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Movie Review

Ocean’s Thirteen

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief sensuality

Reviewed by: Taran Gingery

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action, Sequel
2 hr. 2 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
June 8, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

Stealing in the Bible

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

Should Christians be involved with lotteries or other forms of gambling? Answer

Featuring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Shaobo Qin, Don Cheadle, Eddie Jemison, Andy Garcia, Scott L. Schwartz, Carl Reiner, Michael Harney, James Martin Kelly, James DuMont, Noureen DeWulf
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Susan Ekins
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Revenge is a funny thing.”

Nothing has ever captured the imaginations of audiences than the execution of seemingly impossible tasks such as breaking into impenetrable places and making off with things that are heavily guarded. The “Mission: Impossible” series tapped into that imagination, but at least those series had heroes worth rooting for. The series following Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and friends, however, are an entirely different matter.

The group of people known as “Ocean’s Eleven” has only ever been about thievery, trickery, revenge and in the end, making off with a pretty good fortune. “Ocean’s Thirteen” only changes the routine a little bit. This time, Reuben (Elliott Gould) is double-crossed by a ruthless hotel owner in Las Vegas, Willy Bank (Al Pacino) and winds up in the hospital as a result. Ocean and the others decide that this sort of thing is not right and decide to get back at Bank for Reuben’s sake by bringing Bank’s new hotel down around his ears, metaphorically, on the night of it’s grand opening.

Now, I enjoyed the first film for its quirky sense of humor and its execution, while understanding that its heroes were not the kind to be emulated, but I found “Ocean’s Twelve” to be boring and confusing. “Ocean’s Thirteen” is neither. In fact, I enjoyed it more than the first film. It is exceedingly clever, extremely high-tech, at times very funny and never boring. The acting is excellent. Clooney and right-hand man Brad Pitt steal the show, especially in scenes involving Oprah Winfrey, but all of the other actors, including Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Bernie Mac, all have their moments of brilliance. Pacino rounds out the cast with another excellent performance.

Morally, however, there is little to commend, although I can say that if you found nothing wrong with the first two, you won’t find much wrong with the third. The main characters are all thieves and liars, but they are very loyal to one another and often display true friendship, especially towards Reuben. They want to see their friend avenged for the wrong done to him, and the means by which they achieve this is far from honorable.

Language is problematic, with at least 10 s-words uttered and some misuse of the Lord’s name. Matt Damon’s character uses some chemical to seduce Bank’s assistant (Ellen Barkin), resulting in just-concealed breast nudity, mild groping and innuendoes, that eventually come to nothing. Several other female characters wear cleavage-revealing attire. Violence is minimal, with one man pulling, but not using, a gun and another man being briefly beat up in a casino. Speaking of casinos, the film does take place in Vegas, so the majority of the film does involve gambling, slot machines, card games, alcohol, and smoking.

All this added on to the general theme of revenge and criminal activity being one and the same make this film not one for young, undiscerning minds, but for those teens and adults who saw and enjoyed the first two while understanding the moral flaws being the reasoning of the main characters, “Ocean’s Thirteen” is a must see. For me, half the fun of the movie was watching the execution of the great heist, but the other half was the preparations leading up to it, and both of those were well worth it.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See reviews of the prequels to this film: “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) and “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004)

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

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—The thing that I really like about the Ocean’s movies is the way that it challenges its Christian Viewers. Suddenly we can’t just judge the characters based on who the good, (moral) people are vs. the “bad” people. By ethical standards, the entire cast would rate pretty low down there. Suddenly we are forced to see these people for who they really are, their sin aside. It isn’t often that any form of entertainment gives us such an exercise!

And yet, those of us who have followed these characters know them. While Danny and Rusty carry on the “relationship” discussion, throughout parts of the film, we care. We care because we know them. We care despite the fact that they earn their money stealing from people. in this film they are the Robin Hoods of the truly criminal industry. Outsmarting the wicked to vindicate Reuben.

