Based on a book by Elmore Leonard, Out of Sight follows slick bank robber Jack Foley (George Clooney) as he agrees to assist fellow criminals in robbing a clueless millionaire (Albert Brooks’ Richard Ripley) – with the story also detailing the flirtatious relationship that ensues between Jack and an ambitious U.S. Marshal named Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez). It’s ultimately clear that Out of Sight benefits substantially from an opening stretch that could hardly be more engrossing and involving, as director Steven Soderbergh, having elicited an almost impossibly charismatic performance from star Clooney, kicks off the proceedings with a fun bank-robbery sequence that instantly transforms Jack Foley into a compelling (and sympathetic) lead protagonist. And although the film likewise boasts strong turns from supporting players like Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames, and Isaiah Washington – saying nothing of Lopez’s star-making work as Foley’s cunning foil – Out of Sight segues into a somewhat meandering midsection that, while consistently entertaining, isn’t quite as spellbinding as one might’ve anticipated (or hoped). It’s clear, then, that the movie benefits substantially from a narrative peppered with memorable moments (eg Sisco’s encounter with Washington’s volatile villain), and there’s little doubt, ultimately, that Out of Sight climaxes with a thoroughly tense heist-oriented finale that ensures it ends on a positive note – which does cement the film’s place as an erratic yet rewarding Soderbergh effort.
*** out of ****