Common and Jeremy Piven in Smokin' Aces (Photo: Universal Pictures)
Simply put, Smokin’ Aces is Pulp Fiction meets Saving Private Ryan – if the objective hadn’t been so much rescuing Private Ryan as it was tracking down and killing him. With an A-List cast, Smokin’ Aces features excellent performances by Ryan Reynolds (yes, we are as surprised as you to see Van Wilder coming into his own), Jeremy Piven (as Buddy “Aces” Israel, the powder-nosed, Vegas illusionist with a $1 million bounty on his head), Ray Liotta, Alicia Keys, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Jason Bateman (who has a small but ingenious role), and even a cameo by Lost’s Matthew Fox. The long list of characters and complex web of relationships á la The Usual Suspects might seem confusing at first, but before you realize that you’re not totally sure what’s going on, the movie is over and it all makes sense. With everything you could possibly want – violence, drugs, hookers and mobsters – we venture to say Smokin’ Aces is one of the best movies we’ve seen all year.