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While this weekend doesn't have a major comic book franchise or other special effects blockbuster on the schedule, we are getting a familiar franchise, though with a very different look. Sandra Bullock leads an all-star cast of talented women in Ocean's 8 starting Friday. Critics have received a sneak peek, and, for the most part, while nobody seems to be utterly wowed by the effort, most agree that Ocean's 8 is a fun enough time at the movies. Our own Corey Chichizola gave the film 3.5 stars but praised the cast and direction to the point that he would be willing to see more.
The strong performances, pacing, and Gary Ross' balance of his all-star cast gives Ocean's 8 the potential to be a franchise starter of its own.
The vast majority of the reviews that have been published are positive, giving Oceans 8 a 77% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a review among them that was overflowing with praise. Instead, what you see is a lot of variations on the theme of "it's fun, but far from brilliant." Us Weekly may sum it up best by saying that the movie is enjoyable, but doesn't measure up to the franchise it takes its name from.
A gaggle of stars saunter their way through lighthearted, velvet-lined shenanigans. But, rather fittingly, the movie only delivers three-quarters of the Ocean's Eleven panache.
Still, sometimes all you're actually looking for when it comes to a movie is some light, fluffy entertainment. There's nothing at all wrong with that, and it seems that Ocean's 8 will deliver, as Entertainment Weekly puts it...
Ocean's 8's girls-just-wanna-have-grand-larceny conceit is the kind of starry, high-gloss goof the summer movie season was made for.
Still, when you have a movie that seems to find itself driving down the middle of the road, not every review will be barely positive, some will be slightly negative. Vulture praises the film's cast, but ultimately feels they don't have enough to work with to make the movie pull off its caper well.
I left Ocean's 8 more convinced than ever that no amount of fierce, fantastic female ensembles can overcome the mediocrity of a dull male director.
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times also gives Ocean's 8 a rough time, though not because of what it has but what it doesn't. In this case, a strong villain for the team to play against.
One of the problems with Ocean's 8 is there isn't a formidable, hiss-worthy villain a la Andy Garcia's casino owner in Oceans 11.
In the final analysis, odds are if you love heist movies, or the amazing ensemble cast of Oceans 8, which includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and more, you'll probably find enough to enjoy in the movie. It will probably be a fun time at the movies, but probably not much more than that.