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Ocean's Eleven

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Ocean's Eleven
Theatrical-release poster
Directed bySteven Soderbergh
Screenplay byTed Griffin
Based on
Ocean's 11
Produced byJerry Weintraub
CinematographyPeter Andrews
Edited byStephen Mirrione
Music byDavid Holmes
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 7, 2001 (2001-12-07)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$85 million[1]
Box office$450.7 million[1]

Ocean's Eleven is a 2001 American heist comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh from a screenplay by Ted Griffin. The first installment in the Ocean's film trilogy, it is a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac, and Carl Reiner. The story follows friends Danny Ocean (Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Pitt), who plan a heist of $160 million from casino owner Terry Benedict (García), the lover of Ocean's ex-wife Tess (Roberts).

Ocean's Eleven was theatrically released in the United States on December 7, 2001, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received positive reviews from critics and was a major box-office hit, grossing $450.7 million worldwide and becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2001. Soderbergh directed two sequels, Ocean's Twelve in 2004 and Ocean's Thirteen in 2007. Ocean's 8, a spin-off with an all-female lead cast, was released in 2018.[2][3]


Professional thief Danny Ocean is released from a New Jersey prison after four years and travels to Los Angeles to reunite with his friend and colleague Rusty Ryan. The pair travel to Las Vegas to secure the financial backing of their wealthy friend Reuben Tishkoff to undertake a multi-million dollar heist in which they will rob three casinos owned by Tishkoff's ruthless rival Terry Benedict: the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand. Legally required to have enough cash available to cover all their patrons' bets, Danny estimates that on the eve of an upcoming high-profile boxing match, the casinos will hold over $150 million in an underground vault guarded by virtually unassailable security measures and systems. Having been forced out of his casino by Benedict, Tishkoff readily agrees to participate.

Danny and Rusty recruit six former acquaintances: con man Frank Catton, aging and retired con man Saul Bloom, auto specialists Virgil and Turk Malloy, explosives expert Basher Tarr, and surveillance technician Livingston Dell, as well as acrobat Yen and pickpocket Linus Caldwell. Each member is assigned to infiltrate or surveil the Bellagio to learn about the security, the routines, the behaviors of the casino staff, and the building itself. They also build a precise replica of the vault to practice the heist. Linus is tasked with tracking Benedict himself, eventually uncovering that he is dating Danny's ex-wife Tess. Furious at Danny's deception and believing he is motivated mainly by reconnecting with Tess, Rusty tells him to call off the heist, but Danny refuses. Danny later meets with Tess, who is still hurt by their former relationship, and Benedict who has Danny barred from his casinos.

The team commence the heist while Danny enters the Bellagio and Benedict has him detained in a surveillance-free room to be beaten by Bruiser, who is secretly working with Danny. Danny uses the room's vent to reach the vault elevator and meet up with Linus who has infiltrated the casino as a gambling official. Meanwhile, Saul convinces Benedict to secure a briefcase of jewels—actually disguised explosives—in the vault, while Virgil and Turk smuggle Yen into the vault in a casino trolley. Basher triggers a stolen EMP device which disables electricity across Las Vegas including the laser grid protecting the elevator shaft, allowing Danny and Linus to descend to the vault entrance. The pair neutralize the guards and, with Yen, use Saul's "jewels" to destroy the vault locks and secure the cash.

Rusty calls Benedict and reveals the robbery, blackmailing him to surrender half the cash to a van waiting outside or they will blow up all of the money. Verifying the compromised vault by camera, Benedict complies but has his men pursue the van while summoning a SWAT team to retake the vault. During the SWAT team's assault the explosives are detonated, destroying the remaining half of the cash while the thieves seemingly escape. Meanwhile, the van is discovered to be under remote control and the money bags filled with advertisements. Benedict dismisses the SWAT team before realizing that the footage he witnessed was manipulated as the vault in the video lacked the Bellagio logo on its floor; the footage was created using the team's replica vault.

It is revealed that, after intercepting the 911 call, the team entered the casino disguised as SWAT members and left the vault unhindered with duffel bags containing over $160 million in cash. Danny returns to the secure room before Benedict arrives to confront him. Tess receives a call telling her to watch her TV which shows a surveillance camera feed of Danny tricking Benedict into admitting that he would give up Tess in exchange for the money's return. Unable to connect Danny to the heist, Benedict instead has him arrested for violating his parole by leaving New Jersey; Danny and Tess reconcile before he is taken away. As dawn breaks, the remaining team contemplate their victory in front of the Fountains of Bellagio before going their separate ways.

