Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Gaston Pauls
Ricardo Darin
Leticia Bredice
Tomas Fonzi.
Directors
Fabien Bielinsky.
Screenwriters
Fabien Bielinsky.
Running Time
114 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Pheonix
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Nine Queens
Argentinian writer-director, Fabien Bielinsky, out-Mamets Mamet- with this film about con artists


submit to reddit


Plot
After rescuing him from a botched con trick, experienced grifter Marcos takes small-time operator Juan under his wing for a day. Together, they get involved in a scam involving the sale of some rare stamps (the nine queens of the title). But who's scammin who


Review
Marking the debut of Argentinian writer-director Fabien Bielinsky, Nine Queens belongs to a rich tradition of films about con artists that includes Peter Bogdanovich's brilliant Paper Moon, Stephen Frears' The Grifters and pretty much every movie David Mamet has ever made.

Bielinsky apparently got his break after he won a screenplay competition - he was given funding for the movie, and the result is a brilliantly written film that cleverly manages to out-Mamet Mamet.

The film is set in present-day Buenos Aires, but it could be anywhere, as the action mostly takes place in hotels, restaurants, cafes and convenience stores. Bielinsky sets the tone of the film right from the opening scene, with Juan's small-time con-artist getting greedy by trying to pull the same 'change' trick on successive cashiers in the same store, and Marcos' older, wiser grifter stepping in to rescue him by posing as a policeman.

From then on, the script delights in piling on the twists so that the audience is never sure whom to trust and is immediately suspicious of each new character and their motives. Indeed, much of the pleasure of the film is derived from the fact that, time and time again, just as you think you've figured it out, something happens that forces you to completely re-think your theory. And, sure enough, the film keeps you guessing right up until the end.

Bielinsky cleverly ensures that neither angel-faced Juan nor the vaguely saturnine Marcos are entirely likeable characters (Marcos in particular isn't above pimping out his own sister in order to clinch a deal), though both Gaston Pauls and Ricardo Daren give immensely charismatic and assured performances.

There's also good support from Leticia Bredice as Marcos' embittered sister (who has her own reasons for getting involved with the latest scam), and Ignasi Abadal as a particularly sleazy stamp-collector.


Verdict
Yes. Terrific performances, snappy photography and a razor-sharp script combine to make this one of the most enjoyable films of the year. David Mamet, eat your heart out.


Reviewed by Matthew Turner

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
11 Of The Silliest Sesame Street Film Parodies
From Aveggies: Age Of Ultron to Big Birdman (and back again)

Astonishing Movie Star Music Video Cameos
Hiccup, Rhodey and Spidey join the party

Podcast #158: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox
The Vision vs. Daredevil

Daredevil Season 1 Spoiler Podcast - Featuring Charlie Cox
The team discuss and dissect the Marvel / Netflix show

Richard Armitage Bids Farewell To The Hobbit
On goat-riding, keepsakes and saying goodbye to Thorin

Empire's Jurassic World Covers Unveiled
You're going to hear her roar

40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire Digital Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)