I feel kind of guilty. Several appealing smaller movies are playing in theaters—Once and The Valet and Paprika, to name a few. I’ve been meaning to check them out, but what do I go to see this week? Ocean’s Thirteen. I’m so embarrassed.
But Ocean’s Thirteen is exactly the sort of summer movie I adore. Unabashedly frivolous and unfailing cheerful, breezy and witty and jaunty, it just puts me a good mood. The fluffy confection of a plot doesn’t withstand much scrutiny, and each character isn’t so much a three-dimensional being as a single adjective in human form. But none of that matters. With Steven Soderbergh directing and George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, and company charming their way around the screen like old-fashioned Golden Age movie stars, Ocean’s Thirteen represents a triumph of style over substance—and I mean that in the best way possible. Sometimes substance is a drag.