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Criminal - John C Reilly, Diego Luna, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gregory Jacobs

Threat advisory: Under evaluation

Movie propaganda

Ever get the feeling you're being played?

Set in Los Angeles over the course of 24 hours, Criminal follows a day in the life of two small-time bunco artists who stumble upon a foolproof, and extremely lucrative, scam. The story begins in a casino when Rodrigo (Diego Luna) is caught pulling a "change-for-a-hundred" swindle on two different cocktail waitresses. The escapade is witnessed by Richard Gaddis (John C Reilly) an older, more experienced con artist who intervenes. Posing as a policeman he escorts Rodrigo away.
Richard explains that he is temporarily in need of a partner and invites the younger man to help him pull a few jobs. Rodrigo is suspicious, but desperate to help his father who is in serious trouble over gambling debts. He agrees to try out a partnership.
The two men are taking a break from a series of "nickel and dime" schemes when Richard is summoned to the luxury hotel where his sister Valerie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who hates him for swindling her and their younger brother Michael (Jonathan Tucker) out of their inheritance, works as the concierge.

Valerie explains that an older Spanish man named Ochoa had been making a scene in the lobby trying to see VIP guest William Hannigan (Peter Mullan). While being escorted out, he had collapsed, but not before calling out Richard's name and begging Valerie to call him. Incensed that Richard and his low-life friends might endanger her job, she tells her brother to make sure both he and Ochoa never set foot in the hotel again.

As Richard and Rodrigo enter the room where the old time con man is waiting for the paramedics, they have no idea that a once in a lifetime opportunity is about to fall into their laps.

Ochoa explains the sting. An expert forger, he has made a copy of an extremely rare, one-of-a-kind 1878 Monroe Silver Certificate. Due to US tax concerns, Hannigan, an Irish multi-millionaire who collects antique currency, must leave the country the next day. If Richard can get to Hannigan, Ochoa knows he will not be able to resist adding the Certificate to his collection. Because lab tests would take a week, there is virtually no chance that he will discover the fraud. The pay-off? At least $500,000.

As the deceptions and duplicity mount, Richard and Rodrigo must negotiate a succession of swindlers, thieves and grifters to pull off the biggest caper of their lives.

An English-language version of the Argentine hit Nine queens (Nueve reinas).

Persons of interest

  • John C Reilly .... Richard Gaddis
  • Diego Luna .... Rodrigo
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal .... Valerie Gaddis
  • Jonathan Tucker .... Michael Gaddis
  • Zitto Kazann .... Ochoa
  • Brandon Keener .... Daniel
  • Peter Mullan
  • Maeve Quinlan .... Heather
  • Brent Sexton
  • Soledad St Hilaire
  • Fabián Bielinsky .... Screenwriter: Nueve reinas
  • Gregory Jacobs .... Screenwriter
  • Steven Soderbergh .... Screenwriter
  • Gregory Jacobs .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Security censorship classification

M (Medium level coarse language, sexual references)

Surveillance time

87 minutes (1:27 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 5 May 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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