Combustible Celluloid
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With: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Dennis Farina, Albert Brooks, Nancy Allen, Catherine Keener, Isaiah Washington, Steve Zahn, Luis Guzman
Written by: Scott Frank, based on the novel by Elmore Leoard
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
MPAA Rating: R for language and some strong violence
Running Time: 123
Date: 06/25/1998

Out of Sight (1998)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Heavy Duty

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This is an outstanding crime film from director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Frank, who adapted Elmore Leonard's novel. George Clooney plays Jack Foley, a cut-rate bank robber who breaks out of jail and falls for the lady Marshall (the wonderful Jennifer Lopez) on his trail. Out of Sight has as many surprises, twists, and turns as Pulp Fiction (1994), but seems to belong in another league of filmmaking entirely.

Soderbergh drenches the picture in orange for the sunny Miami locations, then suddenly changes to blue for frozen Detroit. The entire cast sparkles, from Ving Rhames as Foley's sidekick who confesses his every crime to his sister, to Steve Zahn, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Catherine Keener, and Nancy Allen. It feels like seeing Point Blank (1967) for the first time; it reinvents the genre, bringing freshness and life to it.

In 2022, Kino Lorber released a new Blu-ray (along with a 4K edition). It includes some of the bonuses from Universal's 2011 Blu-ray (a commentary track by Soderbergh and Frank, a 25-minute making-of featurette, and 22 minutes of deleted scenes). I can't say whether the transfer has been spruced up or not, but it looks terrific to my eyes. Other bonuses include trailers and optional subtitles. Highly Recommended.

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