We should acknowledge how great George Clooney is in this movie. Jennifer Lopez is wonderful too—so much so that it’s a shame she didn’t stay the course as a movie star, rather than focusing so much of her energy on pop music—but Clooney has had such a strong post-Out Of Sight career that it’s easy to forget how this film righted his reputation. He’d made a ton of money with the first couple of films he starred in after leaving the TV series ER, but few critics took him seriously as an actor. Around the time Out Of Sight came out, I remember Clooney giving interviews in which he talked about how he was rich enough from Batman & Robin not to have to make any more movies he didn’t believe in. He also said that Soderbergh had cured him of some of his actorly tics, convincing him to stare straight ahead rather than always dipping his chin and bobbing his head. Nathan, you ask about memorable moments, and most of mine involve Clooney’s unexpected maturity and deadpan wit. My favorite example of the latter: When one of Ripley’s goons comes to escort Jack out of his office and says, “There are two ways we can do this,” to which Jack replies, “Yeah, what are they?” As for the former, I think again of that scene at the hotel bar with Karen, when Jack sighs that he’d rather they just be themselves, and bring everything they’ve lived and experienced into the bedroom. “Gary and Celeste, what do they know about anything?” he asks. What changed about Clooney as an actor is that he stopped being a Gary and started being a Jack Foley.
100% agree. This remains my favorite George Clooney role (narrowly ahead of Michael Clayton). And I also view it as the pivotal moment that “righted” his Hollywood ship. He easily could have veered off course as so many others have before him. But it was Out of Sight that put him on the trajectory to become arguably the biggest movie star in the world.
I also believe this is still Steven Soderbergh’s best movie.