When Steven Soderbergh puts together a team, he does not hold back. Ocean’s 11 features one of the great Cool Guy ensembles of the 21st century, including one of Hollywood’s great Cool Girls, Julia Roberts. And while everyone remembers the heat-seeking chemistry of George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight, that film also includes Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Steve Zahn, Catherine Keener, Viola Davis, and Wendell Pierce, not to mention cameos from Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. Now, Soderbergh is back in his crime milieu for No Sudden Move, featuring a new ensemble led by Don Cheadle and including Benicio Del Toro, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Uncut Gems breakout Julia Fox, and actress-filmmaker Amy Siemetz. (Matt Damon is on the cast list but not in the trailer, so I’m assuming that’s a blown cameo.) Soderbergh would like everyone to remember that Rian Johnson isn’t the only guy who can pull together a top-tier cast.
No Sudden Move is set in 1950s Detroit and looks like a classic caper gone wrong, where everyone is backstabbing everyone else, and no one can be trusted. I don’t like everything Soderbergh does, but I’m still willing to watch anything he makes, especially in the crime/heist genre, and this looks not only crimey, but also heisty. Interestingly, though No Sudden Move is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, it’s going straight to streaming on HBO Max on July 1. There does not appear to be a theatrical release for this film, even as part of Warner Brothers’ day-and-date scheme this year. Soderbergh has a habit of embracing new technology, and late last year he was amazingly practical about the exhibition business and bounce-back of movie theaters as vaccinations started to roll out, so I’m not shocked he decided to bypass theaters with this one. It’s kind of a shame, though, because Out of Sight remains one of the all-time best theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone was on the edge of their seat! And the NOISE when the final twist came at the end! I’m not romantic about movie theaters, but there is something about watching a twisty-turny crime drama with a roomful of people as the tension mounts. It’s cathartic. I guess this time we’ll just have to embrace catharsis from the comfort of our couches.