 13
Negative—If you are comparing to Ocean’s 11 you will be very displeased with the sequel, Ocean’s 12. It had weak dialog and a weak plot. I personally thought that it was pretty predictable. The plot wasn’t as “smart” as the first film. If I must write something good about the film is that it was funnier than the first film. Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon were pretty funny with their face expressions. The all star cast wasn’t worth the seven bucks and a waste of two and a half hours. I do not recommend this film to anyone of any age.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Cole M., age 13
Positive—personally I loved this movie. I thought it was much better then the first. there was more going on, and not to mention the music in it is incredible. it may be about stealing, but if you are going to condemn it for that, just know that you are turning down a great movie. also, this film does show what culture we live in whether or not it is a moral, faithful culture, we have to understand that movies are made because of the culture. might not show this to your kids, but if you want to have a thriller with good music? watch it.
My Ratings: [Average/3½]
—Ashley, age 16
Movie Critics
…has few of the virtues of its predecessor… What’s worse, it has all the faults of the original Sinatra version: the flaccid pacing, the tourist-trap postcard photography and the good-sport cameo appearances by friends of the stars…
—Jim Lane, Sacramento News and Review
…Jet lag hits the “Ocean” gang as a journey to Europe robs the sequel of the original’s comic energy…
—Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
…disappointing… The pacing and focus… feel much less cohesive, resulting in a 2+ hour movie that feels like a 2+ hour movie… Production-wise, “Ocean’s Twelve” feels even more like an independent production than its predecessor…
—Max Braden, The Trades
…Doesn’t live up to predecessor… I just didn’t expect it to be so confusing…
—Annabelle Robertson, Crosswalk
…lighthearted treatment of crime… enough foul words to give it a negative rating…
—Mary Draughon, Preview Family Movie and TV Review