Released 2004


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Movie Summary

Gregory Jacobs
Criminal is the 2004 remake of the Argentinian comedy crime drama Nine Queens, from director Gregory Jacobs (Wind Chill). After bearing witness to a lousy 'pull' in which wannabe con-artist Rodrigo (Diego Luna) gets busted trying to short-change a waitress, professional conman, Richard Gaddis (John C. Reilly) decides to give the boy a chance to work with an expert. Since his usual partner, 'the Jew', took off last week, Gaddis is in search of a new colleague, and agrees to give Rodrigo one day to hang out with him and see if the pairing works. Rodrigo is especially grateful for the opportunity, since he has been forced to become a criminal (temporarily, of course) to buy his father out of his gambling debts. After showing him a few impressive pulls, Gaddis summarizes that Rodrigo thinks too much, a quality that could work against him in a crisis situation. But just as Gaddis is about to cut Rodrigo off, he gets a call from his 'pain in the ass' sister, Valerie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who tells him a man has showed up to the 4 star hotel where she works as concierge and demanded to see him. As it turns out this man, Ochoa (Zitto Kazann) has the perfect pull for Gaddis, involving a forged bank note and one very wealthy business man (Peter Mullan) who is willing to buy; but Ochoa needs the right man to make the six-figure deal. Now Gaddis needs Rodrigo to help him make this con, and also his sister who he is currently in a law-suit with'moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times

    Captures Los Angeles in a straightforward, naturalistic way, neighborhood-hopping like a native.

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Even with its tepid lead performance, Criminal is a clever and diverting caper film. At least, it is as long as you don't think too hard about it.

  • 60

    Variety Ken Eisner

    More a tribute than a remake, Steven Soderbergh-approved take on Argentine hit "Nine Queens" isn't quite as sharp or surprising as the original, one of the best scam pics of the pa...

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Thrillers, Heist, Crime, Independent