REVIEW: A look back at 2001 thriller, ‘Ocean’s Eleven’

What a film. If you love heists, gambling, and master plans, this is the film for you. Ocean’s Eleven tells the story of Danny Ocean and his band of criminal friends as they seek to hit Terry Benedict’s famous casino establishment, the Bellagio.

This movie is gripping from start-to-finish as Danny takes you through the entire plan, from finding and meeting up with the gang to the blueprint for the robbery and then finally, the actual robbery. It truly is both an informative and entertaining watch.

Ultimately, the content and acting throughout the film is excellent – and it would be foolish to expect anything less with so many brilliant actors and actresses involved in the movie. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts are just three of the big names involved in this remake of Ocean’s 11 and it’s fair to say the second edition attracted a lot more attention than the original. Though the first movie was released back in 1960 and featured the legendary Frank Sinatra it was both less realistic and exciting, largely due to lacking special effects and other movie techniques.


In terms of adrenaline and action most is experienced through the thrilling excitement of the heist itself. In terms of on-screen gambling, there’s a fair bit but it’s far from excessive. Familiar games as Australian pokies, both French and American roulette, and a multitude of slot machines can be seen throughout the movie. In fact, Ocean’s Eleven was also selected by Lugget Nugget in their top 10 gambling-themed movies.Though in terms of gambling experiences, you’d be better served going online rather than getting the gaming action through Ocean’s Eleven.

If you’ve seen Ocean’s Thirteen, you’ll know there’s a lot more gambling involved in that film. Danny and the crew meet up to wipe out casino owner Willy Bank, played by Al Pacino, after he double-crosses Danny’s old friend Reuben Tishkoff.

However, Ocean’s Eleven is the original in the three-part trilogy and by all means, it’s the best movie. The storyline is the greatest; the plot is the most thrilling and the actual acting is top drawer. In fact, Ocean’s Eleven is widely regarded as one of the best films of all-time and sits in the IMDB’s list of the top 100 movies in history.

If you want a film focused purely on gambling, Ocean’s Eleven isn’t for you. While it has a few scenes, this is more about the storyline behind the heist and why Danny and the crew stick together for one another. For a gambling-focused movie, it might be a good idea to check out another movie which was released a few years prior, in 1998.

Matt Damon features in Rounders, gambling films seems magnetically attracted to the actor, and compared to Ocean’s Eleven it is a lot more focused on the gambling side of things. While Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) predominantly exerts poker excellence in the hope of helping his friend, the scenes is unsurprisingly similar to Ocean’s Eleven with everything from slot machines, to various card and table games. However, in terms of plot and thrilling scenes Clooney & co have got the better of them.

If nothing else, Ocean’s Eleven is a scintillating film that takes you on a journey of comradeship and criminality. The likes of Clooney and Pitt only help to increase the drama and excitement throughout the planning of the heist and you truly feel as though you’re involved in one of the biggest robberies of all-time. It’s DEFINITELY worth a watch!

Don Draper
Don Draper
Donald Francis "Don" Draper is a founding partner and the Creative Director at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency in Manhattan, NY. Prior to that position, he was the Director of the Creative Department at the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. He is regarded among his colleagues as the best to ever pitch copy.