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I love a good con, at least onscreen, and Ridley Scott’s “Matchstick Men” (2003, rated PG-13), on the “big” screen this week at Mesa Public Library, is a pretty fantastic con.
It tells the deviant story of Roy (Nicolas Cage), one of those rare con artists who has to open the door exactly three times before letting a guest in the house, a spotless environs where the guest must immediately remove his shoes and vigorously disinfect the receiver after using the phone.
Without medication, he’s compulsive to the point of being disabled, so when he loses his pills, he quickly deteriorates into a huge liability for his “business” partner Frank (Sam Rockwell).
Frank, a seemingly longtime protégé and the closest thing to a friend Roy has, connects Roy to a psychiatrist, drugs, and, ultimately, to Roy’s daughter, a 14-year-old girl who was still a zygote when her mother and Roy parted ways.
To return the favor, Roy agrees to take part in a “long con,” a more complicated version of the duo’s standard short-term cons, that Roy was initially reluctant to do.
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