‘Ocean’s 8’ Movie Review: Only Anne Hathaway Emerges Unscathed

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“Why do you need to do this?” asks Lou (Cate Blanchett). “Because it’s what I’m good at,” replies Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) who’s immersed in planning the biggest heist of her criminal career – one she’s sure her older brother Danny would be envious of – in the crime comedy caper, “Ocean’s 8.

After making early parole, Debbie Ocean sets out to pull off the biggest jewelry heist of her career. However, she’s going to need the help of her old partner Lou to gather together a crew of seven women with certain special talents to make the heist a possibility. The targeted event is New York City’s annual Gala at the Met, and the targeted object is a famous necklace worth $150 million.

First up, Debbie and Lou recruit an old friend and former associate, Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter). In order for their plan to work, Rose needs to get hired by famous actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), who will be the unsuspecting helper in the heist as the person wearing the necklace they hope to steal.

Next up is diamond cutter Amita (Mindy Kaling) and a talented hacker nicknamed Nine Ball (Rihanna). Constance (Awkwafina), a street pick pocket and petty thief, and another of Debbie’s old friends, Tammy (Sarah Paulson), are recruited into the gang next. Tammy’s specialty is the ability to get hired to help put on the gala, which will enable her to provide inside information.

Once her team’s assembled and on board with the heist Debbie spent the last five years in lock-up planning, Ocean’s 8 sets out to pull off the intricate plan.

Ocean’s 8 is a female-driven light and breezy caper film that’s missing the charm, panache, subtle humor, and slickness that made the original remake Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 13 so entertaining. (The less said or written about Ocean’s 12, the better). The film has a strong ensemble cast but unfortunately there’s little in the script to allow most of these talented actors a chance to shine.


Leading lady Sandra Bullock seems miscast as the little sister to Danny Ocean who spent her time in prison plotting out her dream heist. Bullock’s known for playing strong, assertive women and has given superb performances in films such as The Blind Side, 28 Days, While You Were Sleeping, and Gravity to name just a few. Unfortunately, Bullock delivers an unremarkable, forgettable performance as Debbie Ocean who at times seems bored with her own big heist.

Cate Blanchett’s talents are completely wasted as Lou, Debbie’s right-hand woman who basically stands around looking like she just walked out of a biker bar. What a waste of a great actress!

The only member of the star-studded ensemble who does get a chance to have fun and who delivers a memorable and laugh-out-loud performance is Anne Hathaway as the self-absorbed, needy actress who’s the unsuspecting helper in the caper. Hathaway steals every scene she’s in and she’s able to lift the film from feeling dull and lifeless to energetic and fun. The scenes with Hathaway and Bonham Carter, playing her fashion consultant/member of the Ocean’s crew, are the absolute best in the film.

The stylish camera work and soundtrack of the film is so similar to the earlier Ocean’s films that it fails to add anything new or original. The heist itself is not that impressive and instead feels more like a paint-by-numbers caper than the thrill ride you’d expect from an entry in the Ocean’s franchise.

Another necessary element missing in Ocean’s 8 is a memorable, dangerous, and smart antagonist for the crew to go up against, such as the villain played by Andy Garcia in Ocean’s 11 or Al Pacino in Ocean’s 13. The former ex-con/ex-boyfriend of Debbie’s is an insignificant and uninteresting throw-away character, if there ever was one.

Ocean’s 8 is nothing more than a forgettable comedy heist film that commits the crime of wasting the talents of some of the best actresses in Hollywood.

GRADE: C-

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, drug use, and some suggestive content

Release Date: June 8, 2018

Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Directed By: Gary Ross

Ocean's 8 movie review

Debbie Ocean (SANDRA BULLOCK), Lou (CATE BLANCHETT), Nine Ball (RIHANNA), Amita (MINDY KALING), Constance (AWKWAFINA), Rose (HELENA BONHAM CARTER), Daphne Kluger (ANNE HATHAWAY), and Tammy (SARAH PAULSON). (Photo © 2017 Warner Bros Entertainment)




Kevin Finnerty

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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