Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. (IMDb)
This film would be entertaining enough with just a neat, elaborate heist (which it has), but it takes it up a notch with a steady stream of quick and witty dialogue, smoothly delivered by the effortlessly charismatic Clooney and Pitt, matching the brilliance of their cool schemes punch for punch. The editing is just as slick, with retro slide scene transitions and a chill Vegas-flavoured soundtrack. The “got the girl” ending is the only thing that’s a bit distasteful in this great caper flick.
8/10 (Great)

The Mexican (2001)

A man tries to transport an ancient gun called The Mexican, believed to carry a curse, back across the border, while his girlfriend pressures him to give up his criminal ways. (IMDb)
A thoroughly enjoyable quirky crime-comedy, calling to mind 2008’s Burn After Reading: Each have an eclectic cast of characters (two of whom are played by Pitt and Simmons, the former playing an inept yet brash character in both), and a chaotic plot full of twists and mishaps that revolves around a single object desired by many. In The Mexican, touches of surprising romance and emotional drama (see the great Winston-Samantha duo) are added to the comedy to make it a truly entertaining watch.
7/10 (Good)

Burn After Reading (2008)

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A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it. (IMDb)
Pitt is a definite highlight here; his manic, dim, gum-chewing gym employee is a riot, the best of an already eclectic cast of characters. The espionage plot is outrageous and not entirely cohesive or coherent, but a comedic gem of a final scene with Simmons makes it clear that this was intentional. It still feels like a cop-out though, and what could have been a great film considering its proven directors and loaded cast is just a good one–funny and entertaining, but not altogether brilliant.
7/10 (Good)

Se7en (1995)

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. (IMDb)
Starts off a bit slow and muddy (a second viewing might help) but gradually registers and increases in tension and intrigue as it goes on. The spine-tingling mystery plot is complimented by the film’s dark and rainy atmosphere captured by some really cool camerawork throughout, while the grizzled vet/rash rookie dynamic is played off well by Freeman and Pitt, adding some darkly humourous banter to the mix. Spacey, meanwhile, is a chilling villain who hypnotizes in the stunning drawn-out finale.
8/10 (Great)