Game of scams

FOCUS written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro and Adrian Martinez. A Warner Bros. release. 105 minutes. Opens Friday (February 27). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN

Where to watch: iTunes

Focus stars Will Smith as a master con artist who lets a small-time scammer (The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie) into his crew, and into his heart. Or… wait, does he?

The new film from writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris Crazy, Stupid, Love.) is built on a base of constantly shifting loyalties and agendas played out against vividly realized locations in New York, New Orleans and Buenos Aires.

The sense of gamesmanship is woven into the texture of the film itself. The scams themselves are less important than the relationships of the people involved in them, Smith and Robbie have a spiky chemistry, and Adrian Martinez, BD Wong and Gerald McRaney pop up in rich supporting roles.

Best of all, Ficarra and Requa aren’t out to trick their audience with elaborate, impossible plotting they just don’t serve us everything on a silver platter. It’s appreciated.

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