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CRIMINAL

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Greg Jacobs's debut feature is a faithful Americanization of the 2001 Argentine hit Nueve Reinas. Seasoned con man Gaddis (John C. Reilly) intercepts a young grifter, Rodrigo (Diego Luna), and agrees to tutor him. And just in time, because Gaddis get word of a hot big-money scam involving rare currency that could use Rodrigo's assistance. This fast-paced caper soon involves Gaddis' bickering sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and the usual complement of con-world hangers-on. The enjoyment with this genre is always the behind-the-con scenes we're suddenly privy to -- though viewers should always be leery of such easy pleasures: Fanciful distraction is the oldest trick in the book. The three leads do able work in what is mostly a snappy bon-bon. Reilly, especially, is a real treat as the brusque-then-smooth Gaddis. Keep an eye on your wallet. Manor 2.5 cameras

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