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OCEAN'S TWELVE

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Director Steven Soderbergh reunites the gang from 2001's Ocean's Eleven (plus one) for another heist caper. Eleven was a zippy effervescent ride through a single spectacular knock-off that traded easily on the charm and insouciance of its ensemble cast, particularly its leads George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Twelve relocates the crime crew to Europe, where the film gets bogged down in too many plot strands, time-jumps, back-histories and twists (when it's all over, good luck sorting out what really happened). Some able players (Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner) are virtually sidelined (one poor schmuck spends most of the film in a bag), while Soderbergh trots out celebrity stunt casting. Sure, one bit of celeb business generates laughs, but it yanks the narrative hard into reality -- and from that vantage, all the giddy bubbles go out of the story. 

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