Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: Get 6 Issues For £15
Get Empire magazine today and save money!
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
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Soul Boys Of The Western World
4 Star Empire Rating
What We Did On Our Holiday
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
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.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  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)