The Ocean’s franchise has been hugely popular amongst film buffs, and with five movies in the series, there’s certainly plenty to be discussed. Featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars as charming, lovable criminals, the Ocean’s films are fun-filled escapist fantasies that each center around almost impossible to pull off heists.
The first four films follow Danny Ocean, played by Frank Sinatra in the 1960 original, and George Clooney in the 2001 remake. Ocean looks to put together an expert team of criminals to carry out stylish heists that will see the gang steal millions of dollars from casinos. This is the running theme for the first four films.
The fifth film, Ocean’s 8, features an all-female led cast and stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Danny’s younger sister. Debbie is looking to pull off a spectacular heist that would make her brother proud.
The Ocean’s films are light-hearted fun that has the audience rooting for the crooks to succeed in their heists, and with such a likable cast, it’s hard not to.
Keep reading to find out how we rank the five Ocean films.
5. Ocean’s 11 (1960)
When watching the original Ocean’s 11, it’s important to remember that it was considered a big deal at the time. After all, it starred the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop) and other famous Hollywood stars from that era, matched with a promising plot of taking down top casinos in Las Vegas and offering laughs along the way.
Unfortunately, the film hasn’t aged well, and the lack of pace and action makes it almost difficult to sit through. Although the film doesn’t offer much in terms of storyline and action compared to other films in the franchise, there are a few stand out moments, and it did inspire Steven Soderbergh’s marvellous remake.
4. Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Soderbergh’s sequel to Ocean’s Eleven (2001) received mixed reviews from film fans and secured yet another film in the heist franchise. Ocean’s Twelve saw Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) reunite for yet another heist, this time in Europe. The gang must pull off the impossible and find a way to quickly retrieve the millions of dollars they stole from Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) in the first film.
However, Ocean’s Twelve’s plot doesn’t quite hit the mark and seems unnecessarily complicated and all over the place. Not even the European locations, character development, great humour, and added starlets are enough to save this film.
3. Ocean’s 8 (2018)
The female-led cast of Ocean’s 8 makes up for the lack of female characters throughout the Ocean’s franchise. Danny Ocean’s little sister, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), is released from prison after five years and has plans to steal a $150 million diamond necklace from the Met Gala. With the help from her crew (Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, and Awkwafina), they head to New York City to carry out the heist.
Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway (who plays an actress and the gang’s target) stand out for their roles in Ocean’s 8. However, the movie misses a real villain, like Terry Benedict in Ocean’s Eleven. Despite the heist itself being pretty entertaining, it all goes accordingly and the film lacks any real tension, much to the annoyance of the audience.
2. Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
The Ocean crew is reunited in Las Vegas for the third movie. Ocean’s Thirteen sees them trying to take down casino tycoon Willy Bank (Al Pacino), who is opening the latest luxurious casino on the Vegas Strip and who just so happened to have double-crossed the gang’s mentor Rueben (Elliott Gould).
Ocean’s Thirteen is a fun, entertaining film but lacks female characters, which is noticeable, with Ellen Barken playing the only female role. Al Pacino makes a great addition to the casting as the loathsome villain, and Danny seeking assistance from Ocean’s Eleven villain, Terry Benedict, is an excellent twist to the plot. Overall, the storyline is interesting, the casting is superb, and the film is enjoyable for a threequel.
1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven took all the potential that the original 1960 version had and turned the film into a critically-acclaimed Hollywood blockbuster. There’s no doubt that this version is the best film overall from the Ocean’s franchise. The all-star cast includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and Andy Garcia, who have such great energy.
The script is fun, and the characters are lovable crooks who the audience root for. The storyline follows Danny Ocean, who has recently been released from prison and wants to pull off the biggest heist in history. Ocean puts together an expert team of criminals to steal $160 million from the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, and in doing so, crosses the callous villain Terry Benedict.
The Ocean’s Eleven remake set the standard for the rest of the franchise that the other films never quite lived up to. Ocean’s Eleven grossed $450 million worldwide and was the fifth best-selling film in 2001, and in giving the 1960 original a chic and modern update, Soderbergh raised the bar to unreachable heights for heist movies to come.