Out of Sight (1998)

Published on September 21st, 2011

Alex recommends one of his favourite movies that he hasn’t watched in a while, Out of Sight.

I have a list of five movies that I would consider my five favourite movies of all time; whenever somebody asks what my favourite movie is I say, “I’ll give you five.” Now, I came up with this list when I was 18, which basically means that I was definitely more passionate about those choices seven years ago. Basically, if you told me right now that I had time to watch five movies before I died, I likely wouldn’t pick this exact list of films (unless of course I crumbled under the pressure). But that doesn’t mean they’re not really, really good movies.

Out of Sight is one of the movies from the list that I would probably not be compelled to watch just before I died; I imagine I would pick The Godfather Part II if only to extend my life by an extra hour. However, Out of Sight is a damn good movie. Directed by Steven Soderbergh in the middle of his shockingly impressive late 1990s run, the film stars George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, with great supporting turns from Ving Rhames, DON CHEADLE, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Michael Keaton, Luis Guzman and Steve Zahn. The plot is a fairly run of the mill crime story, but its mixture of comedy, some action, romance, and stylistic Soderberghisms (time shifting, freeze frames that are somehow not annoying, etc.) elevate it to a level that is maybe better than the script. It’s not a perfect movie, and there’s no brilliant allegory running through it, but I’ll still want to watch this movie any time I have two hours to kill with nothing better to do.

I suppose Out of Sight is a movie that a lot of people would call a rainy day movie. But since I watch movies no matter what the weather is, I might not be the right person to make that assessment. You will definitely laugh at some points, probably at Rhames’ introduction or when Cheadle and Clooney get excited about “all this reading and shit,” and you might even realize that Lopez can kind of act sometimes. Clooney and Lopez are legitimately interesting together, and their self-reflexive ride in the trunk of a car, not to mention a later meeting in a bar, are pretty great as far as romantic scenes go. And this is also maybe Clooney’s most charming performance, which is saying something.

I might not pick Out of Sight as one of my five last movies to watch anymore, but I will always love it. A friend of mine recently purchased a mounted poster of the film from Value Village for me, and I’m so excited to pick it up from her house and just stare at it for hours. Part of the excitement is because it is simply a great poster, but mostly I’m just excited to get another piece of one of my favourite movies. I might go another five years before I watch Out of Sight again, but it’s unlikely I’ll go more than a month without thinking about it. And now that I’ll have a large reminder of the movie, I’m excited to say I might get to think about it even more.

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