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Out Of Sight

Out Of Sight is the latest in a string of superior Elmore Leonard adaptations (following Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty and Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, with Paul Schrader's interesting but less enjoyable Touch falling in there somewhere), and it may well be the best of the bunch. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies and videotape and the unfortunately overlooked King Of The Hill), Out Of Sight stars George Clooney as a generally placid bank robber. With the help of two friends, one trustworthy (Ving Rhames), the other (Steve Zahn) less so, Clooney breaks out of prison, bringing along a tough federal marshal (Jennifer Lopez) with whom he is instantly smitten. With a meandering plot that isn't afraid to take seemingly pointless asides and an emphasis on character development over story, Out Of Sight closely resembles a good Leonard novel. It also benefits from Soderbergh's careful, reserved direction and a first-rate cast. Clooney's limited but powerful strengths have never been put to better use, and he and Lopez generate real chemistry despite the unlikeliness of their relationship. Rhames, Zahn, Don Cheadle, Dennis Farina, Albert Brooks, and an unbilled Michael Keaton (reprising his character from Jackie Brown) all do exceptional work, as well. Out Of Sight works both as a great romance and a great, unconventional crime thriller. But step back from such distinctions, and it just looks like a great movie.


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