All 5 Ocean films from the worst to the best

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If you include the original 1960 film, the Ocean’s Eleven Friends franchise spans 5 films and more than a decade, but which of the cult heist films is the best of them? Many viewers are most familiar with the films Ocean’s Eleven Friends, which were released in 2001 with Steven Soderbergh, a remake of the original 1960 film, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts. The film became a beloved blockbuster and has since spawned two sequels directed by Soderbergh, as well as an all-female role directed by Gary Ross, Ocean’s 8 Friends 2018.

The first four films of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise revolve around the charming and skillful Danny Ocean. In the 1960 film, Danny was played by Frank Sinatra, and former ambulance star George Clooney chose the role in three Soderbergh films from 2001-2007. Both Ocean’s Eleven films are set in Las Vegas, as is the sequel to Ocean’s Thirteen in 2007, and Danny Ocean gathers a team of talented losers to steal millions from casinos. Ocean movies are funny stories about charming characters who perform incredible feats and defeat a villain who deserves it.

Films about Ocean and, in particular, Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s Eleven Friends” began to define the modern idea of films about robberies. The tropes created in the film have been imitated, mentioned and parodied in modern entertainment to the point that they have become ubiquitous. In addition to Marvel’s Avengers films (culminating, of course, in their own MCU heist story), the Ocean franchise was also one of the last movie theaters to require a stellar ensemble of movie stars, with the necessary challenges of finding something creative and memorable in the plot for each actor to do. At least Ocean’s films are colorful entertainment that shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but it relies on an abundance of charm, style, laid—back coolness and attractiveness, just like Danny Ocean himself.

5. Ocean’s Eleven Friends (1960)

The original Ocean’s Eleven was directed by Lewis Milestone and was the star vehicle for the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. The film also starred Cesar Romero (The Joker from Batman 1966), Angie Dickinson, Norman Fell, Richard Conte and Buddy Lester, as well as many other famous names of that era. Lawford shared with Sinatra the idea of World War II veterans who robbed five Las Vegas casinos, and he joked: “Forget about the movie!

Sinatra plays Danny Ocean, who recruits ten of his former army buddies to simultaneously rob the Sahara, Riviera, Sands, Flamingo and Desert Inn casinos. Unfortunately, the film is a tortuous mess. Sinatra and his gang shot the picture after hours during performances in Las Vegas, and there is little in it about urgency or real stakes. Instead, Frank Sinatra’s film “The Rat Pack” relies on their collective charm, witticisms, jokes and camaraderie in real life, so that they are, in fact, just playing themselves, casually moving along the plot of the film. Even as a product of its time, Ocean’s Eleven (1960) is boring to watch, and its best contribution to pop culture inspired Steven Soderbergh’s infinitely superior 2001 remake.

4. Ocean’s Twelve Friends (2004)

Steven Soderbergh, tasked with continuing his critically acclaimed 2001 blockbuster, has reassembled the entire cast of Ocean’s Twelve, along with new additions Catherine Zeta-Jones as Brad Pitt’s love interest and Vincent Cassel as a new villain, the Night Fox, who competes with George Clooney. Danny Ocean for the title of the best thief in the world. Soderbergh is smart enough not to repeat the plot and structure of Ocean’s Eleven; Instead, he ferries Danny Ocean’s team to Europe to commit a couple of “impossible” robberies in two weeks to recover the $198 million they stole from Terry Benedict in the first movie to save their lives.

Unfortunately, exotic European locations (Amsterdam, Rome, Lake Como) do not compensate for the intricacy and impenetrability of the plot and the obvious redundancy of the film. The robberies of Ocean’s team are also much less interesting than the way they destroyed Bellagio in the 2001 film. Danny’s team seems relatively unnoticed due to the fact that their lives are in danger, and they travel through the intricate plot of the film. Zeta-Jones’ relationship with Brad Pitt is a highlight, as is the opportunity to see the continuation of Brad Pitt’s habit always in the movies. Although Ocean’s Twelve Friends retains the mocking charm that made Ocean’s Eleven work so well, sometimes it goes too far. The failure of the film and the challenge to the distrust of the audience lies in the meta-joke that Danny Ocean’s wife, Tess Ocean, “looks exactly like” Julia Roberts, the actress who portrays her.