Several months later, Danny is released from prison and picked up by Rusty and Tess. They drive off, followed by Benedict's men.


Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, and Steven Soderbergh in December 2001

The Eleven[edit]

In order of recruitment:


  • Andy García as Terry Benedict, the owner of the robbed casinos and Reuben's rival
  • Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean, Danny's ex-wife and Terry's girlfriend
  • Scott L. Schwartz as Bruiser, a huge bruiser working with Ocean



In 1987, David Permut, who had produced a film adaptation of the 1950s TV show Dragnet, declared his intention to remake the 1960 film, but the project never materialized.[4] In January 2000, Warner Bros. was reported to be moving forward with Steven Soderbergh on development of an Ocean's Eleven remake, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts. Johnny Depp was being considered for Linus Caldwell, while Luke and Owen Wilson were in discussions to play the Malloy twins.[5] The Wilson brothers had to decline due to their commitment to The Royal Tenenbaums.[6] Mike Myers, Bruce Willis, Ewan McGregor, Alan Arkin, and Ralph Fiennes were considered for roles but also ended up dropping out.[5][6][7] Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen were considered as replacements for the Wilson brothers, but Soderbergh cast Caan and Affleck instead. Mark Wahlberg was originally cast as Caldwell, but left in favor of starring in another remake, Planet of the Apes, and was subsequently replaced with Damon.[7] Clooney's commitment to Ocean's Eleven forced him to turn down the lead role in Unfaithful.[8]

Ocean's Eleven was filmed between February 11 and June 7, 2001, primarily in Las Vegas, but with some scenes shot in New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, and Burbank.[9] As producer Jerry Weintraub was friends with the Bellagio's owner, Kirk Kerkorian, the production team was granted permission to film there; also, the cast stayed at the hotel during the shoot.[10] The "pinch" used in the film to black out power in Las Vegas was based on the real-life Sandia Z-pinch. However, the effect shown is unrealistic, as no device of the size shown could achieve that effect.[11]

Cheadle was uncredited for his role.[12] In an interview, Cheadle said, "there was some stuff that happened behind the scenes that I didn’t like how it went down, so I just said, 'Take my name off it.'"[12]



Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 182 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment."[13] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 74 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[15]

People magazine called the film "pure fun from start to finish,"[16] and included it in its end-of-year Best of Screen list.[17] Newsweek said Ocean's Eleven "bounces along with finger-snapping high spirits," and said that while Soderbergh has "made deeper films, ...this carefree caper movie is nothing to sneeze at."[18] Time magazine's reviewer Richard Corliss criticized the film, saying it "doesn't offer much."[19] In a poll during November 2008, Empire magazine called Ocean's Eleven the 500th best film on The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[20] For Don Cheadle's role in this film, he needed to learn to speak with a cockney accent, which drew harsh reviews from critics and is recognized as being one of the worst accents in film.[21] Cheadle commented on his accent, saying "My British friends ... tell me [it's] a truly terrible London accent in Ocean's Thirteen. You know something, I really worked on that accent. Went to London, spoke to people, got to know it... my agent said it was fine, so I'm stuck with this thing. Even though everyone laughs at me. So I sacked her, of course".[22]

Entertainment Weekly put "The Ocean's Eleven heist scene" on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "Featuring three impregnable Vegas casinos and 11 ring-a-ding criminals, Steven Soderbergh's 2001 roll of the dice provided the most winning robbery sequence of the decade."[23]

Box office[edit]

Ocean's Eleven had a budget of about $85 million. On its opening weekend, it grossed an estimate of $38.1 million and was the top box-office draw for the weekend, dethroning Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.[24] The film surpassed What Women Want to have the highest December opening weekend.[25] That record was very brief, as it was quickly surpassed by The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring two weeks later.[26] Moreover, Ocean's Eleven had the largest opening weekend for both a Brad Pitt film and a Julia Roberts film, beating Interview with the Vampire and Runaway Bride simultaneously. It also had the third-highest opening weekend for any film starring George Clooney, behind Batman & Robin and The Perfect Storm.[27] The film grossed $183,418,150 in the United States, $267,311,379 overseas, totaling $450,728,529 worldwide.[1]

Home media[edit]

Ocean's Eleven was released on VHS and DVD on May 7, 2002.[28]


Soderbergh directed two sequels, Ocean's Twelve in 2004 and Ocean's Thirteen in 2007, which make up the Ocean's Trilogy.

