Take five of the dumbest criminals around and a heist that’s too good to be true and you have the basic ingredients for Welcome to Collinwood, one of the funniest crime capers for a good while.
Petty thief, Cosimo (Luis Guzman), is given the plan for the perfect heist by a lifer while serving time.
He decides to get out of jail fast, but he needs a fall-guy to take the rap for him. In return he’s willing to cough up $15,000 to the willing patsy.
But while no-one seems to be willing to do the time, there’s no shortage of volunteers to help out with the heist.
One double-cross later leaves Pero (Sam Rockwell) in charge of the worst crew in criminal history; single father Riley (William H Macy); do-gooder Leon (Isaiah Washington); gigolo Basil (Andrew Davoli); and ageing thief Toto (Michael Jeter).
Cosimo’s girlfriend, Rosalind (Patricia Clarkson) provides the necessary female interest. Lending them a helping hand along the way is wheelchair-bound safecracker Jerzy (George Clooney).
While the plot sounds a lot like countless other crime thrillers, the difference here is the performances of some of the main characters.
Macy and Rockwell in particular excel at turning their loser characters into the kind of loveable rogues you just have to root for.
Another winner from the Clooney/Soderbergh stable.
Comedy, 15. ****