One More Dip in the Pool

A clever and satisfying sendoff, Ocean’s Thirteen is Ocean’s at its most mature, with the characters locked into their roles and bringing together enough backstory to close every dangling plot thread. Better still, it’s set in Vegas, where the series belongs to match the cast’s impossible cool.

Al Pacino makes for the franchise’s best villain, the perfect smug, narcissistic, and intolerable casino owner with zero cares in the world other than being awarded for superficial wealth. The clever script finds a way to bring back Andy Garcia and superthief the Night Fox (Vincent Cassel) to make up for a missing Julia Roberts, the lone lost piece in an otherwise complete trilogy.

The way these characters evolve creates an engaging flow between these stories, like Matt Damon’s Linus who began as a terrified, incompetent rookie, but who now handles a crucial stage of the heist. The Malloy brothers (Scott Caan, Casey Affleck) bicker and argue intensely, if to a more organized degree than what appeared nigh unworkable Ocean’s Eleven. That they do this instantaneously – without question – upon one of their own being wronged furthers the plausibility of the relationships.

Ocean’s Thirteen feels glitzy and glamorous, but then again, all three of these do. Ocean’s Twelve tried passing that feel on through the mid-2000s cinemtoagraphy and editing aesthetics; Ocean’s Thirteen keeps this all in front of the camera, with sparkling, even gaudy luxury making up the sets. Pacino’s monstrous, twisty hotel is a red eyesore reaching skyward, the type of excessive display that demands to lose everything, if only to bring the owner back to reality and out of his own ego.

Whether the overall heist makes logical sense (it doesn’t, really, including a simulated earthquake with a multi-million dollar drill) doesn’t matter so much as an audience believes this group could pull it off. With two movies of ludicrous thievery preceding them, an earthquake machine seems infinitely more plausible after a hologram-emitting light show in Twelve.


A dismal, smeary master greets this third Ocean’s with unfortunate results. A limited grain structure barely carries a presence. What that leaves is a muddy, waxy, plastic appearance on everything. It’s inexcusably awful, and it was an interesting road getting here, from the natural-looking Ocean’s Eleven to the suspect Ocean’s Twelve, and now the wholly processed third film.

If any positives are due, they reside in the HDR pass for sheer brightness. It’s too consistently bright – sunlight beaming in a window is the same intensity as say, a bulb on a slot machine. Black crush persists, also in line with the prior two.

Color hits a satisfying, well saturated peak too, with warmth intense throughout, including flesh tones. Red and blue create some standout moments, if only in spurts. In conjunction with the DNR, color can run, further muddying detail.


DTS-HD 5.1 gives lift to the casino floor ambiance. It’s marginal. The best stuff happens underground with the drill, the pipes spewing pressure steam and rotors moving in every channel.

Range extends to the score, not much else. The bass line strums along in the low-end, producing adequate bounce. Late, earthquakes create a sizable jolt, however brief.


Stephen Soderbergh, Brian Koppelman, and David Levien provide the commentary for this one, with a 29-minute making-of following afterward. A look at the Ocean’s Thirteen cars, deleted scenes, and a Jerry Weintraub chat round out these bonuses.

Ocean's Thirteen
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A fun sequel that smartly keeps the crew it Vegas, Ocean’s Thirteen is an ideal sequel with enough formula tweaks to keep things fresh.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 40 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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