An Ocean's film with an all-female cast led by Sandra Bullock, titled Ocean's 8, was released June 8, 2018.[29] It was conceived by producer Jerry Weintraub, Soderbergh and Clooney. Olivia Milch and Gary Ross were writer of the screenplay, and director respectively.[30] Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina made up the ensemble cast.[31][32][33]

Other adaptations[edit]

Takarazuka Revue adapted the movie as a musical in 2011–2012 in Japan (Takarazuka Grand Theater; Tokyo Takarazuka Theater). The production was performed by Star Troupe and the cast included Reon Yuzuki as Danny Ocean, Nene Yumesaki as Tess Ocean and Shio Suzumi as Rusty Ryan.[34]

The 2014 Bollywood film Happy New Year draws heavily on the plot of Ocean's Eleven, with Shah Rukh Khan starring as the protagonist.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Ocean's Eleven (2001)". The Numbers. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  2. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (October 29, 2015). "Exclusive: All-Female 'Ocean's Eleven' In The Works Starring Sandra Bullock, With Gary Ross Directing". The Playlist.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. (October 30, 2015). "Sandra Bullock will lead an all-female Ocean's Eleven reboot". Entertainment Weekly.
  4. ^ "'Ocean's Eleven' Update On Slate Of 'Dragnet' Producer Permut". Variety. August 12, 1987. p. 24.
  5. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (January 26, 2000). "'Eleven' a fit for Pitt; Mark on 'Honeymoon'". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (September 11, 2000). "Inside Move: Strikes cause A-list shuffles". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (September 12, 2000). "HBO looks at real estate for Garofalo". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Clooney may be 'Unfaithful'". Variety. May 21, 2000. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Tripathi, Prizmi (August 1, 2011). "Where was Ocean's Eleven Filmed?". The Cinemaholic. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  10. ^ Julia Roberts Reflects on Recent Cher Encounter Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, 8 December 2023.
  11. ^ Stein, Ben (March 2002). "The Con-Artist Physics of "Ocean's Eleven"". APS News. Vol. 11, no. 3. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Williams, Kam (January 12, 2009). "Don Cheadle: The Hotel for Dogs Interview". The Sly Fox Film Reviews. Archived from the original on May 15 2011.
  13. ^ "Ocean's Eleven". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 3, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  14. ^ "Ocean's Eleven". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 10, 2018). "'Ocean's 8' Steals Franchise Record With $41.5M Opening – Final Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  16. ^ Leah Rozen (December 10, 2001). "Picks & Pans: Screen". People: 56.
  17. ^ "Best of Screen". People: 56. December 31, 2001.
  18. ^ David Ansen (December 17, 2001). "Boys Just Wanna Have Fun". Newsweek: 138.
  19. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 10, 2001). "Short Takes". Time. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Empire. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  21. ^ "Don Cheadle's terrible accent - Monsters and Critics". Archived from the original on July 12, 2011.
  22. ^ "The Worst British Accents Ever". Empire.
  23. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "The 100 Greatest Movies, TV Shows, Albums, Books, Characters, Scenes, Episodes, Songs, Dresses, Music Videos, And Trends That Entertained Us Over The Past 10 Years". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
  24. ^ "Ocean's $38.1 Million". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  25. ^ "'Ocean's Eleven' rolls winning numbers". The News & Observer. December 12, 2001. p. E10. Archived from the original on August 30, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  26. ^ "'Lord of the Rings' rules holiday weekend". News-Journal. December 27, 2001. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 18, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  27. ^ Karger, Dave (December 11, 2001). "Ocean's Eleven topples Harry Potter". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  28. ^ Howard, Brendan (February 22, 2002). "Ocean's Eleven' Is A Sellthrough Steal". hive4media.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2002. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  29. ^ "Ocean's 8 Release Date Set for Summer 2018". ComingSoon.net. October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  30. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (October 29, 2015). "Exclusive: All-Female 'Ocean's Eleven' In The Works Starring Sandra Bullock, With Gary Ross Directing". Indiewire. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  31. ^ Evry, Max (June 3, 2016). "Cate Blanchett in Talks to Join All-Female Ocean's Eleven". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  32. ^ Evry, Max (June 3, 2016). "Cate Blanchett in Talks to Join All-Female Ocean's Eleven". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  33. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 10, 2016). "Warner Bros Firms 'Ocean's 8' Lineup: Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling Join Sandra Bullock & Cate Blanchett". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  34. ^ "宝塚歌劇 星組公演『オーシャンズ11』". kageki.hankyu.co.jp.
  35. ^ "Movie Review: 'Happy New Year' is a cross between 'Oceans 11/12' and 'Flash Dance'". Indian Express. October 26, 2016.,

External links[edit]