Movie review: “Focus” (2015)


“I can convince anyone of anything. I once convinced a man that an empty warehouse was the Federal Reserve. So I’m good.”

Con men and women are such inherently fascinating people, with their outward adherence to a professional code but otherwise subjective morality, with their investment in and facility with appearances belying what one imagines might be a fairly empty soul beneath. I welcome any chance I can get to learn more about this mindset, this appealing, alien lifestyle, which for an ordinary workaday drone like me is really wish fulfillment on a level just below that of “super hero”. Somewhere along the way, though – I’m thinking around the time of David Mamet’s ingenious, insinuating House of Games – movies about con artists stopped so much being character studies, and became little more than overly elaborate twist engines designed to fool the audience first and the protagonist second, if at all. I realize that with such a statement I may be eulogizing a form that actually never existed, but I have, at any rate, noticed that the balance seems to have irretrievably tipped in a direction that just doesn’t particularly appeal to me. Continue reading “Movie review: “Focus” (2015)”