**/**** Image B+ Sound B+ Extras B+
starring Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce McGill
screenplay by Nicholas Griffin & Ted Griffin, based on the novel by Eric Garcia
directed by Ridley Scott
by Walter Chaw The defining Nicolas Cage performance is still the one he delivered in Vampire's Kiss, an indescribably strange film that saw the actor affecting some sort of Algonquin accent and, in the picture's most memorable scene, screaming at his therapist while wearing an ill-fitting set of plastic fangs. For Ridley Scott's highly-anticipated take on the dead-on-its-feet big con formula Matchstick Men (one last score for the grizzled shyster, a young apprentice who's not what he seems, an unexpected and unwise late partner in crime, a big twist telegraphed from the first frame, and so on), Cage seems to have resurrected his perversely hammy turn in that underseen camp classic: screaming at another therapist (Bruce Altman, always good), donning another disguise with an astonishing number of distracting tics and affectations, and ultimately accepting his fate with a sort of fatigued, fatalistic resignation.