Ocean's 8

Ocean's 8

In Theatres: 
Jun 08, 2018
Running Time: 
110 minutes

At its core, the Ocean’s franchise has relied on the chemistry of its characters first and the thrill of the heist second. That’s what made them stand out from other films in the genre. Ocean’s 8 is both a spin-off and rebooting of the franchise, following a group of women led by Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock), as they execute a heist that rivals any of her brother’s. There’s a lot of heart to this all-female cast led film, but the chemistry and thrill isn’t quite there yet.


Following her release from prison, Debbie Ocean (Bullock) recruits a team of skilled women to steal a diamond necklace worth $150 million. The group consists of Debbie’s right hand woman and ex-lover, Lou (Cate Blanchett), fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), jewelry maker Amita (Mindy Kaling), profiteer Tammy (Sarah Paulson), pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), and hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), and together they plan to infiltrate the Met Gala to steal the jewels right off the neck of celebrity actress and model Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway).


Ocean’s 8 is a mediocre film that does little to make me care about any of these characters. It feels like it’s just going through the motions of an Ocean’s movie - gather the team, plan the heist, execute the heist, “fail”, succeed with a twist - rather than contribute anything new and different to the franchise. I never really got a great understanding of how they planned to pull off the heist beforehand other than the bare minimum explanation of “we’re going to steal this diamond necklace.” It’s only when they actually are in the process of stealing it that we see how, so the whole planning aspect of the film feels empty.


The chemistry between the characters other than Debbie and Lou feels absent, too. Individually, some of them are fantastic. Awkwafina is great in every scene she is in, and Anne Hathaway is hilariously over-the-top as she basically plays a parody of herself. But when they’re all together there’s just no spark like there was with the original Ocean’s trilogy. I didn’t care whether they succeeded in pulling off the heist or if they got caught because their motivation is never really made clear. Debbie just wants to steal because it runs in the family. There is a half-hearted revenge plot, but it doesn’t really go anywhere, and is mostly used as an added twist. Previously, it’s been entertaining to see the whole recap at the end that reveals how the team truly pulled the heist off, but with Ocean’s 8 the payoff doesn’t seem worth it.


Some entertaining performances, surprise cameos, and a few shining moments keep Ocean’s 8 from becoming boring, but it’s not enough to make it anything memorable, either. It doesn’t get me excited about any future sequels, that’s for sure, although I’d still give it a chance because I do believe there is potential for improvement.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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