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Back in the cocktail-swilling ’60s, a group of entertainers towered over the neon-studded landscape of Las Vegas. The Rat Pack, as they came to be known, were the epitome of cool. Entertainers including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and a couple of lovelies like Shirley MacLaine and Angie Dickinson made the town their own and have excited our imagination ever since.In their glory days many of the members of this club land fraternity made a crime comedy called Ocean’s Eleven and now Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh has assembled a rat pack of his own with Hollywood’s sexiest and smartest stars including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and Matt Damon in this slick, stylish thriller.

In Ocean’s Eleven, dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) orchestrates the most elaborate and breathtakingly ambitious casino heist in history. In one night, Danny’s handpicks an eleven man crew of specialists, who will attempt to steal over $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the elegant, ruthless entrepreneur who just happens to be dating Danny’s ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts). The crew includes a card sharp (Brad Pitt), a pickpocket (Matt Damon), an explosives specialist (Don Cheadle), a casino dealer (Bernie Mac), two drivers (Casey Affleck, Scott Caan), a surveillance expert (Eddie Jemison), a veteran con man (Carl Reiner), a money launderer (Elliott Gould), and of all things, a Chinese acrobat (Shaobo Qin). This unusual gang are given an even more unusual mandate: “don’t hurt anybody, don’t steal from anyone who doesn’t deserve it, and play the game like you’ve got nothing to lose”.

The new version of Ocean’s Eleven is that rare thing: a remake that is actually far superior to the original. It has much of the casual swagger of the original rat pack yet with rivetting action and razor-sharp repartee, thanks to some of the finest comedic performances we’ve seen in a while. Indeed it’s escapist entertainment of the highest order and what is created when one of Hollywood’s finest directors gets a taste for popcorn.