Three, in my opinion was better than one! (Didn’t like “Ocean’s 12” at all!) So far, this was one of my favorite summer movies!
My Ratings: Average / 4½
Misty Wagner, age 31
Positive—I know that most viewers zeroed in on some of the objectional points of this film, but I noticed how cleverly “Ocean’s 13” tried to convey a sense of “doing for others” in the Oprah scene, which is what George Clooney and Brad Pitt are about in real life. Some of the proceeds of this movie also went to help victims in the (ongoing) Darfur situation. Thumbs up and hats off to them!!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Reba, age 40+
Positive—This movie is about bad guys. …all bad guys—some simply less bad than others. But it’s about Las Vegas and casino gambling, so nothing good could come of that, right? It’s all about greed. The main characters are charming. There is a little bit of humor. There is, more importantly for me, no violence. No bloody, horrible killings, no explicit fornication, although a woman’s scantily clad chest is seen quite a lot, as well as overtures to sex, which is not actually consummated. There is also no foul language, until the end a harsh profanity is stated, but with some reason. So all in all, for lack of violence and fornication, I give this a positive rating. It’s a frolic on a hot summer day. However, the storyline is murky and confusing. I did my best to follow the plot. It somehow came together at the end, sort of like a Robin Hood tale, except there were no good guys at all. Shallow entertainment, but not horrible.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
Halyna Barannik, age 61
Positive—…don’t let’s forget that Christ preached forgiveness and an ethos of “turning the other cheek.” That said, yes the characters are criminals, but they are quite charming and the film overall is a lot of fun. Especially relative to other Hollywood fare out there, this one isn’t too morally problematic, aside from the light swearing and lasciviousness.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—H. Stewart, age 24
Positive—Thought it was a great movie, enjoyed it as much as the first two. The characters all work so well with each other, and it is quite humorous as well! My only objection is the one lady, she likes the low-cut tops! These is a scene with her and Matt D. but nothing happens. I thought it was a very good movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Krys, age 26
Positive—Morally, there are cleaner films to watch, but read on. I would add that if you are a movie-goer and need to see a movie, see this one. If you can tolerate the kind of language you might hear on the streets these days, and if you can tolerate seeing women walking around with less than totally modest apparel, you can tolerate this movie quite well. If the things mentioned above offend you, you’ll want to skip this. Only one scene was “bad” but even that came to nothing (though unfortunately the imagination is a dangerous thing). Language and cleavage were problematic. And the scene mentioned above. Otherwise it was enjoyable to watch, suspenseful at times, funny at times. With all the objectionable movies Hollywood puts out, it was nice to see one that wasn’t that bad. I would recommend it with reserve.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3½
—Chila W., age 50
Positive—“Ocean’s Thirteen” is outstanding. Three things stood out for me here: tight editing, clever screenwriting, and truly star performances. The plot is easy to follow, and the film doesn’t presume to be anything other than top notch entertainment. If you must watch a sequel this summer, make this movie that sequel!
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Cornelius Christian, age 19
Positive—“Ocean’s 13” was by far the best sequel of the summer. “The Bourne Ultimatum” was just non stop action from the beginning. “Ocean’s 13” gave us a break and provided drama, suspense and comedy. “Ocean’s 12” missed the mark badly, but Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney rebounded pretty well. The only part I say is stupid is the sex scene with Matt Damon and this woman. It doesn’t fit the plot. If there is an “Ocean’s 14,” be prepared because the original director isn’t willing to go for a 4th Ocean film.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Jonathan Tran, age 24
Neutral—The first film in this series I thought was okay, bordering on pretty good. The second film I thought was awful. This third installment I think is the best of the entire three films. It was fun to watch, lots of humor, and overall kept me entertained. As a Christian, I can only recommend this film with caution due it’s central theme being based on revenge. That said, it is with some guilty pleasure that I honestly enjoy watching Pacino’s character take the fall he had coming to him. While we know ultimately, justice comes to all, there is something to be said about having it sooner rather than later and that is why films like these can be so entertaining. Unfortunately, with the slick packaging and the fun atmosphere, it is easy to loose sight that justice will also come for those who seek revenge.

No nudity, some swearing. Movie Quality: Good (fun to watch and entertaining). Moral: Average (while it is nice to see a motion picture come out of Hollywood not saturated in sex, nudity and drug use, the film still centers around thievery and revenge).
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Lynai T, age 43
Neutral—I guess 13 is an unluckly number afterall. Lifeless, without drama, character, or wit. I won’t waste my time or money on “Ocean’s 14.”
My Ratings: Average / 2½
—Bill Walters, age 58
Neutral—There isn’t really anything objectionable in this movie, that I can remember. The only thing was, it was a bit boring. There was no emotion in the whole movie! In fact, there was hardly any dialogue! Most of the movie was just music and watching the men walk around or set stuff up! And when they did talk, it was all in a low, unemotional, hand in my pockets, I’m-so-cool voice. The humor was too subtle to be funny, and there were really no women or girls in the whole movie!… The crime in itself is interesting, and it comes out fine and all, but didn’t we know it would from the beginning?—just like the two before this?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Maggie, age 21
Negative—Waste of money. This was a drawn out, boring sequel. I would not even rent it. The idea behind it was a good one, but the execution of it really missed the mark. There was some swearing, using the Lord’s name in vain, a lot cleavage. I have to disagree w/ the main reviewer, watching the lead up to the heist was a disappointment. The film jumps around from theme to theme, but ends up being fragmented. The only people who will enjoy this are those who are nuts about the first 2 in the series, “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Ocean’s Twelve” and those who live in places like Chester, CA where, there is one movie house with 1 screen.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Bob MacLean, age 58
Negative—I really enjoyed the first “Ocean’s 11;” it was funny, witty, clever and moved along at a good clip with a very rewarding ending. “Ocean’s 12” was simply a mess and difficult to get through, not very good. So it was with anticipation that I awaited “Ocean’s 13”! My wife and I rented it and made it about an hour in and just about fell asleep! We turned if off and went to bed. Boring, drawn out, painfully self-conscious and absurd! Give me a break, the boys got their hands on a tunnel digging machine? And one of the guys figured out how to operate it in a day or so? What CAN’T these guys do or obtain? And all with droll humor and aplomb! Hopefully, there won’t be an “Ocean’s 14.”
My Ratings: Average / 2½
—Steve, age 43
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was a lot like the other Ocean movies. I think the first one is the best. This one took awhile to get started, and I was very confused, but once it got going it was a lot of fun. My family and I were having a great time. It had great moviemaking quality and many funny moments. Like the other two, it had bad language, but not as much as the first one. Also many low dresses worn by the woman in the film. Overall, it was a great movie and I recommend that you go see it… if you liked the other two that is:)
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Keri, age 16
Positive—I saw this movie opening night with my friends, and we loved it. It had almost no swearing or anything else bad. It was not violent or boring, and it kept me laughing throughout. …You don’t even have to see the first two to understand it. They could have rated it PG in my opinion.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Craig, age 16
Positive—This was a realy good movie. This is a lot better movie than “Ocean’s 12.” It starts a little slow, but then gets very exciting. It has one scene that has a little sensuality. I would suggest this movie for ages 12 and up.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Nate Doederlein, age 12