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WHAT'S NEW AT THE MOVIES?
Steven Soderburgh’s return to the big screen may look like an Ocean’s reboot a la NASCAR, but don’t you go thinking this is some smart alecky snobby spin. This is a very fun heist movie about people who live in West Virginia, men and women who’re down on their luck and smart enough to figure out a way to get a piece of the pie.
Channing Tatum delivers another irresistible star turn as Jimmy Logan, a former high school footballer whose ticket out of town went south when his knee went bum. Adam Driver is his brother, a bartender who lost an arm in the war. So broke he can’t pay his phone bill, Jimmy recognizes an opportunity. He could, with a little help, pull off a robbery, taking cash from the bowels of the Speedway. But can he finally turn his luck around and make things go right?
Screenwriter Rebecca Blunt, who hails from West Virginia, keeps us guessing, as Jimmy and company plunge into a complex robbery without tipping us in on their exact plans. She clearly knows the characters she’s created: hillbillies with heart, people who may not look too slick, but know more than a thing or two about how to do things those city folk wouldn’t have a clue about. And she knows they love their country, their neighbors and their racing. Soderburgh’s very much in tune with all that, allowing each character their moment, highlighting the Charlotte Motor Speedway scenes with terrific camerawork and a gorgeous rendition of American the Beautiful by LeAnn Rimes.
A game group of actors is clearly having a great time here and so are we, rolling along in their company. But if there is a funnier performance this year than Daniel Craig’s, who steals every second he’s on screen, I can’t wait to see it. He and the rest of this goes-down-easy treat serve up a hoot of a heist with just the right touch of soul.