Review: Matchstick Men

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I watched Matchstick Men this weekend. It said “comedy” on the side of the box, but I don’t think I’d classify it as such.

Matchstick Men is the story of Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage), an obsessive-compulsive con artist. He’s been conning people for years, has a bit of a shady past, and wants to get out of the business. He’s done some big cons, he’s done small cons… and now he’s going to do one last big job and quit.

It occurs to me that being a con artist must be a lot like being a gambler. You do it often enough and you become greedy, and rather than knowing when to quit, you somehow feel the need to make one last big play before cashing in. At least, that’s how it seems from the movies.

So Roy decides to do one last con. Unfortunately, he’s run out of medication for his OCD so he needs some psychiatric help to get some more medication. He goes to see the psychiatrist and starts discovering things about himself. He feels sort of empty and needs to get in touch with what really matters in life.

Eventually he gets in contact with his teenage daughter (Alison Lohman), who he’s never met. And, somehow, life seems that much better. The compulsive ticks slowly dissipate and you finally see a man complete and happy.

I thought this was a great movie. It legitimately made you care for the characters, which is not something you see a lot of lately, and it told an interesting story. I will tell you this - there was a colossal plot twist that I never saw coming. It just makes it all the better.

If you have the chance, give this a rent. It’s well worth your time, as are most Ridley Scott films.

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