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If you do not wish to read the entire post, here is the ranking as a tier list (made using TierMaker).
B+ (REALLY GREAT): Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
B/B- (SOLID): Ocean’s 8, Ocean’s Thirteen
C+/C (OKAY): Ocean’s 11 (1960)
C-/D+ (PRETTY BAD): Ocean’s Twelve
Recommended Films to Watch First: Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s 8, and if you’re a fan of the Rat Pack, Ocean’s 11 (1960)
Guess Who’s Back!
That is right, everyone! I have returned from my hiatus (a bit sooner than I expected), and I’m ready to keep this blog moving! Thank you so much for your patience, and I truly hope you’ve all been doing well.
As I said in my last status update, I decided to clear my review queue, and even though this was the marathon I initially promised before my hiatus announcement, I am still not sure what I will be posting next. Consider this short ranking my way of easing back into things.
I have a couple of movie marathon rankings that I did some months ago that I never posted to this website, so while I figure out my next rankings/posts, I might just, after making some minor revisions, share these older lists here.
Also, before I get started on my Ocean’s introduction, I don’t know if I mentioned that my rankings were designed as living documents. In other words, should I post a marathon ranking on my website and another film in the marathon is released afterwards, then I will go back and update my ranking, adding in that new film. I’m mentioning this because I recently did this for my DreamWorks marathon, in which I included 2020’s The Croods: A New Age (and yes, this means that I will have to do this again for that upcoming Boss Baby sequel…ughhhh…).
So…That Ocean’s Series?
Ah, yes, so I would imagine that most people are familiar with the Steven Soderbergh-directed Ocean’s trilogy – namely, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) – that features a group of thieves, played by an all-star cast, going on a series of heists. These films, especially the first Ocean’s Eleven, are probably among the most famous heist films of all time, or at least of the 21st Century, and even though I am not the most familiar with heist films in general, it’s easy to see that this trilogy gets its hype because of Three C’s: Character, Chemistry, and Cleverness (well, you can actually make it five C’s if you include Celebrity Cameos. I’m looking especially at you, Ocean’s Twelve).
Distinct, well-written characters. Strong chemistry among the actors. Cleverly written and executed plans to rob wealthy establishments and wealthy people. These, and more, are the elements that, in my opinion, best characterize the Ocean’s films, and it would not be fair to attribute these solely to the trilogy, as that would overlook the foundation from the 1960 Ocean’s 11.
Led by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, five members of the legendary Rat Pack, Ocean’s 11 originated the aforementioned characteristics of the Soderbergh trilogy. While the characters and premises are different between the 1960 film and the 21st Century trilogy (except for the fact that Frank Sinatra and George Clooney play lead characters named “Danny Ocean”), the format and structure of the films are very similar, which is why I ultimately included Ocean’s 11 in this marathon (other than the fact that I don’t want to do a three-movie marathon ranking).
For more obvious reasons, I also included Ocean’s 8, the 2018 all-female spin-off of and continuation to the Soderbergh trilogy, and everything I said about its predecessors also hold true for this film.
As someone who usually (not always) weighs plot and character development very heavily when reviewing films, I will say right now that none of Ocean’s films are incredibly “great” movies, instead, they are fun movies. It’s very clear that the draw to these films, other than my Three C’s and their really famous cast members, is mostly dependent on the entertainment of the heists’ executions, and with the exception of Ocean’s Twelve (which, to me, comes across as an unfunny, overly self-aware parody of an Ocean’s film), you can expect to be quite amused with the robberies led by Danny Ocean, Danny Ocean (no relation to Danny Ocean), and Debbie Ocean (related to Danny Ocean but not related to Danny Ocean).
5. (THE WORST) Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
60% of my thoughts while watching this movie (colorized):
WARNING: This clip contains FLASHING LIGHTS that may trigger discomfort or seizures to those with photosensitive epilepsy.
Alternate TL;DR Review:
(Yes, this is a legitimate plot point in the movie.)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%
My Grade: D+
4. Ocean’s 11 (1960)
TL;DR Review: While the original Ocean’s 11 has a great concept and is full of mildly-to-solidly entertaining performances from the Rat Pack, its underwhelming plot and uneven tone makes the film seem like an inferior sequel to a non-existent Ocean’s 10.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
My Grade: C+
3. Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
TL;DR Review: Following the messy Ocean’s Twelve, the Soderbergh Ocean’s trilogy redeems itself with a final, brilliantly imagined heist (though, at the cost of a decent ending).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
My Grade: B-
2. Ocean’s 8 (2018)
Alright, so I will say that Ocean’s 8, a spin-off/sequel/remake of Ocean’s Eleven, itself a remake of Ocean’s 11, is to Ocean’s Eleven, the remake of Ocean’s 11, what Ocean’s Eleven, again a remake of Ocean’s 11, is to Ocean’s 11, except unlike how Ocean’s Eleven, the first remake of Ocean’s 11, is to Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 8, which I shall restate is a spin-off/sequel/remake to Ocean’s Eleven, which is known for being a remake of Ocean’s 11, is not better than Ocean’s Eleven, the movie that was inspired by Ocean’s 11. However, I do believe that Ocean’s 8, which, in case you may have forgotten, is a spin-off, sequel, and remake to Ocean’s Eleven, the 2001 remake of 1960’s Ocean’s 11, unlike the two direct sequels to Ocean’s Eleven (which, by the way is a remake of Ocean’s 11), Ocean’s Twelve, the direct sequel to Ocean’s Eleven, the re-done version of Ocean’s 11, and Ocean’s Thirteen, the follow-up to Ocean’s Twelve, the follow-up to Ocean’s Eleven, a follow-up to Ocean’s 11, is probably the best Ocean’s 11 remake since Ocean’s Eleven, which, for your information, is a remake to Ocean’s 11.
With fewer thieves in the bunch, Ocean’s 8 truly shows that less is more. 🙂
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
My Grade: B
1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
TL;DR Review: Ocean’s Eleven presents a consistently clever and exciting heist and story, making for a remake that is better than the original film.
Alternate TL;DR Review: On behalf of the United States of America, I’d like to apologize for Don Cheadle’s attempt at a British accent.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
My Grade: B+