‘Matchstick Men’ Isn’t the Movie Nicolas Cage Will Be Remembered for, But It’s the Movie that Made Him Impossible to Forget

  • Indiewire
‘Matchstick Men’ Isn’t the Movie Nicolas Cage Will Be Remembered for, But It’s the Movie that Made Him Impossible to Forget
For a deeply satisfying movie that hinges on a career-defining performance from one of modern cinema’s most fascinating stars, Ridley Scott’s “Matchstick Men” has a strange way of falling through the cracks. Released to a tepid response in September 2003, this slippery tale of a con artist with a guilty conscience was too much of a tweener to find the audience it deserved, and — much like its twitchy protagonist — was also conflicted about swindling people out of their money. For a major Hollywood film that climaxes with a bare-assed Nicolas Cage running around an L.A. parking garage, its “B” Cinemascore is borderline miraculous.

Even now, 15 years to the month since its debut, “Matchstick Men” lurks in the dark recesses of basic cable. Surf a few channels up from the big game on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll often find it playing on a semi-automatic loop, as if
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