Matchstick Men (2003)
As a crime story about conmen, Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men is painfully run of the mill and hasn't much to offer on either suspense or innovation. As a human drama, however, it is beautiful as well as poignant and a brilliant Nicolas Cage lights up every scene he is in. Still, his performance isn't flashy (like the his quirky Castor Troy, for instance), it's both deep and probing and worth its weight in gold as a psychological study. Alongside the absolutely lovely and vibrant Alison Lohman, Cage does wonderful scenes that deserve a better fate than what is offered in the film's formulaic finale. What is made to surprise (in order for the already unsatisfying mystery to become an effective thriller) does nothing else than demolish the film's best aspects.